Jul 20 2016

Partners James Bello & Bill Smart Present on Disclosures and Apologies

Partners Jim Bello (Boston and Manchester) and Bill Smart (Manchester) delivered an hour-long presentation to the clinical staff at a Manchester, New Hampshire, medical center. The presentation, entitled “'Saying I’m Sorry,’ Apology and Disclosure of Unanticipated Outcomes,” covered the legal and ethical basis for disclosure, hospital policy, the anatomy of an effective disclosure, and the impact of disclosure conversations and apologies in litigation. Jim focused on risk management, the do's and don'ts of disclosure, and the difference between expressions of empathy and statements of apology. Bill focused on the admissibility of disclosure conversations under N.H. RSA 507-E:4, which encourages disclosure by precluding from evidence “expressions of sympathy, compassion, commiseration, or a general sense of benevolence.” Their use of demonstrative videos and an interesting case example encouraged audience participation, and were well received.

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