chapter  13
16 Pages

The Perfect Storm: a Case of Wrong-sided Surgery

ByHelen Turnbull

Medical practitioners are trained to work diligently, operate precisely and, in the words of the Hippocratic Oath, to ‘do no harm’ (Edelstein 1943: 56). However, over the course of a practitioner’s career, errors can and will occur. In many cases the errors will be small and may result only in ‘near misses’. In some cases though, the errors will have catastrophic consequences for the patient and, as the quote illustrates, the practitioner.