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Research Institute: Senators Clinton and Obama Support Apologizing for Medical Errors

In 2005, at the height of the tort reform debate in the United States Congress, Senators Clinton and Obama (who have consistently been against tort reform) introduced an “Apology” bill (the “MEDiC Program”) into the United States Senate.

The Bill was designed to counter physicians’ efforts to obtain tort reform at the federal level, and its supporters argued that apologizing for medical errors was more effective than “caps” on non-economic damages. In support of their legislation, Senators Clinton and Obama authored a New England Journal of Medicine article in which they relied on misquoted studies and other untruths.

When two trial-lawyer-supporters like Senators Clinton and Obama team up against tort reform, physicians should exercise caution with the message that is being promoted. And, in this case, the message is that we can reduce both our risk of being sued as well as overall malpractice costs by apologizing for medical errors.

Making patient safety the centerpiece of medical liability reform.

Clinton HR, Obama B. NEJM 2006 May 25;354(21):2205-8.

This article has no abstract.

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