Senate to take up bill exempting medical apologies

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state Senate is set to vote on a bill that would allow doctors and other health care providers to apologize to patients without worrying about whether the statements could be used against them in court.

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 is scheduled to take it up Tuesday, the last day of the two-year legislative session. Approval would send the proposal on to Gov. Scott Walker.

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.