I can’t get the 1989 baseball movie Field of Dreams out of my head. That’s especially true right now as I can’t wait for the seventh game of the World Series. My son, Eitan, and I sat on the couch and watched the sixth game last night and it was probably the most exciting game I’ve ever seen. Plot twists galore. You can bet the audience for tonight’s game will be HUGE.
What’s so cool in thinking back about the movie is the famous line said to the baseball fanatic farmer: “If you build it they will come.” So he built a baseball field behind his house and the greats of baseball history came to play. I have never forgotten that line and have applied it to what we “build” at Patient Power – interview programs for people living with serious health concerns.
In the past few weeks, and continuing from now on, we have been focusing on two blood-related cancers: multiple myeloma and chronic myelogenous leukemia. While there are other educational resources out there, people living with these serious conditions always want more – as well they should. Fortunately, Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Andrew's Blog*
“There is a better way – structural reforms that empower patients with greater choices and increase the role of competition in the health-care marketplace.” Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) August 3, 2011
The highly charged political debates about reforming American health care have provided tempting opportunities to rename the people who receive health services. But because the impetus for this change has been prompted by cost and quality concerns of health care payers, researchers and policy experts rather than emanating from us out of our own needs, some odd words have been called into service. Two phrases commonly used to describe us convey meanings that mischaracterize our experiences and undervalue our needs: “empowered patient” and “health care consumer.”
As one who has done serious time as a patient and who spends serious time listening to talks and reading the literature that use these words to describe us, I ask you to reconsider their use.
“Empowered patient” The fabrication of the verb “to empower” from the noun “power” was used in the civil rights and community development movements to describe a benevolent bestowal of influence on disenfranchised individuals and groups by those who had previously excluded them. When used in relation to health care, the word perpetuates the idea that we are passive entities, waiting to be gratefully endowed by our clinician or a new policy with the right and ability to act on our own behalf. Our “empowerment” takes place not as a result of our own will or preference, but rather because we have been given permission to act in a different way by some external agent.
This word is Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Prepared Patient Forum: What It Takes Blog*