The Rhode Island General Assembly is reconsidering legislation (RI H7202) that would allow doctors and other medical care providers to apologize or express sympathy or compassion for bad treatment outcomes without such expressions being considered admissions of guilt or liability. The bill is being reconsidered as of the Rhode Island General Assembly's January Session, 2014. If passed, the bill will affect how medical malpractice claims are handled in Rhode Island and may make it more difficult for complaining parties to recover compensation for injuries caused by the negligence of a medical professional.
Should this bill be passed, R.I. Gen. Laws § 9-19-45 would be amended as follows:
"(b) In any claim or civil action against a health care provider or health care facility… the following shall be inadmissible as evidence of an admission of liability or in any way to prove negligence or culpable conduct:
(1) Any and all statements, writings, gestures, or affirmations made by a health care provider or an employee of a health care provider that express apology, sympathy, compassion, condolence, or benevolence relating to the pain, suffering, or death of a patient as a result of an unanticipated outcome of medical care, that is made to the patient, the patient's family, or a friend of the patient or the patient's family, with the exception of the admission of liability or fault."
Essentially, the amendment of the law would protect physicians from being found liable for bad treatment outcomes in medical malpractice lawsuits simply because they demonstrated sympathy or compassion for the complaining party.
MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAWYER IN RHODE ISLAND
Have you been injured because of a negligent or inexperienced health care provider? Doctor errors, surgical errors, and pharmacy errors can all result in serious personal injury. D'Alessandro & Wright, Attorneys at Law can provide a Providence medical malpractice lawyer to help you hold your health care provider liable for your injuries. While an apology may not be considered an admission of guilt, our lawyers can gather evidence and present a strong case to prove that you deserve compensation. Call us today at (401) 308-4072 to contact an attorney. We are here to help!