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R.I. again considers doctor’s apology bill

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A proposal that would allow doctors to apologize for mistakes without exposing themselves to a malpractice lawsuit is back before the Rhode Island General Assembly. Representative Joseph McNamara announced this week that he has reintroduced the legislation. The bill would allow health care providers to apologize to a patient or relative about a negative outcome without fear that they could be sued. The bill failed last year, when actor James Woods testified in favor of the legislation. Woods’s brother died of a heart attack at Kent Hospital in 2006. Woods sued the hospital, accusing emergency room staff of not doing enough to save his brother. The Rhode Island native settled the lawsuit after a hospital executive apologized and agreed to start an institute in Michael Woods’s name.

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