Hospital Revives 8,500 Dead Patients

from the oops dept

Someone I know recently had to spend a few hours at the local Social Security office trying to prove that they weren’t dead. Thanks to some sort of mistake being made, Social Security insisted that they were, indeed, deceased – despite the living proof in front of them. Eventually, that was squared away (after signing many forms insisting that they were really really really alive), but it’s not hard to see how this sort of mistake could cause problems. A recent computer system conversion in Michigan created a surprise for 8,500 former patients of the hospital who were suddenly declared dead, instead of just discharged. While for many, it’s just a funny (if slightly morbid) story, reports were sent out to insurance companies and medicare – meaning that many people could have lost their benefits. There is a risk of such things happening when our lives are defined by what a computer says about us.

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