I have a friend who frequently quotes lines from movies he has seen a hundred times. He is often frustrated when I, who have not seen the same movies a hundred times (with the exception being Caddyshack :) ) do not recognize what movie the line is from. But one of the lines I do remember from A Few Good Men is "Oh, that's a relief. I thought I wouldn't be able to use the liar liar pants on fire defense." In the scene, Lt. Kaffe (Tom Cruise) is mocking a stratagem for their court case suggested by a colleague.
This past week's story, "Dirty Scope" Defense Allowed in Hepatitis C Outbreak Lawsuits, unfortunately reminded me of that movie line. It really is a most unfortunate story, which begins with a physician and his staff putting patients in danger by employing the almost unimaginable practice of reintroducing a patient-used disposable syringe into the vial of anesthetic. The awful events came to light in 2008, but here we are three years later and the case is in the courts and everyone is in CYA mode. This includes pharmaceutical companies and their distributors who are co-defendants in the case. Maybe I am wrong, but I seriously doubt it was the recommended practice of these companies to reintroduce a syringe into a vial of medication. That defense, however, has proven inadequate and now the stratagem seems to be to shift blame. It is a truly disturbing story, with no winners, but lot's and lot's of losers.
It should remind all of us why (if I can quote a colleague) it is important to do things right the first time, all the time, every time.