Governor Tom Corbett on Wednesday signed into law the Benevolent Gesture Bill which supporters hope will head off some potential medical malpractice suits.
The so-called “apology rule” is another part of the Governor’s Healthy Pennsylvania plan.
Under the law, doctors will be able to say they are sorry without fear of being sued simply for making the apology. The protection would not apply if it involved the acknowledgment of negligence or fault.
The Pennsylvania Medical Society has said benevolent gestures are appropriate, and doctors should not fear having to make them. They add the law will improve doctor-patient communications.
The Pennsylvania Chamber says states that have such laws in place have seen the numbers of medical malpractice claims go down.