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Editor's Choice

It’s time to apologise

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 02 September 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h4695
  1. Fiona Godlee, editor in chief, The BMJ
  1. fgodlee{at}

Jeremy Corbyn says he’ll apologise for the Iraq war if he is the next leader of the Labour Party. Along with the wearily awaited Chilcot report to explain and apportion blame, this could offer some degree of closure and some lessons to be learnt.

Apologising when things go wrong for patients should be a simple matter. For UK doctors, the need to be open and honest with patients is enshrined in guidance from the General Medical Council. But it’s not always clear when to apologise or how to do so without necessarily admitting or apportioning blame. Sadly, as Nigel Hawkes explains, the UK’s new …

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