New law to put an end to gag orders in healthcare

A doctor with the Dutch flag
A doctor with the Dutch flagAlexis84DepositPhotosDeposit Photos

Minister Hugo de Jonge of Public Health is working on a new law that will put an end to non-disclosure agreements in healthcare. His legislative proposal will make it impossible for care providers to force patients or surviving relatives to remain silent about errors in their or their loved ones' care, NOS reports.

The Ministry of Health spoke out against these gag orders before, but this is the first time it's come as far as an actual ban. "Non-disclosure agreements are not good and are completely unacceptable. They are at odds with an open and learning culture that is necessary for good care," De Jonge said. 

The bill is expected to be sent to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, after the summer. If it passes both parliament and Senate, it will also annul all current agreements stating that a patient must refrain from going to court, submitting a disciplinary complaint, or discussing errors with family or friends.