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Law for Florida Physicians
Duty to Notify Patients

Regulation of Professions and Occupations
General Provisions
Florida Statutes Title XXIX, Chapter 456

1 § 456.0575 – Duty to notify patients.

Every licensed health care practitioner shall inform each patient, or an individual identified pursuant to s. 765.401(1), in person about adverse incidents that result in serious harm to the patient. Notification of outcomes of care that result in harm to the patient under this section shall not constitute an acknowledgment of admission of liability, nor can such notifications be introduced as evidence.

History.--s. 33, ch. 2003-416.
1Note.--Section 86, ch. 2003-416 [PDF, p94], provides that "[i]t is the intent of the Legislature to apply the provisions of this act to prior medical incidents, to the extent such application is not prohibited by the State Constitution or Federal Constitution, except that the changes to chapter 766, Florida Statutes, shall apply only to any medical incident for which a notice of intent to initiate litigation is mailed on or after the effective date of this act."

EDITORIAL COMMENT: This statute requires every physician to advise an individual patient or designee ‘in person’ about an adverse incident resulting in serious harm to the patient. In addition, Title XXIX, §0395.1051 requires each licensed facility to make a similar notification. No time constraints or conditions are otherwise noted. In situations where patients may have several attending physicians (e.g. in critical care units), the notification of patients of an adverse incident “in person” by “every . . . practitioner” might become a particularly onerus and unnecessarily traumatic and confusing ordeal for some patients.
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