Different opinions on responsibility in healthcare system

Zuzana Kaššaiová

The science and technology are evolving incredibly fast. Despite that, the healthcare system has a lot of insufficiencies and medical failures happen consistently. In recent years the focus has been on increasing the quality of healthcare. According to statistics from national studies from different European countries, 8 to 10 % of mistakes are being caused by the human factor. In this text I discuss the most fundamental concepts of individual and collective guilt and point out that in healthcare system are individuals often part of a team and it is not possible to determine unambiguously the individual responsibility. In spite of this the dominant culture of guilt tends to penalize the individual. In my opinion, the urgency of this topic in Slovakia and The Czech Republic is emphasized by the increasing number of cases of failure which are being discussed in the media. Therefore, I point out even possible impact of media and the guilt culture on the medical professional who fail and simultaneously I conclude that blaming the individual does not make the system safer. Our focus should rather be centred on showing that an individual can be incautious. However, when the mistake happens we should appeal to improving the system and a prevention of this type of mistakes. Only this way we can change the culture of guilt to a culture of safety and improve the healthcare.


(Fulltext in Slovak)


healthcare system, responsibility, culture of guilt, media


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