Saturday, October 17, 2009

Assignment of blame

Recently the Hospital Authority (the Hong Kong equivalent of the NHS) decided to make major medical incidents public, such as the mixing up of patients' identities and the incorrect distribution of medication. I would expect the general public are horrified such mistakes still continue and will demand to know who is responsible. Not a week goes by without me hearing on the evening news of another "medical incident". People might think the number of incidents has gone up whilst hearing the news but to be honest the number of incidents reported in the news has increase only and the actual number of medical events has remained static. Nevertheless there is always the promise of a full enquiry to find who is responsible.

Yet some times even if somebody is to blame, then what? I hate to state this and this is only my personal opinion and not the opinion of doctors or the Hospital Authority - mistakes will happen. The public health system is run by humans and we humans are fallible to the odd error. We can put in more stringent measures and add more layers of bureaucracy to ensure such mistakes never happen in the future. However the efficiency of the system will dramatically decrease as doctors and nurses will spend more time filling in paperwork rather than doing their job.

In this age of increasing information at our fingertips and with high efficiency of bureaucracy, everybody thinks it will be easy to find out who is to blame. When we are angry or have lost something dear to us, we all want somebody accountable for their actions. Yet sometimes there is nobody to blame. Sometimes it is down to fate and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. We do live in a world where chaos reigns and we are governed not just by the laws of physics and human behaviour but also to random chance.

In other words, things happen because they happen.

That is why I want to stick up for politicians like Gordon Brown. People blame Gordon Brown for the state Great Britain is in but it is not his fault the economy collapse - blame the bankers, especially the ones in USA. Also there was a lot of anger when Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. This is the first time people have been angry when somebody good has won a prize. If you want to blame somebody, shout at the Norwegian Nobel Committee for making such an unusual decision.

Years ago, I used to get angry at everything and everyone about the state I was in. Now I just learn to accept the fate I have been given with and try to alter it myself.

No comments: