Health Law Event Examines Patient Responsibility


Indiana Health Law Review 2013 Symposium ParticipantsVarious aspects of patient responsibility, consumerism, and blame were considered during the Indiana Health Law Review Symposium on March 8, 2013, at the law school.

Speakers throughout the daylong event offered a look at the extent to which patients are trusted as emerging models of health care and health care financing place greater emphasis on patient choice and engagement. For example: Should patients be more responsible for the cost of their health care? Will emerging technologies and health care models result in patients acting more like consumers? To what extent should patients exercise greater control and assume greater responsibility for their own health such that blaming or shaming patients becomes accepted strategies for improving health?

The day began with a welcome from Professor and Vice Dean Antony Page, and opening remarks from Professor Nicolas Terry, co-director of the Hall Center for Law and Health. Professor David Orentlicher, co-director of the Center for Law and Health, introduced the day’s keynote speaker, Professor George Loewenstein, Herbert A. Simon Professor of Economics and Psychology, Department of Social and Decision Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University. Professor Loewenstein’s topic was “Are We Willing to Trust Patients? Models of Responsibility, Consumerism and Blame.”

The program featured three panel discussions. The first, “Responsibility for Health Care Costs,” was moderated by IU McKinney Law Professor Robert A. Katz, and featured Professor Gregg Bloche, co-director of the Georgetown-Johns Hopkins Joint Program in Law and Public Health; and Professor Christopher Robertson of the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law.

The second panel, “Consumerism, Self-Diagnosis and Self-Treatment,” was moderated by the law school’s Professor Emily Morris. She was joined by Professor Jessica Berg, associate director of the Law-Medicine Center at Case Western Reserve University School of Law; and Dr. Tracy Gunter, associate professor of clinical psychiatry at the IU School of Medicine, and adjunct professor at IU McKinney.

The day’s final panel examined the topic “Personal Responsibility for Wellness.” This discussion was moderated by IU McKinney Professor Diana R.H. Winters. She was joined by Professor Leonard M. Fleck of the Michigan State University Center for Ethics, and Professor Lindsay F. Wiley of the American University Washington College of Law.

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