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- Atul Gawande: Why We Fail
- Toward a theory of medical fallibility
- The Checklist Manifesto Book Summary, by Atul Gawande
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Atul Gawande: Why We Fail
If the knowledge of the best thing to do in a given situation does not exist, we are happy to have people simply make their best effort. But if the knowledge exists and is not applied correctly, it is difficult not to be infuriated. We fail for two reasons. The first is ignorance, and the second is ineptitude. The question they sought to answer was why we fail at what we set out to do in the world. We are not omniscient or all-powerful. Even enhanced by technology, our physical and mental powers are limited.
In the s, the philosophers Samuel Gorovitz and Alasdair MacIntyre published a short essay on the nature of human fallibility that I read during my surgical training and haven't stopped pondering since. The question they sought to answer was why we fail at what we set out to do in the world. One reason, they observed, is "necessary fallibility" — some things we want to do are simply beyond our capacity. We are not omniscient or all-powerful. Even enhanced by technology, our physical and mental powers are limited.
Toward a theory of medical fallibility
But fear of making mistakes can itself become a huge mistake, one that prevents you from living, for life is risky and anything less is already a loss. Beginning with a meditation on the kinds of failures that afflict medicine and ending with a consideration of the challenges that aging and death present to medicine and society as a whole, he weaved together the themes of much of his writing in works like Complications, 3 The Checklist Manifesto, 4 and, more recently, Being Mortal. Gawande credits an essay he read early in his career by philosophers Samuel Gorovitz and Alasdair MacIntyre with influencing his thinking ever since. Gorovitz and MacIntyre described 3 kinds of errors that make humans so fallible. The second is caused by ineptitude—the failure of individuals or groups to apply knowledge that already exists. The third kind of error is caused by necessary fallibility, and they used the example of how a hurricane will behave when it makes landfall to explain the concept—and suggest we are asking of science more than it can do when we ask it to predict the outcome.
SAMUEL GOROVITZI AND ALASDAIR MACINTYRE$. No species of fallibility is more Samuel Gorovitz and Alasdair Maclntyre verifiability, truth, and reason;.
The Checklist Manifesto Book Summary, by Atul Gawande
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In these articles, MacIntyre criticizes changes in society transforming the physician-patient relationship: fragmentary moral views, individualism, misunderstanding of scientism and fallibility of the practice, as well as the lost background of common values and medical authority. He is considered an important representative of Communitarianism and Virtue Ethics schools of thought, although he denies both linkages and identifies himself as a Thomist 2. Above all he is a critic of modernity, of the Enlightenment and emotivism. He defends narrative traditions of subjects in a teleological view of life. In philosophy, he is recognized for his works regarding moral and politics.