Monday, February 20, 2012

I Have a Dream: ABA/AMA Joint Task Force

I'm finishing my book, which will tentatively be called "Healing at the Intersection of Law and Medicine." Continued thinking and writing about this intersection brings me to our commonalities.

The common threads between physicians and attorneys are many: human well-being, healing, justice, a moral contract with society, and commitment to our communities. This suggests a common vision. Taking that common vision and expanding it into our respective roles after adverse event/medical error situations will be a giant step forward. Think of the possibilities for human well-being and healing, not just for our patients and clients, but for ourselves and our communities. Why not a joint resolution of the ABA/AMA that we have agreed to come together to make a contribution to improved health care? A joint task force? A common vision statement? A cooperation clause?

I suggest a task force, composed of a small, representative, skillful group of members of the ABA and AMA, to hold dialogues about medical error/adverse medical event situations and our responses to them, our goals for improved practices, our values, and our experiences of collaboration. The dialogues will also consider how, when appropriate, we can shift our language and our cultures to improve both our legal and medical practices.

What better contribution could we make to healthcare and to our communities?

For those who share my dream, want to talk more about it, and/or have ideas and suggestions, please let me know. I am taking an appreciative inquiry approach, so would like to talk about what is right with these or similar ideas and improve on them.

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