Produced by Transparent Health; run time: 50 mins.
“Lewis Blackman” (full title: ‘The Faces of Medical Error … From Tears to Transparency: The Lewis Blackman Story”) is the most likely of the films reviewed here ever to be played inside a hospital, and that was the makers' intent: Transparent Health assembled the movie (the first in a series) with the explicit goal of educating caregivers about preventing medical errors.
The film is the most clinical of the three, but this strangely antiseptic feel works to increase emotional impact in some sections. Blackman's mother, Helen Haskell, describes in even tones her harrowing experience in which her son went in for an elective surgery and bled to death in the hospital after a weekend crew failed to notice his worsening condition.
There's a lot of blame to go around, but "Lewis Blackman" works to disarm the reflexive defensiveness of clinicians and administrators and make room for some genuine soul-searching.
“No one was in charge,” Haskell says. “No one seemed to be pursuing goal-oriented behavior. They were just performing task. They were not trying to achieve an end; they were not trying to put it together. This was simply a system that was operating for its own benefit. The patients were really incidental.”