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"You want the health care provider and the patient to have a very honest discussion. Right now, those conversations aren't happening," says Rep. Erik Severson. Photo by Lukas Keapproth.

Bills would let health providers say, 'I'm sorry'; Critics say proposed laws go too far

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While working at the Osceola Medical Center a couple years ago, Dr. Erik Severson decided to transfer a heart patient to a different hospital. When the man took an abrupt turn for the worse and died under Severson's care, the physician took a risk as he broke the news to the man's son.

"I told him, 'I'm really sorry for your loss,'" said Severson, who knew an apology could be used against him in court.

Although that didn't happen, the incident stuck with Severson.

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