Disclosure and prevention of medical errors. Committee on Bioethical Issues of the Medical Society of the State of New York

Arch Intern Med. 2000 Jul 24;160(14):2089-92. doi: 10.1001/archinte.160.14.2089.


Medical errors occur and are sometimes unavoidable. Physicians generally, but not always, have ethical and moral obligations to disclose their errors to the patient. Because common medical errors can be expected, physicians are obligated to work within health systems toward reducing systems flaws that promote errors. However, the obligations of physicians to disclose errors made by others are less clear. This article discusses the professional ethics involved in disclosing and preventing medical errors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ethics, Medical
  • Humans
  • Malpractice / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Medical Errors / classification
  • Medical Errors / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Medical Errors / prevention & control*
  • Morale
  • Morals
  • Patient Advocacy
  • Physician's Role
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Total Quality Management
  • Truth Disclosure*