PhD Student Jordan Wadden Publishes New Chapter

Congratulations to UBC Philosophy PhD student, Jordan Wadden, for publishing a chapter in Ethics and Error in Medicine (edited by Fritz Allhoff and Sandra L. Borden)! We recently spoke to Jordan about his chapter and the work that went into making it book-ready. Here’s what he had to say about it:

Q: How did you get involved in the project?

A: [Fritz Allhoff and Sandra L. Borden] asked me and several others who had all attended at least one of the recent Western Michigan Medical Humanities Workshops if we were interested in contributing a chapter idea to a proposal they were putting together. Naturally, I was excited and jumped at the idea.

Q: Can you tell us more about your chapter?

A: My contribution is titled “Medical Error as a Collaborative Learning Tool”. The driving idea in my chapter is the fact that medical errors will occur even when healthcare professionals have done everything in their power to prevent them from happening. Unfortunately, and for various reasons, many professionals are reluctant to report these errors when (and not if) they occur. My chapter problematizes this reluctance by suggesting that medical errors could alternatively be used as a collaborative learning tool. I make this claim because there is just far too much literature, and far too many potential diagnostic tests, for any one healthcare professional to fully comprehend on their own. These gaps in comprehension can create empty spaces where errors can occur. In this chapter, I make the argument that healthcare professionals can use errors to learn with each other so that future occurrences of error can be mitigated. I believe this attitude can have the additional benefit of increasing a healthcare professional’s capacity for epistemic humility—namely, the realization that they do not know everything, and their ability to work within this reality.

Q: This is the first time you’ve been published in a book. Any big learning moments for you throughout the process?

A: I think the biggest thing this process has shown me is just how long it can take to release a book. The initial invite to be considered for the proposal happened back in the Winter of my first semester here (roughly February or March of 2018). It was also cool to work with the editors to make sure my chapter flowed with the others in the volume while also retaining the original points I had proposed in my chapter proposal.

For more of Jordan’s work, check out, “Yesterday’s Child, Tomorrow’s Therapy Patient” (The American Journal of Bioethics, Volume 19, 2019 – Issue 7) and “Testimony and Its Place in Healthcare,” a talk he gave at the BC Humanist Association in 2018.