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Uncomfortable Lessons to Draw From Germanwings 9525

Matt Kelly | March 28, 2015

Here is the unspoken truth about the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 last week: it demonstrates the most difficult choices in risk management that businesses, policymakers, and society ever have to make.

In fact, the crash itself is not the problem confronting us; the crash and its awful loss of 150 lives are merely the consequence of the problem. The real problem is how we handle people like Andreas Lubitz, the troubled co-pilot who deliberately crashed the plane and killed all those people—how we identify and handle human beings who might potentially cause enormous damage to other innocent lives.

With every passing day, more details come out that paint Lubitz as a pitiable man, suffering from depression and hiding that illness so he would not suffer the usual stigmas: loss of job, loss of friends, loss of respect, loss of social contact. You almost can’t blame him,...

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