From the Sorry! Works Coalition:
Many states have adopted or are considering 'apology laws' that exempt expressions of regret, sympathy or compassion from being considered as admissions of liability in medical malpractice lawsuits. The intent is to encourage physicians and other healthcare providers to apologize to patients when a medical error, accident or unanticipated outcome occurs without the apology being taken as an admission of guilt. The consensus is that healthcare providers have become reluctant to explain to patients and their families what happened when procedures go wrong because they fear the information will be used against them in court. Many healthcare providers have struggled with their desire to explain and apologize to their patient, but have often been strongly advised against such open discussions by their defense attorneys.
And I love being here in Vermont ~ we're proposing legislation that Sorry! Works says is a true road map for every other state in the union.