The Pennsylvania State Senate recently passed the Benevolent Gesture Medical Professional Liability Act which allows medical providers to apologize to plaintiff or to make compassionate gestures without fear of those statements or gestures being used against them in pending litigation. The new legislation does not cover statements admitting to negligence or fault made by a medical provider.
Pennsylvania is not the first state to enact this type of legislation. Similar laws have been enacted in 36 states, the District of Columbia and Guam. In many of those states, as a result of the legislation, either fewer cases were filed or the apology or gesture helped ease the way toward settlement.
It is still unknown whether the State House of Representatives will pass the bill in its present form. The Pennsylvania Medical Society is supportive of the legislative proposal.