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Apology laws

Article-Apology laws

Where can doctors "safely" apologize to or commiserate with patients and families about an undesirable or unexpected outcome? It depends on their state's law. In Arizona, Connecticut, Idaho, Maine and 11 other states, the apology laws are vehicles that allow for open communication of this nature with patients, according to the American Medical Association.

In Vermont, the law exempts only oral statements of regret or apology, not written ones, while in Illinois, the state offers physicians a 72-hour window in which to safely apologize after they are notified about the cause of the medical error.

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