House Approves "I'm Sorry" Bill (HB250/Olson)
HB250 makes a doctor expressing sympathy inadmissible in medical malpractice suit
Friday, April 11, 2014, Juneau, Alaska – The Alaska House of Representatives today unanimously passed a bill by Representative Kurt Olson making expressions of apology or sympathy by a health care provider inadmissible as evidence in a medical malpractice case. House Bill 250 follows similar legislation passed in 30 other states.
“People would just like an apology and an explanation of what has happened,” Olson, R-Soldotna/Kenai and the House Labor and Commerce Chair, said. “HB 250 strikes a balance between patient protection and allowing doctors to speak more freely. Speaking openly and frankly with patients and families is a good way to begin the healing process, especially in cases that end with a less-than-favorable outcome.”
The bill adds four new sections to state law to clarify the stance.
HB 250 now moves to the Alaska Senate for consideration.