Forgiveness Is a Virtue

February 1, 2013 | Health System Risk Management


While researching the lead article for this month's Risk Management Reporter, I came across the story of Eric Cropp, an Ohio pharmacist who went to jail for a mistake that caused the death of a little girl who had just beaten cancer. Years after the girl's death, Dr. Charles Denham from the Texas Medical Institute of Technology, a medical research organization that focuses on healthcare improvement, arranged for Cropp and the girl's father to meet. The meeting was a watershed moment: Cropp was able to say how sorry he was for the error, and the father was able to forgive him, telling Cropp that he knew it was a mistake.

That moment, which was caught on video for a Discovery Channel documentary, "Surfing the Healthcare Tsunami: Bring Your Best Board," is both inspiring and heartbreaking. Here are two traumatized men who wish more than anything that a single mistake in their lives had been prevented, because then everything would be different. Prior to the meeting, Cropp mentioned that he was looking forward to it because, as advised by his previous employer and his lawyer, he never sat down with the girl's family. Afterward, he remarked that he was finally able to...

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