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Mar 5, 2013 3:52 PM by Eric Ross

Oregon Senate approves medical mistakes mediation

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - The Oregon Senate has passed a bill creating a new mediation process for patients injured by medical mistakes.

The bill passed Tuesday in a 26-3 vote despite criticisms from some lawmakers who said it should have included limits on the amount of money that juries can award to patients injured by medical errors.

The measure would allow injured patients to confidentially discuss the error and a possible settlement with the hospital or clinic where the mistake occurred. Supporters say it would help reduce a defensive culture that prevents doctors from speaking about medical mistakes and learning from them out of fear of a lawsuit.

Critics say the measure won't do anything to reduce premiums for medical liability insurance.

The measure goes next to the House. It's supported by both trial lawyers and doctors groups.

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