Is Sorry Enough?

MyPhillyLawyer’s Dean Weitzman Discusses “Apology Rule” On MPL Court Radio

Tune in to Old School 100.3-FM on Sunday, July 14, at 7:00 a.m.

A bill moving through the Pennsylvania Legislature, PA Senate Bill 379, would ban plaintiffs from using doctors’ apologies as proof of guilt in medical malpractice cases. If Pennsylvania passes the “apology rule,” also known as the “benevolent gesture bill,” it would be the 37 th state to enact similar legislation.

If passed, will the apology rule put injured patients at a disadvantage in the courtroom? Or will it allow doctors to feel more comfortable apologizing to patients without significantly affecting medical malpractice lawsuits?

These are the questions MyPhillyLawyer’s Dean Weitzman and two accomplished doctors, Dr. Aasta Mehta from Drexel University/Hahneman Hospital and Dr. Richard Schott, President of the PA Medical Society, will address in the upcoming MPL Court Radio program, “Is Sorry Enough?”

Drs. Schott and Mehta are in favor of the apology rule/benevolent gesture bill. Proponents of the bill argue that doctors are afraid to say “I’m sorry” because patients might see the gesture as an admission of guilt and use it against a doctor in court.

Weitzman worries that the bill goes too far. “This is a proposal that is being pushed by those in favor of tort reform. They figure that if doctors apologize, fewer people will bring lawsuits,” he said in a recent interview about the program. “That being said, there is a middle ground that we can all agree on. If a doctor apologizes, that’s one thing. If, however, a doctor admits to a mistake during an apology, then that admission should be evidence of negligence.”

Where do you stand on this issue? Will the apology rule help or hurt injured patients?

Tune in to MPL Court Radio on Old School 100.3 in Philadelphia this Sunday, July 14, at 7:00 a.m.

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