S.P. 476 - L.D. 1378
An Act To Amend the Medical Liability Laws Concerning Communications of Sympathy or Benevolence
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:
Sec. 1. 24 MRSA §2907 is enacted to read:
§2907. Communications of sympathy or benevolence
1. Definitions. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
A. "Relative" means an alleged victim's spouse, parent, grandparent, stepfather, stepmother, child, grandchild, brother, sister, half brother, half sister or spouse's parents. "Relative" includes these relationships that are created as a result of adoption. In addition, "relative" includes any person who has a domestic partner relationship with an alleged victim. As used in this paragraph, "domestic partner" is a person who has registered as a domestic partner pursuant to Title 22, section 2710.
B. "Representative" means a legal guardian, attorney, person designated to make decisions on behalf of a patient under an advance directive or any person recognized in law or custom as a person's agent.
C. "Unanticipated outcome" means the outcome of a medical treatment or procedure that differs from an expected result.
2. Evidence of admissions. In any civil action for professional negligence or in any arbitration proceeding related to such civil action, any statement, affirmation, gesture or conduct expressing apology, sympathy, commiseration, condolence, compassion or a general sense of benevolence that is made by a health care practitioner or health care provider or an employee of a health care practitioner or health care provider to the alleged victim, a relative of the alleged victim or a representative of the alleged victim and that relates to the discomfort, pain, suffering, injury or death of the alleged victim as the result of the unanticipated outcome is inadmissible as evidence of an admission of liability or as evidence of an admission against interest. Nothing in this section prohibits the admissibility of a statement of fault.
Effective September 17, 2005.
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