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What should doctors do if they realize that a mistake has been made?
Obviously, part of their reaction should be to try to correct the mistake or, if it is too late, to mitigate the circumstances. But the human reaction is to apologize and express regret for the mistake. Many healthcare providers are reluctant to do so because they fear an apology would be considered an admission of guilt that can then be used against them in a medical malpractice suit. Recent legislation, however, may change that mindset.
Alaska, following a number of other states, recently passed what has been called the “I’m Sorry” bill. The bill, according to The Legal Examiner, would make an apology or an expression of compassion inadmissible in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Additionally, such an expression would not be a defense against being sued for medical malpractice.
Research suggests that when a healthcare provider offers a sincere apology for a medical mistake, accompanied by efforts to mitigate the resulting damage, they are less likely to be sued. Therefore good manners, especially under an “I’m Sorry” law, can also be good business.
If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of medical malpractice, you are urged to contact the Indianapolis Medical Malpractice Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.