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The price of an error

April 10, 2008 – 11:53 am

Yes, we’re all human. We all make mistakes.

But some mistakes are more costly than others. For example, how much does it cost to leave an innocent person in prison for a year? And what could possibly be the compensation for sending a young man home from a hospital emergency room twice, without diagnosing him with acute perionitis? What’s the price of not having an ambulance available when that same patient is dying at home?

These are tragic situations, often involving whole “chains” of human error. And have you ever stopped to think about how the price of committing such errors is different depending on where in the world the mistake is made?

So, how much does it cost to commit such errors in Andalucia?

The judge from Mojácar, a small coastal town in Granada province, who “forgot” to release an innocent man from prison has discovered that it will cost her one year work suspension and 103,000 euros. However, because she says she’s bankrupt, the state will pay…

The many health personnel who are under investigation regarding the “chain of errors” (as they described it on the regional news service this morning) that lead to the untimely death of the young man with perionitis, are still waiting to find out who will pay what?

But will anyone actually pay a price? Or will it just come out of taxpayers’ pockets while doctors and nurses continue with business as usual?

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