Intended for healthcare professionals


Error and institutionalised racism

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 06 March 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:0

Imagine you are an ophthalmologist. (Perhaps you are, in which case relax.) You operate to remove a cataract, and there is a complication. You have to put in a lens different from the one you intended. The patient has a 1 in 10 chance that her vision will be affected. But the next day she sees well and is pleased with the operation. Will you tell her about the problem and discuss the possible consequences?

About two thirds of ophthalmologists say they would tell the patient and about one third would discuss the …

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