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Are nondisclosure clauses harming patients?

Pittsburgh residents have the right to the very best healthcare possible. Medical providers have the duty to provide accurate and timely care to their patients. When a medical malpractice event occurs occasionally the malpractice settlement has a nondisclosure clause. These nondisclosure clauses may result in more patient harm.

A study of the University of Texas System analyzed over 100 medical malpractice settlements. In those settlements over 88 percent had a nondisclosure provision of some type. Over 45 percent prohibited releasing facts and medical details about the claim and over 25 percent of cases prohibited the patients from filing complaints to the medical boards. These statistics can be alarming to patients who may not know that they have a medical provider who has settled a medical malpractice claim due to negligence.

Nondisclosure agreements are designed to protect the reputation of hospitals and medical providers. Unsuspecting patients can be harmed by physicians who are protected by a nondisclosure agreement. In situations where harm is likely to happen again patients can suffer the consequences from a doctor mistake.

If people believe they have been the victim of medical malpractice they may want to speak with a legal professional skilled in medical malpractice. An attorney can review medical records and investigate what happened to cause the injury. Compensation may be available for unexpected medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of companionship and other damages.

Nondisclosure clauses in medical malpractice settlements may be causing harm to unsuspecting patients. Medical providers who have not faced penalties for their mistakes have a greater chance of harming another patient.

Source: healio.com, "Nondisclosure clauses may facilitate unsafe medical practices," May 15, 2015

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