Science, Darwin, and Advocacy Ethics

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“Back in the day” there was a piece of advice that admonished us to remember that if you went on a first date, or when you invited the boss to dinner, or while you were at work, or during similar scenarios where you needed to be aware of the sensitivities of the company you kept, you should make sure you avoided conversations about religion and politics.

The reason to avoid those conversations with folks was clear: you always wanted to be sure you didn’t offend someone else at the beginning of a friendship or relationship or ongoing with people you would spend so much time with, day in and day out.

As was true then, and is true today, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

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When It’s Time to Use IDK

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No one can ever be expected to know everything about everything at the moment they need to know it.

Yet, if there’s one thing I’ve learned about medical providers – and too many health advocates, too – it is that there is a major reluctance to say “I don’t know.” It’s as if the fact that they don’t know something reflects on their ability to be useful. As if they are “less” because the answer isn’t right there in the front of their brains and rolling off their tongues.

I just don’t think that’s right, or fair, or kosher.

Whether it’s the psychology of dealing with patient-clients, or the databanks of information about any specific disease, to the ability to predict an outcome, to the “facts” of health and medicine (remember when margarine was better for you than butter?), the amount and nature of knowledge changes from minute-to-minute to day-to-day to year-to-year.

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Confessions of a Failure

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Think of the successful business people you know or know of. They probably run different kinds of businesses, even non-profits. Their businesses are different sizes, too – from solopreneurs to multi-national conglomerates. They represent different sectors of business from manufacturing and selling products to offering personal services – and everything in between.

What is the first thing most of them have in common? Most of them, at one time or another, have failed.

Some of their failures were highly visible – and well publicized. Some of their failures are never to be spoken of (meaning we have no idea what they are.) In some cases they lost life savings, or millions of dollars, or years of time.

What is the second thing those who failed have in common?

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Turkish Lore and Sir Francis Bacon Suggest a New Approach to Workshops and Bootcamps

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It’s been a conundrum, now solved.

It’s been a wish, now solved.

It’s been a challenge, which has now been solved, and solved with a solution that will continue to grow the profession of advocacy (hopefully) far into the future!

Announcing…

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Beware Those Wolves in Sheeps’ Clothing

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This post was originally published in July 2013, and was updated in July 2020. 

Two unrelated stories have crossed my path, but their bottom lines are the same.  It’s too easy to be fooled. 

Story #1:  … is based on a scathing article from the Wall Street Journal about the amount of money medical device companies pay to the doctors who use their products.  The story is mostly focused on investigations from the Justice Department starting with one doctor who lived and worked in California, Dr. Aria Sabit, who insisted on using certain spinal implant products because he owns part of the distributorship company and is making money in a half dozen ways – from kickbacks to distributorship profits – over each surgery he does.

But the story-within-the-story is that Dr. Sabit is also named in 12 lawsuits over the deaths of people who died as a result of his surgeries – and who had received those implants to help them live better-quality lives. It matters little whether the fault lies with the implants or the doctor’s skill level; those patients are dead.

But there’s more to the story, of course, and unfortunately, it’s not a part of the WSJ article.

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