Apology laws ‘confusing’

The debate was reignited by a letter published in the latest edition of the Medical Journal of Australia, in which international researchers argued doctors were reluctant to apologise because of a “culture of secrecy and blame”, lack of confidence and “the shame and humiliation associated with acknowledging an error”.

Even the current apology laws were “quite unnecessary” because “while it remains to be seen what exactly is the relationship between open disclosure and professionals’ exposure to legal action, apology laws do not prevent patients from taking legal action,”