“Conversations About Ethics” explores the aftermath of medical error

“After Harm: Medical Error and the Ethics of Forgiveness,” a free evening lecture by Nancy Berlinger, Ph.D., M.Div., a research scholar with the Hastings Center who studies ethical issues in health care delivery.

Preventable medical errors remain a serious problem more than a decade after a landmark report by the Institute of Medicine sounded the alarm. While it’s difficult to ascertain how many are killed by medical mistakes each year in the U.S., estimates range into the hundreds of thousands. According to the journal Health Affairs, medical errors cost the nation $17 billion annually.

This is the ninth in the “Conversations About Ethics” series presented by the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics at the UT Health Science Center and the Ecumenical Center for Religion and Health. The lecture series receives support from Methodist Healthcare Ministries.

6 p.m. Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pestana Lecture Hall, UT Health Science Center, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio.

Through her research and teaching, Dr. Berlinger explores ethical issues in health care, public health and patient safety.

Dr. Berlinger led the revision of the Hastings Center’s ethics guidelines on end-of-life care, and also authored the book “After Harm: Medical Error and the Ethics of Forgiveness.” Her current book project examines the ethics of various common practices in health care settings. She co-directs a research project on ethics and policy issues related to the care of undocumented immigrants.

A graduate of Smith College, Dr. Berlinger holds a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Glasgow in Scotland and a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in New York City.

The lecture will be preceded by a daytime workshop on disclosing medical error, led by Lee Taft, J.D., M.Div., whose Dallas-based Taft Solutions works in mediation, conflict resolution and crisis preparation and response. Taft brings expertise in the disclosure of unanticipated outcomes and health care.

For more information on the “Conversations About Ethics” lecture series, visit www.conversationsaboutethics.org.


The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving National Institutes of Health funding. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced approximately 28,000 graduates. The $736 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways We make lives better®,” visit www.uthscsa.edu.

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