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Legal Implications of

Legal Implications of " "To Err is Human" "


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by Mary M. Devlin, LL.M.
Between 44, 000 and 98, 000 patients die each year in hospitals because of medical errors, costing between $17 billion and $29 billion dollars?aside from the cost in human suffering. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has issued a clarion call to action in its report, To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System. As William C. Richardson, Chair of the IOM?s Committee on Quality of Health Care in America, said, ?These stunningly high rates of medical errors are simply unacceptable in a medical system that promises first to ?do no harm.?? The Report urges a 50% reduction in these rates over the next 5 years.