The spiritual prescription

Two hardest words for a doctor to say: “I’m sorry.” Most defence lawyers counsel doctors to not apologize to patients. Their view is that if you say you’re sorry for something, you are implicitly taking some degree of responsibility for whatever has happened. In other words, you are pleading guilty. The complainant’s lawyers may use a doctor’s apology to the maximum extent possible to show the doctor knew what they did was wrong. The usual approach is to deny and defend. But, 

  • Apologizing after a medical error is the humane thing to do.
  • Patients often sue simply because it’s the only way to find out what went wrong.
  • Erecting a wall of silence is enough to make someone very angry. And it’s awfully easy for an angry person to find a lawyer who will listen to them. At that point, it’s too late to say sorry.
  • Over 35 states in the USA have passed laws prohibiting doctors’ apologies from being used against them in court. (Apology laws)
  • By promptly disclosing medical errors and offering earnest apologies and fair compensation, one can hope to restore integrity to dealings with patients, make it easier to learn from mistakes and dilute anger that often fuels lawsuits.

Apology, the spiritual answer 

  • The word ‘sorry’ is synonymous with apology.
  • To err is human, and to admit one’s mistake is superhuman.
  • Sorry should be heart-felt and not ego-felt. You should not only say sorry but also appear as being genuinely sorry.
  • A huge amount of courage is required to face the victim of our wrong doing and apologise.
  • Those who are in harmony with their life and consequently with themselves, find it easier to say sorry. They are the positive, conscientious people who are at peace only after making amends for their wrondoings.
  • The word ‘sorry’ in itself is instilled with tremendous potential and power. Within a fraction of a second, grave mistakes are diluted, estranged relations are brought alive, animosity and the bitterness are dissolved, misunderstandings are resolved and tense situations ease out, giving way to harmony and rapprochement.
  • To forgive and forget is a common spiritual saying.
  • Remember, we all make mistakes and seek forgiveness from GOD every day.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are entirely my own.

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