Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Safety of candour

Doctors should feel confident apologising

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: (Published 19 July 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l4724
  1. Caroline Fryar, head of advisory services
  1. Medical Defence Union, London E14 5GS, UK
  1. media{at}

The Medical Defence Union (MDU) agrees with Leung and Porter about the importance of a proper apology when things have gone wrong in a patient’s care.1 To err is human, and doctors should follow their instinct to apologise without fear of interference with claims.

In the MDU’s experience, an early sincere and frank apology and explanation can restore a …

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