Medical error often results in disability, pain, and suffering, and it is the third leading cause of death in hospitals. Despite its frequency, medical error has been largely invisible to the mainstream public. Within the medical system itself, medical error is often understood as the result of an isolated case of malpractice.
When Medicine Goes Awry argues that the causes of medical error are not an anomaly but rather the outcome of a number of factors at play, ranging from political to social to economic. When Medicine Goes Awry dismisses the common blame perspective associated with medical malpractice, instead asserting that medical error is – and will continue to be – inevitable, given the relentless and expanding processes of medicalization. Shedding light on the ways these forces lead to medicine going awry, the book examines seven well-known cases of medical error. Taking an in-depth look at both patients and medical care providers, Juanne Nancarrow Clarke offers a novel approach to medical error or mishap that applies sociological research and theory to the larger societal forces contributing to a taxing and endemic medical problem.
About the author
Juanne Nancarrow Clarke is a professor emeritus of sociology at Wilfrid Laurier University.