Legal Aspects Of Medical Legal Partnerships

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Introduction Background Medical-legal partnerships (“MLPs”) are collaborations between lawyers and medical professionals that provide an integrated approach to addressing the complex social and systemic issues impacting health, especially in vulnerable populations. MLPs have three core components (Lawton & Tyler, 2013; Sandel et al., 2010). The first component is legal advice and assistance, which is meant to address the legal needs of individual patients and positively impact individuals’ health. Legal professionals work as consultants and can provide legal representation for patients (Lawton & Tyler, 2013). The second component is improving health care systems and legal and health institutions (Lawton & Tyler, 2013; Sandel et al., 2010).…show more content…
The third component is creating change outside of the system (Sandel et al., 2010) and engaging in policy practice and advocacy on multiple levels of government (Lawton & Tyler, 2013). Medical and legal staff are able to “(1) ensure compliance with existing health-promoting laws, (2) support enactment of new or amended health-promoting laws and regulations, and (3) oppose enactment of health-harming laws and regulations” on the local, state, and federal levels (Lawton & Tyler, 2013). History In 1993, the Department of Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center and the Boston University School of Medicine collaborated to develop the first medical-legal partnership model and integrate it into their services (Sandel et al., 2010). They began by using the model mostly in pediatric and family medical settings. Use of the MLP model spread across the United States after the conference on the MLP model was held in Boston in 2001. In 2006, the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership was formed at Boston Medical Center to provide national oversight and support for the expansion of the MLP model (National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership, 2015). Current Use The MLP model is currently being used around the country by over 500 health and legal organizations partnering together. These partnerships use the MLP model to address a multitude of
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