• 1 Universiti Teknologi MARA
Medical Health Reviews, 2009;2009(2):5-16.


No vaccination is available to provide doctors with the immunity from errors and mistakes. Humans make mistakes everyday and eventually doctors will make mistakes or errors during their practice. Therefore, knowing how to handle the mistakes is crucial in improving patient safety and management. Disclosure of errors can be argued to play a significant role in respecting the patients’ rights and interest. We need to know that in a doctor-patient relationship, trust and vulnerability exist. If errors occur and doctors try to keep patients away from the truth, patients may no longer maintain their trust and this could lead to a negative turn in the relationship. Moreover, if errors are disclosed, doctors then may face a legal and ethical dilemma on whether to apologize for the errors made. This issue of apology has created debates among health professionals and lawyers in searching for the best answer. Apology can be a powerful tool to reconcile relationships but at the same time can also be a tool of deception.