Senate passes bill exempting medical apologies

File photo.
File photo.

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.

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