Yesterday, we were privileged to have the opportunity for quiet reflection at our nation’s Arlington National Cemetery. While there, David Meyer challenged us with a staggering thought: there are roughly 400,000 people buried in Arlington over the course of the last 150 years. However, every single year the Institute of Medicine estimates that 400,000 people are killed as the result of a medical error. This means that every single year, our failures as a healthcare system fills Arlington National Cemetery’s plots all over again.
That anyone could fail to act in the face of such astonishing carnage is ethically unthinkable. I have already learned so much this week about what we can do to impact these statistics. I hope that, when this week has ended, I’ll be able to do my part as an agent of change.