Otake’s March 8 article, “U.S. shows way to medical apologies,” describes an important reform long overdue. Other professional fields could gain from this approach as well, particularly police forces. Few things are more likely to undermine public trust and support for the police than contrived denials and lies by police officers on the witness stand, especially when video evidence clearly shows the opposite to be true.
Take the death of a Polish tourist in the Vancouver Airport at the hands of several Taser-wielding RCMP officers — an event that attracted worldwide media attention largely because it was filmed by a witness. As with some of the physicians mentioned in Otake’s article, it is clear that the barefaced stonewalling at the public inquiry has little to do with the truth and everything to do with a potential civil lawsuit by the victim’s family and the Polish government. Such shameful posturing must end for the sake of everyone, especially the victims involved.
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