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Friday, March 24, 2006

"I'm Sorry" Laws Permit Physicians to Apologize Without Admitting Negligence

The Law Librarian Blog (3/23/2006) has posted
an interesting article about "I'm Sorry" legislation, laws
which "allow physicians (and in some cases other health
professionals) to apologize to patients without their statements
being construed as admissions of negligence..."

The article sets forth Iowa's newly approved "I'm Sorry"
law (Iowa House File 2716 ) as a typical example, cites
to similar Michigan and California legislation, and provides
a list of states that have adopted this type of legislation.

Of particular interest is a table from the
I'm Sorry Works! Coalition that reveals what 958 people
had to say about how likely they were to forgive a
physician for medical errors. According to this survey,
the most unforgivable error is when a "physician made
a poor decision because he or she was trying to keep
costs down."