Massachusetts Bill Would Let Doctors Say ‘I’m Sorry’

May 27, 2009

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would let doctors say “I’m sorry” without admitting they made a medical mistake.

Doctors have long expressed frustration that showing any compassion toward patients or their families — especially after a death following an operation or treatment — can be used against them in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

The bill sponsored by Barnstable Democratic Sen. Robert D. O’Leary would make the expression of “benevolence, regret, sympathy, commiseration, condolence or compassion” inadmissible as evidence in such a lawsuit.

The bill is one of several set to be taken up at a Statehouse hearing Wednesday by the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing.

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