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Taking one for the team: a reiteration on the role of self-blame after medical error
  1. Daniel W Tigard
  1. Human Technology Center, Applied Ethics, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Dr Daniel W Tigard, Human Technology Center, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen 52062, Germany; daniel.tigard{at}


In a critique of my work on ‘taking the blame’ as a response to medical errors, my position on the potential goods of individual responsibility and blame is challenged. It is suggested that medicine is a ‘team sport’ and several rich examples are provided to support the possible harms of practitioner self-blame. Yet, it appears that my critics have misunderstood my demands and to whom they are directed. With this response, I offer several clarifications of my account, as well as a reiteration on the role of self-blame after medical error.

  • medical error
  • malpractice
  • ethics
  • moral psychology
  • applied and professional ethics

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  • Contributors I, DWT, am the sole author of this manuscript, by virtue of conducting all relevant research and writing.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.