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Can we get hospital mortality and morbidity conference minutes discussing your case?

 

A:

The short answer is no.

The longer answer is also no.

Hospital mortality and morbidity conference meetings are confidential and designed according to statute, to encourage the free flow of information between healthcare providers. The stated purpose is to identify root causes of errors in an effort to prevent them from happening again in the future.

As a practicing New York medical malpractice trial lawyer, I would like nothing more than to be a fly on the wall and to receive copies of minutes of each of the mortality and morbidity conferences that occurs in every hospital in New York State on a regular basis.

The reality is that the information discussed during these meetings are confidential and privileged. That means that although I can learn about whether such a meeting was held, I am not permitted to inquire of the people who participated in the meeting what was discussed.

I'm not able to ask whether anyone criticdize the care and treatment rendered to you. I cannot ask whether anyone was disciplined or punished as a result of the improper care and treatment we alleged to have occurred to you. Nor can I get copies of the minutes, if any, were recorded.

There is one exception though. If there was a third party who was present and took his or her own notes about the meeting and conversations that ensued, then I am permitted to obtain those notes.

If I even begin to ask questions at a deposition, also known as a question-and-answer session under oath, the defense attorney will object and declare this information to be privileged and confidential.

To answer the above question, can we get the hospital mortality and morbidity conference minutes that discussed your case?

The answer is no.