Massachusetts Medical Society may be the first state to pass a “I am sorry” law. It would allow physicians and other healthcare professionals to apologize to patients when a mistake is made without fear of that apology being used against them in court. Of course, being human and saying “I am sorry” can be hazardous to one’s medical career so it is being debated by legislatures. Healthcare professionals hope that this will help minimize the number of lawsuits while trial attorneys strangely seem to oppose it, presumably as it will probably cut into their kid’s college fund and prevent them from buying the latest models of Mercedes Benz’ and BMWs.
To err is to be human (unless your a physician, I guess). If a doctors writes 300 prescriptions per week, after 10 years they will write 156,000 prescriptions. Assuming they are 99.99% perfect (which is close to impossible) they will still make 16 mistakes which could cause serious side problems. If the doctor is only 99.9% perfect (still pretty darn good), they would make about 160 mistakes. This is only in 10 years of medical practice, most physicians practice medicine for 30-40 years of their life. In otherwords, even if a doctor is 99.9% perfect, near God-like qualities, they will still make close to 500 prescribing errors in their life, all for which there will be a trial attorney/ medical malpractice attorney, waiting to sue them, especially if harm was caused. If the doctor says ” I am sorry”, they may be in even bigger trouble.
There is something wrong with our system.