After a surgical error, the last thing you really want to have to do is
go through a legal battle for compensation, but that’s sadly what
tends to need to be done. In Ohio, a new apology proposal would make it
possible for a doctor to apologize to you for a mistake, but then he or
she wouldn’t need to admit the mistake in court. Is that right?
A Dec. 2 report argues the sides of the case.
The positive aspects of the apology proposal would be that a doctor could
apologize for negligent actions or mistakes, allowing families to get
the confirmation they need of that error. Lobbyists for the proposal suggest
it may even lower the number of medical malpractice lawsuits, because
sometimes, patients are suing to get answers more than anything else.
Unfortunately, this proposal shields the apologies, allowing doctors to
withhold their apologies from a court hearing or trial. While patients
and their families could still sue, it’s argued that the legislation
itself is unethical. What would happen is that while families would have
their suspicions confirmed, the doctors would commit perjury by not disclaiming
their admitted mistakes in court, even under oath. No other profession
is allowed to do that.
As a patient, you shouldn’t have to go through the struggle of making
something you and the doctor know is true come out in court. You shouldn’t
have to argue to bring about the changes that are needed, especially if
they’re already acknowledged by the person who caused the mistake.
If you find yourself in this situation, you may want to speak with someone
about your rights to legal action.