Efficacy of a Physician’s Words of Empathy: An Overview of State Apology Laws

Nicole Saitta, MS, and Samuel D. Hodge, JD
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: September 29, 2011

Accepted: February 22, 2012

Published: May 1, 2012

J Osteopath Med; 112(5): 302-306

Apology laws are gaining traction in the United States, prompting health care professionals to offer words of condolence for adverse medical outcomes without the fear of being sued for malpractice. Although these laws vary by jurisdiction, they have been shown to reduce the financial consequences of a medical malpractice lawsuit. The authors provide an overview of the laws regarding this issue and discuss apologies as a means to reduce medical malpractice claims.

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