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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Medical Error and Moral Luck

Allhoff F. Kennedy Institute of Ethics journal. 2019;29:187-203.

Medical error is an important problem but there has been little examination of associated conceptual and normative aspects. This article explores the association between medical errors and adverse events, challenges current ideas about what comprises a medical error, and considers the concept of moral luck in the context of medical errors. The author introduces a noteworthy argument related to the differences in how we think of undertesting and overtesting and, by extension, underdiagnosis and overdiagnosis.