By Joao Fabiano and Diego Caleiro (UC Berkeley, Biological Anthropology)
From single-celled to pluricellular to multicellular organisms or from hunter-gatherers to the EU, the history of evolutionary forces that resulted in human society is a history where cooperation has emerged at increasingly large scales. The major life transitions and, once human, the major cultural transitions have rearranged the fitness landscape of evolving entities in ways that increased the size of the largest existing coalitions. Notwithstanding, it seems that freewheeling evolution will not lead to satisfactory levels of global human cooperation in time to prevent severe risks. Nor it will lead to the preservation of human values in the long run; humans, human values, and human cooperation are in no way the end-point of evolutionary processes. Continue reading
According to a recent study, around 350 patients die in Australian hospitals every two weeks. The figure would be expected to be much higher in the UK.
Prof Jeff Richardson, from Monash University, appropriately said, “The issue of adverse events in the Australian health system should dominate all others. However, it would be closer to the truth to describe it as Australia’s best kept secret.”
I have a personal interest in this issue. My father died as a result of a “preventable hospital error.” He was having a routine imaging procedure of his liver and bile ducts and a major artery was hit. The bleeding was not recognised til too late and he bled to death. (The autopsy report claimed he died of a heart attack! The heart eventuyally does stop when there is not enough blood.)
So what is the answer? Current debate is focussed on improving systems. Mandatory reporting of incidents, immunity from prosecution for those who report, etc.