Healthcare either coerces or buys silence whenever things go wrong. We wish that were illegal. Until such time as it may be, including certain language in any settlement agreement can help. The line should not be negative. It should be a positive line declaring the victim's right to speak about issues that may or may not have been brought up in the course of the case. There could be language including, but not limiting it to, issues like crime in medicine, patient safety, sex abuse, and such like. What they really care about it that you do not identify them and that you don't try to sue them again. Including a positive statement affirming that what you care about is being able to talk about what happened can help reduce the extent to which you are silenced.
Society needs Rememberers
The community needs victims of adverse events to avoid letting gag orders or non-disclosure clauses be included in papers that are signed. Gag orders are routine and expected. The patient's own attorney will be used to including them without argument and recommend signing them. But that demolishes the responsibility that patients have to each other. When you know there are snakes in the field, you have a responsibility to tell the other people who are walking through the grass. Even if you are not allowed to name specific snakes, the community must hear the victim's experience, including the lessons learned from trying to get justice and/or suing or being sued afterwards. Otherwise the community will not develop the vocabulary and understanding necessary to protect itself.
But really, not tell the who, what and where? Not name names? Just tell the story of a sex predator working in a local hospital but not tell which one or who the predator is? Currently medicine has all the power and keeps it, in part, by coercing this silence.
Witnesses and rememberers are fundamental
to a safe and just society
The statistics on the amount of crime in medicine already are available, but people don't think in statistics. They think in stories. The police are not aware of what they are doing wrong when they refer victims of crimes to state medical boards (hard to imagine graduates of police academies being no smarter than that, but it is the fact). State medical boards derail the rule of law in medicine but believe that's okay. (When it isn't in the interest of medicine to obey the law, in medicine they believe the law is wrong). So the victims get defeated and are left unable even to tell their stories. Without the stories of the victims, they never will come know better, and future victims will not have the experience of others to draw on to help them deal with their tragedies either. It is necessary for patients with problems to be heard.
I have been told of one patient who refused to sign the gag order and still got the settlement. Speaking to him to see what can be learned from his experience is on my list of things to do (eventually).
"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and one, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind." -- John Stuart Mill