Internal Bleeding: The Truth Behind America's Terrifying Epidemic of Medical Mistakes by Robert M. Wachter and Kaveh G. Shojania, both M.D.s themselves, is not nearly as sensationalistic as the title might imply. It is instead a fascinating exploration how how medical mistakes happen and what might be done to reduce the number of them, both from the medical and the patient ends.
People tend to look at medical personnel as either experts on subjects far too complex for the everyday human, or money-grubbing butchers. Internal Bleeding portrays doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and others in medical fields as exactly what they are: human beings with no special powers except training. The case studies they discuss are detailed without blame for individuals (in most cases), but they point out exactly where systems fail -- for example how the various procedures that are supposed to ensure June Morrison and Joan Morris don't get mixed up in the hospital, or that the wrong leg of diabetic Willie King doesn't get amputated (a case of personal interest to me as I live a few blocks from the hospital where it happened, and indeed once spent most of a night retching in their emergency room), or that the blood type of a transplant patient Jesica Santilan matches those of the organs she received in her transplant, all failed from a long series of separate human errors. Wachter and Shojania also have realistic (if sometimes expensive, as they admit) suggestions for hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, etc., to avoid these mistakes; suggestions that are not the type of safety rules that get routinely ignored (such as the rules that certain dangerous drugs be kept in locked cabinets, exactly where they aren't accessible when needed immediately for a flatlining patient).
They also provide a chapter and several appendices of things patients can do for themselves -- for example, making sure they know what drug in what dosage is being prescribed for them before leaving the doctor, so as to avoid the situation of Ramon Vasquez, whose pharmacist misread the handwritten prescription and gave him the wrong heart drug. (He was supposed to get 80 milligrams of Isordil daily; instead, he took 80 milligrams daily of Plendil, which is normally prescribed at 10 millligrams per day.) A similar case happened to a friend of mine, whose prescription was filled with some completely different drug from that intended; however, Ben knew what he was supposed to be taking and so caught the error. I think this book does an excellent job of showing people the need to be careful and aware of what's going on in their own medical care without being scary and inducing a fear of any and all medical help.