Saturday, July 28, 2012
On the first day of the workshop, Margaret Murphy shared with us the compelling story of her son, Kevin, who, tragically, died at the age of 21 due to several medical errors. Her story was so powerful. Her devastation at the senseless death of her beloved son brought her to patient safety work, which has does, literally, around the world. After her powerful story, I spoke to the group about the use of collaborative law, a process used traditionally in family law, both in the U.S. and in Ireland. The group of about 35 worked through a hypothetical medical error case, a powerful opportunity for all members of the group to get to know each other and consider how they all might work together to bring a collaborative, non-adversarial process, quickly, after medical error situations.
Day 2, we met together in the morning for a dialogue at which we discussed how to build upon our conversations of the prior day, how to expand the network of professionals from that conversation, and what next steps should the group take to continue to move the process forward. Patricia and I agreed to write an article about the workshop and dialogue and publish it in a medical journal to keep the process moving and growing.
How wonderful to be there with all those Irish faces!
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
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.