Too Many Doctors Can Hurt a Patient in ‘Bystander Effect’

ABC:

An acutely ill man with mysterious symptoms — a nasty rash, kidney and lung failure — was admitted to Yale-New Haven Hospital where he was treated by 40 of its finest doctors.

But because so many cared for him, two of the attending residents say, the 32-year-old patient actually got sicker. That is because of the so-called “bystander effect,” they say in an article published today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Ervin Staub, founding director of the doctoral program in the psychology of peace and violence at University of Massachusetts, has devoted his career to the study of how a person can become an “active bystander,” the witness who is in a position to take action.

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