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The Bristol Royal Infirmary Inquiry Society: Bristol Royal Infirmary Inquiry
The Guardian Unlimited has compiled this special report on the Bristol Royal Infirmary Inquiry, including a timeline of events, profiles of key figures, and a Q&A about the Inquiry and its findings.

BBC News: The Bristol Heart Babies
The BBC provides Background Briefings in its Health section about the Bristol heart babies. Learn more about the people and procedures behind the increased death rate at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, and the questionable circumstances of the organ retention scandal.

Independent News: Bristol Heart Inquiry
The Independent presents a Health feature on the Bristol Royal Infirmary Inquiry. Articles cover the report and the Inquiry's findings, the patients and their families, the medical personnel found to be responsible for the high mortality rate, and describes the arterial switch procedure at the center of the investigation. From July 19, 2001.

The Bristol Case: A Serious Departure from Safe Professional Standards
The General Medical Council's private inquiry into the events at the Bristol Royal Infirmary concluded with sanctions against the three doctors involved. Here, the GMC describes the criteria by which they decided to discipline Dr. James Wisheart, Dr. Janardan Dhasmana, and Dr. John Roylance. This summary of the GMC's private inquiry into the events was published in GMC News, Summer 1998.

Hospital Doctor: "The Bristol Scapegoats"
This four-part series about "The Bristol Scapegoats" appeared in Hospital Doctor in September 2000, and is reprinted at the Bristol Surgeons Support Group Web site with permission of the Editor. Topics explored include the existence of a medical learning curve, the mythology that's sprung up around "whistle-blower" Dr. Stephen Bolsin, the role the National Health Service should have played in Bristol events, and the feasibility of measuring surgical performance.

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Innocents: Update

Bristol Royal Infirmary Inquiry
Find statistics, interim reports, daily transcripts of the public hearing, and the key recommendations of the final report, Learning from Bristol: The Report of the Public Inquiry into Children's Heart Surgery at the Bristol Royal Infirmary 1984-1995, at the official Web site for the inquiry into the management of care for children receiving complex heart surgery at the Bristol Royal Infirmary. Presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Health by Command of Her Majesty, July 2001.

After Bristol: The Humbling of the Medical Profession
Although the Bristol report has enjoyed nearly unanimous reception, Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick, author of The Tyranny of Health: Doctors and the Regulation of Lifestyle, questions its outcome. Was "gross professional misconduct" proven? Is it still accurate to characterize the medical profession as a "club culture"? Dr. Fitzpatrick believes that the seemingly responsive call to action is little different from a reform agenda that's been promoted for many years, and fears that the resulting proposals will ultimately undermine the necessary trust between doctor and patient. This article appeared in spiked on August 16, 2001.

SocietyGuardian: League Tables to Show Surgeon Death Rates
On January 17, 2002, Alan Milburn, the Health Secretary, announced that the first league tables of heart surgeon's death rates would be published within 30 days of surgery for every cardiac surgeon in England beginning in April 2004. The first report would cover the two preceding years, with other areas of discipline expected to follow. The Kennedy Report explicitly called for such an accounting measure.

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Bosk, Charles L. Forgive and Remember: Managing Medical Failure. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981.
A frank examination of an American teaching hospital and how surgeons deal with medical mistakes.

Kohn, Linda T., Janet Corrigan, Molla S. Donaldson, eds. To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2000.
The Institute of Medicine acknowledges the reality of medical error and sets out a national agenda for improving patient safety through the design of safer health systems.

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