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article imageNova Scotians can now say I'm sorry without regret

By Kevin Jess     Sep 15, 2009 in Crime
Nova Scotia becomes the sixth province in Canada with 'apology' legislation, allowing a person to say they're sorry without the fear of that apology being seen as an admission of guilt.
The Apology Act, passed in November, 2008, prohibits the use of an apology as evidence of fault or liability. The act goes into effect October 1.
According to today's Nova Scotia Dept. of Justice press release the act broadly defines apology, and states that an apology can not be used as evidence in legal proceedings to establish fault or liability.
Justice Minister Ross Landry in the release, "Apologizing has become an important part of our culture."
The legislation is particularly important in the health care sector says the release.
Staff will now be able to express remorse to patients and families without fear of a lawsuit.
Nova Scotia Health Minister Maureen MacDonald said, "It is a step forward in supporting a culture of quality and patient safety throughout the health care system in Nova Scotia. Improved communication among staff, and with patients and families, allows the system to learn from adverse events and prevent them in the future wherever possible," says the same release.
The legislation acts as a compliment to the provincial Disclosure of Adverse Events Policy that supports staff in disclosing what happened to patients and their families.
By allowing staff to say they're sorry, it is hoped patients and families will feel less isolated and be comforted by hearing an apology.
The other 6 provinces that already have apology legislation are British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador.
More about Sorry, Apology act, Nova Scotia
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