In harm's wayBMJ 2004; 329 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7466.E318 (Published 09 September 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:E318
- Douglas Kamerow, editor
In 1859, Florence Nightingale echoed Hippocrates when she wrote that “the very first requirement in a hospital is that it should do the sick no harm.” It is a laudable but probably unachievable goal. Perhaps the best we can aim for is a favorable balance between benefits and harms, but that assumes we can measure each of them. As we learn from a number of articles in this issue, balancing benefits and harms is often a complicated business.
In order to compare benefits and harms we must …