It's a big moment in the long debate in Oregon over medical liability reform. The Governor-backed Senate Bill 483 passed in the Senate earlier and passed in the house 55 to 1 on Tuesday. it allows for doctors to have confidential talks with patients that cannot be used later in court.
State Representative Jason Conger of Bend was a co-sponsor on the bill.
"Put yourself in the position of being a family member of someone who's been a victim of a medical error and has god forbid died- and your surgeon doesn't come and talk to you about what happened because he has been counseled not to - i think i would be confused first- and then very very angry. you can imagine why that would increase significantly the chance that that kind of situation would proceed to litigation. "
Conger was picked by the governor to be on a special task force to look into the issue of medical liability reform. He called the vote "historic" because it brought both doctors and trial lawyers together on a bill. State Rep. Gene Whisnant of Sunriver was the lone ‘no’ vote on the bill. It now goes to the governor’s desk.