- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 29, 2012

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Actor James Woods is asking Rhode Island lawmakers to support legislation to allow doctors to apologize for bad treatment outcomes without the apology being used in a malpractice lawsuit.

Woods‘ brother, Michael, died of a heart attack at Kent Hospital in 2006. Woods sued the hospital, accusing emergency room staff of not doing enough to save his brother. He settled the lawsuit after a hospital executive apologized and agreed to start an institute in Michael Woods‘ name.

Woods spoke to lawmakers Wednesday about the need for a bill making doctors’ apologies inadmissible in malpractice suits. He said a simple apology can help families make sense out of their loss.

Studies show medical malpractice claims decrease when doctors apologize for mistakes and other negative outcomes.