[growth house bookstore][books]
order from Amazon.com
visit Growth House
book cover

Wall of Silence

The untold story of the medical mistakes that kill and injure millions of Americans

by Rosemary Gibson and Janardan Prasad Singh

Published by Lifeline Press
Publication date: May 2003
ISBN: 089526112X (hard cover)

Listen to an interview with author Rosemary Gibson:

music speaker iconRosemary Gibson on medical errors (26:56)
In this interview by Les Morgan of Growth house, author Rosemary Gibson discusses how medical mistakes kill 100,000 Americans each year -- equivalent to a 747 plane crash daily. Rosemary explains the most common types of mistake and gives tips on how you can avoid becoming a statistic. Special issues for hospice and terminal care include the importance of watching medications closely and how the hospice interdisciplinary team may be a good model for how to prevent errors in other health care settings. [This interview was provided by Growth House Radio.]


This book written for a general audience of health care consumers provides a popular treatment of the disturbing reality that medical errors occur with alarming frequency, often with lethal results. One study estimated that 100,000 Americans die each year of preventable medical mistakes -- equivalent to a 747 plane crash daily. Media reports of botched surgeries, medication mixups, and tragic misdiagnoses are increasingly in the public eye. Wall of Silence argues that these errors are becoming increasingly common as medical care becomes more complex, with miscommunication and systemic problems at the root of many failures.

Gibson and Singh argues that the health care system has an inherent bias to cover up errors -- in effect allowing and even encouraging doctors to bury their mistakes. The authors put a human face on the statistics by sharing disturbing stories that will make you think twice next time you need a "routine procedure" or short hospital stay. They give tips on things you can do to avoid becoming a statistic. But throughout the book it is clear that the authors place the blame where it should rest most -- with the administrators and system designers who have failed to design the health care system for safety in the same way we have demanded safety in the aviation industry.

The book is an eye-opening read both for the general public and for health care professionals.

This content is provided by Growth House, Inc., the Internet's leading resource for end-of-life care. Visit our main web site at www.growthhouse.org.