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News » Malpractice cases could be reduced if more doctors apologised
 

Malpractice cases could be reduced if more doctors apologised

Increasingly, experts believe that fewer malpractice suits would be brought against doctors if they apologized for their mistakes. In one incident, a doctor apologized after a patient died following the use of the wrong blood type in a blood transfusion. The family decided not to lodge a malpractice claim. In another case, a doctor came out of surgery where the patient died and stated that it wasn't his fault. He refused to explain what happened to the family. Following a malpractice suit where the doctor had to reveal exactly what happened, the widow claimed that she would never have filed a suit if the doctor had taken the time to tell her what happened. She just wanted to know why her husband died. However, it is understandable that many doctors fear apologizing as it may be seen as admitting liability. In another case, a girl died following a tonsillectomy. Her father says an apology probably would not have made a difference. He believes that the 3 previous bleeding episodes the girl had suffered should have been picked up by the doctor. The doctor was cleared of wrongdoing by the jury. Insurance companies are encouraging doctors to apologise for their mistakes and they believe that this will reduce malpractice claims.

Source: summary of medical news story as reported by The News-Herald

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Article Source Details

About: Malpractice cases could be reduced if more doctors apologised

Date: 28 November 2004

Source: The News-Herald

Author: Scott Heasley

URL: http://www.news-herald.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=13449564&BRD=1698&PAG=461&dept_id=21849&rfi=6

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