The Role Of Forgiveness In Medicine

Do we think of doctors as gods? Do they think it? If so, what does it mean when doctors fail or have an unexpected outcome? How do these expectations impact our ability as patients and their ability as doctors to deal with human error? What is the role of forgiveness in medicine for doctors and patients?  

Dr. Nancy Berlinger is a research scholar with a focus on ethical issues in the organization and delivery of health care. Her talk on the ethics and importance of forgiveness shed light on the inner anguish doctors experience when something goes wrong.

Her lecture looks at how failure can hinder a doctor's progress as a care-provider and how to handle failure in a way that gives people real relief even in our litigious society.

Lecturer Bio:

Berlinger is the director of the first revision of The Hastings Center’s landmark ethics guidelines on end-of-life care. She also co-directs a research project on ethics and policy issues in the care of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. health care system.

Her current book project is on the ethics of workarounds, turfing, and other common practices in health care organizations, and she has a special interest in ethics and policy concerning the management of cancer as a chronic illness.

Berlinger teaches a graduate seminar in health care ethics at the Yale School of Nursing and lectures frequently in medical schools and health care institutions in the United States and internationally.

She is a graduate of Smith College and holds a PhD from the University of Glasgow and an MDiv from Union Theological Seminary.