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New website informs Massachusetts patients and doctors

A Massachusetts state law enacted in 2012 requires physicians to make their medical errors available to the public; this law also permits physicians who make mistakes to apologize without having to face medical malpractice lawsuits. Physicians, hospital directors, insurance agents and patients alike can visit a recently launched website that seeks to clarify some of the issues found in the newly approved law. The complexity of medical liability claims in the face of the 2012 law may have necessitated www.macrmi.info, created by the Massachusetts Alliance for Communication and Resolution.

When a surgeon makes serious surgical errors during a surgical procedure, the patient has a legal right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor. The new website and law are part of an integrated system called CARe that is being adopted by facilities statewide in a seeming attempt to cut down on malpractice suits by addressing errors and adverse effects internally. Patients are still permitted to file a claim, however, and the website encourages legal representation in the event that a claim is made through the CARe system or outside of it.

A careless surgeon can commit serious mistakes that include surgical equipment left inside a patient, an improper organ transplant or even organ damage or death. Patients can suffer injuries at the hands of a negligent operating room staff that fails to conform to the legally acceptable standard of care in Massachusetts. A surgeon and his or her staff have the responsibility of making sure the patient only receives warranted surgery and that unnecessary surgical procedures are not performed.

Any patient who suffers a serious injury that is the result of a practitioner's error has the legal right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the surgeon or hospital with the help of an experienced medical malpractice attorney. While this type of lawsuit does not rectify the serious injury itself, it can help the patient pay off the exorbitant expenses associated with the injury and its effects.

Source: Boston Globe, "Website offers info on Mass. medical liability," Feb. 11, 2013

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