Juvan's Health Law Update Features Institute for Integrative and Energy Medicine

Juvan's Health Law Update features the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog and the Institute for Integrative and Energy Medicine.

Health law attorney Jayne E. Juvan, whose health law expertise encompasses both the corporate side of health care law and health law litigation, has featured the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog and the Institute for Integrative and Energy Medicine in a lengthy piece about the shift toward integrative medicine.

Attorney Juvan's perspective on the Institute for Integrative and Energy Medicine is not only complimentary (with an "i" not an "e") but also lends the weight of her experience as an attorney affiliated with a large, mainstream law firm that has a huge health care practice, the reputable Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff, LLP, of Cleveland, Ohio. Juvan and Benesch represent physicians groups, long term care providers, ancillary service providers and pharmaceutical companies in connection with regulatory compliance, asset and stock transactions and joint ventures, and other health care transactions.

Juvan writes:

'Michael Cohen's Institute for Integrative and Energy Medicine Gains Momentum

This week, Michael H. Cohen, Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Assistant Professor, Harvard School of Public Health, announced on the Complementary and Alternative Law Blog that the Institute for Integrative and Energy Medicine (the "Institute") is "reaching critical mass toward sustaining its mission," which is "[t]o provide leadership for the transformation of global healthcare toward compassionate and caring models, supported by law and social policy, that bridge our physical, psychological and spiritual selves."

As reported at www.ihelps.org, the Institute collaborates with international scholars and organizations to develop models of health care that:

* draw on and respect our planetary heritage of healing;
* acknowledge the rights, interests, and needs of patients and families;
* understand health and healing as spiritual and emotional as well as physical journeys; and
* regard human transformation as central to a compassionate, caring healthcare system.

While originally a Wall Street lawyer who worked in securities, banking, mergers and acquisitions, Cohen shifted his focus, breaking from traditional corporate legal practice, and spent the last several years of his career writing and reflecting about complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Cohen's shift occurred after taking up the study of Ericksonian hypnotherapy, Gurdjieff Work, and other tools for investigating consciousness, and following graduation from the New Seminary in New York and the Barbara Brennan School of Healing in Florida.

Cohen defines CAM therapies as "those therapies traditionally outside those provided through conventional, biomedical care in hospitals." CAM methods include, for example, acupuncture, aromatherapy, chiropractic, homeopathic medicine, naturopathic medicine, Qi gong, Reiki and therapeutic touch. "Integrative healthcare," he writes, "refers to emerging models of health care that integrate CAM into conventional medical settings, endeavor to create optimal healing environments, and bridge the entire spectrum of therapies."

Cohen has spent much of his time discussing deficiencies in the legal framework that hinder CAM providers from gaining general acceptance. States and medical boards, for example, fail to license and credential CAM providers in a fashion similar to that of physicians and other providers of conventional medicine. Legislative recognition of these providers is important, however, because, as Cohen and several of his colleagues write, "legislative recognition trumps medical recognition: State legislatures can license providers and thereby grant citizens access to certain therapies, even if scientific debate has not concluded in favor of those modalities." Similarly, in another article, Cohen and others explored the malpractice implications of referrals to CAM providers. "Referrals can generate direct liability (the decision to refer was itself considered to be negligent, resulting in patient injury) and vicarious liability (the referring physician becomes legally responsible for the treating practitioner's negligence)." Accordingly, because of the risk of malpractice exposure, physicians have become hesitant to refer to patients to CAM providers.

The failure to have consistently applied standards serves as an impediment to patients who desperately need complementary therapies that provide a sense of hope and empowerment--the sense of actively combating and taking control of the disease that resides within them. Cohen, for having the audacity to delve deep into CAM, has assumed a noble role. My recent conversations with Cohen have also led me to believe that he is a great mind and a deeply compassionate soul.

With Cohen's theories, writing and advocacy, Cohen has the ability to increase the availability and credibility of CAM therapies, thereby helping to bring about a transformation for those whose illness initially held them captive and in a state of despair.

Juvan's Health Law Update will continue to follow the Institute's progress and will keep you apprised as developments occur. If you are interested in furthering the development of the Institute, please contact Michael H. Cohen directly.'

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Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen offers general corporate legal services, litigation consultation, and expertise in health law, with a unique focus on alternative, complementary, and integrative medical therapies.

Michael H. Cohen is also President of the the Institute for Integrative and Energy Medicine, also known as the Institute for Health, Ethics, Law, Policy & Society. The Institute serves as a reliable forum for investigation and recommendations regarding the legal, regulatory, ethical, and health policy issues involved in the judicious integration of complementary and alternative medical therapies (such as acupuncture and traditional oriental medicine, chiropractic, massage therapy, herbal medicine) and conventional clinical care.

The most recent book written by Michael H. Cohen on health care law, regulation, ethics and policy pertaining to complementary and alternative medicine and related fields is an interdisciplinary collection of essays entitled, Healing at the Borderland of Medicine and Religion. This is the fourth book in a series, begun with Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Legal Boundaries and Regulatory Perspectives (1998).

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