UPDATE: Walker signs bill exempting medical apologies

UPDATED Tuesday, April 8, 2014 --- 5:35 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill that would allow doctors and other health care providers to apologize to patients without worrying about whether the statements could be used against them in court.

Republican state Sen. Leah Vukmir announced the bill signing on Tuesday. Walker signed the bill, and a host of other measures, in private.

The new law, pushed by Republicans, makes apologies, condolences or expressions of sympathy inadmissible in civil proceedings and in administrative hearings concerning the health care provider's actions.

Supporters, including Vukmir, argue the new law will encourage open communication between doctors and patients. Opponents, including trial attorneys, say the change will make it harder for patients to bring successful malpractice lawsuits.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, April 1, 2014 --- 7:46 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Doctors and other health care providers could apologize to patients without worrying about whether the statements could be used against them in court under a bill that has passed the Wisconsin Senate.

The Republican bill would make apologies, condolences or expressions of sympathy inadmissible in civil proceedings and in administrative hearings concerning the health care provider's actions.

Supporters argue the bill would encourage open communication between doctors and patients. Opponents, including trial attorneys, counter the change would make it harder for patients to bring successful malpractice lawsuits.

The Assembly passed the bill in February. The Senate passed it 19-14 on Tuesday, the last day of the two-year legislative session. It now goes to Gov. Scott Walker.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, April 1, 2014 --- 11:00 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state Senate is set to vote on a bill that would allow doctors and other health care providers to apologize to patients without worrying about whether the statements could be used against them in court.

The Republican bill would make apologies, condolences or expressions of sympathy inadmissible in civil proceedings and in administrative hearings concerning the health care provider's actions.

Supporters argue the bill would encourage open communication between doctors and patients. Opponents, including trial attorneys, counter the change would make it harder for patients to bring successful malpractice lawsuits.

The Assembly passed the bill in February. The Senate is scheduled to take it up Tuesday, the last day of the two-year legislative session. Approval would send the proposal on to Gov. Scott Walker.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, February 18, 2014 --- 5:53 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin state Assembly has approved a bill that would allow doctors and other health care providers to say "I'm sorry" without fear of the statements being used against them in court.

The Republican measure would make apologies, condolences or expressions of sympathy inadmissible as evidence in civil court, or in administrative hearings concerning the health care provider's actions.

The Wisconsin Medical Society says the protection would encourage more "frank and full communications between a physician and a patient."

But opponents, including the trial attorneys group Wisconsin Association for Justice, argue the change would make it more difficult for people injured by medical malpractice to bring a successful lawsuit.

The GOP-controlled Assembly passed the bill on a voice vote Tuesday. The proposal now goes to the state Senate.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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Posted: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 --- 6:50 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin state Assembly plans to vote on a bill that would allow doctors and other health care providers to say "I'm sorry" without fear of the statements being used against them in court.

The measure up for a vote Tuesday would make statements of apology, condolence or sympathy inadmissible as evidence in civil court, or in administrative hearings concerning the health care provider's actions.

The bill has broad support in the medical community. The Wisconsin Medical Society says the protection would encourage more "frank and full communications between a physician and a patient."

But opponents, including the trial attorneys group Wisconsin Association for Justice, argue the change would make it more difficult for people injured by medical malpractice to bring a successful lawsuit.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


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