New 'I'm sorry' law lets health care providers express sympathy without fear of lawsuits
In Michigan, it’s now OK for doctors to say “I’m sorry.”
A bill Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law Tuesday means doctors and other health care providers no longer have to worry about an apology being considered an admission of liability.
Doctors have often avoided such expressions of sympathy out of fear it would would lead to costly medical malpractice lawsuits.
Thirty-five other states have similar “I’m sorry” laws, the governor's office said.
At the University of Michigan Health System, a policy in place for a decade allows doctors to fully disclose and compensate for medical errors. An August 2010 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found the policy decreased lawsuits against the health system and lowered liability costs.
The new law doesn’t apply to statements related to fault or negligence on the part of a health care provider. The bill was sponsored by state Sen. Jim Marleau, R-Lake Orion.
Has your doctor ever said "I'm sorry" as an expression of sympathy or an admission of error? Are you a health care provider who has had to bite your tongue for fear of a malpractice lawsuit? Tell us about it below and take our poll.