"For too long, practicing medicine in the United States has meant never having-or daring-to say you're sorry. Fear of liability often trumped the human urge to express regret. Officials at (Seattle's) Virginia Mason Medical Center (recently) offered a case study in the efficacy of quickly owning up to a catastrophic error-first to the family of the patient and then to the public-about what went wrong and what's been done to prevent another catastrophe. ... The hospital's forthright discussion of the errors that caused the death of Mary McClinton should be the standard for such cases. We're only sorry it's taken so long."