Stories about: apologies

I’m sorry, please don’t sue me: Do medical apologies avert malpractice claims?

Doctor apologizing-shutterstock_47724541Apologizing for a mistake is always a good idea. With a sincere “I’m sorry,” you acknowledge that harm’s been done, take responsibility for your actions and start to move forward. But for medical professionals, apologizing—something avoided in the past—can have an added benefit: it can discourage malpractice lawsuits.

According to Konstantinos Papadakis, MD, a surgeon at Boston Children’s Hospital, there has been a large movement across the country to pass “apology laws,” which encourage clinicians to “apologize to patients and families if there’s been a medical mistake and to have a conversation in which they disclose the details.” Under these statutes, he says, medical professionals are granted legal protections when having these conversations.

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