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Symposium Video: When Health Care and Law Enforcement Overlap
The University of Pennsylvania virtual symposium “When Health Care and Law Enforcement Overlap” brought together frontline providers, legal experts, health care workers, social scientists, and researchers to explore how clinicians, law enforcement personnel, and patients currently interact in the emergency department environment. The September 24 event’s participants on six panels discussed how emergency treatment, public safety, legal rights and ethnics often intersect as the various parties navigate professional conflicts and to balance medical, safety, and privacy concerns. Co-hosted by Penn LDI and the Penn Department of Emergency Medicine, the event was co-sponsored by the Campaign for Community, Penn Injury Science Center, and Penn Medicine Trauma Center.
Introductory Remarks and Session One: Providing Health Care in the Presence of Law Enforcement
Despite the increasing presence of law enforcement in clinical spaces, there is little formal training in how to navigate the medical, legal, and ethical gray areas that accompany this intersection. This panel explored common clinical scenarios and how to apply fundamental medical principles to guide policy and behavior.
• Elinore Kaufman, MD, MSHP, Department of Traumatology, Surgical Critical Care and Emergency Surgery, University of Pennsylvania Health System; Assistant Professor of Surgery, Perelman School of Medicine
• Erin Hall, MD, MPH, Department of Surgery and Critical Care Medicine, MedStar Washington Hospital; Assistant Professor of Surgery, Georgetown University School of Medicine
• Tiffani Johnson, MD, MSc, Division of Emergency Medicine, UC Davis Children’s Hospital; Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, UC Davis School of Medicine
• Kim Sue, MD, PhD, Division of Internal Medicine, Yale School of Medicine; Medical Director, National Harm Reduction Coalition
Spotlight Presentation: A Medical Provider Toolkit for Protecting Patient Privacy
This session detailed a new, downloadable information toolkit designed to educate emergency room clinicians about the legal boundaries and rights related to their own and their patients’ interactions with law enforcement officers. The tool kit was developed by the Working Group on Policing and Patient Rights, a national research collaboration of medical providers, lawyers and graduate students focused on patient rights in emergency room areas that are legally not public spaces.
• Carly Loughran, 3L Student, Georgetown University Law Center; Member, Working Group on Policing and Patient Rights
• Jake Sonnenberg, JD, Student, UCSF School of Medicine; Member, Working Group on Policing and Patient Rights
Reconciling the Goals of Public Health and Public Safety
Where law enforcement and health care intersect, the needs and agendas of patients, their clinical team, and law enforcement officials may coincide, conflict, or overlap. This panel explores how to strengthen person-centered care in the context of these coexisting challenges.
• Rosa Brooks, JD, Co-Director, Innovative Policing Program; Scott K. Ginsburg Professor of Law and Policy, Georgetown University Law Center
• Thomas Duncan, DO, FACS, FICS, Trauma Medical Director, Ventura County Medical Center; Medical Co-Director, Anacapa Surgical Associates
• Tracie Keesee, PhD, Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of Justice Initiatives, Center for Policing Equity; Former Deputy Commissioner of Equity and Inclusion for NYPD; Retired Officer, Denver Police Department
• Charles Dempsey, Retired Detective, Mental Evaluation Unit, Los Angeles Police Department
• Millie Sheppard, Program Manager, Community Violence Intervention Program, Medstar Washington Hospital Center
Supporting Patients Through Advocacy, Organizing, and Social Services: How Communities are Responding to Law Enforcement in Hospitals
In response to concerns from patients, families, and providers, a multitude of community organizations and activists have launched efforts to address some of the harms caused by the presence of law enforcement in health care settings—particularly in hospitals. This panel provided examples of these efforts, including legal advocacy, public campaigns, and social services.
• Christine Goggins, MFA, Violence Recovery Specialist, Violence Recovery Program, Department of Urban Health Initiative, University of Chicago Medical Center
• Bekura Shabazz, President, Criminal Injustice Reform Network
• Yakira Teitel, MD, MPH, DPH Must Divest
• Lydia Watts, JD, Executive Director, Rebuild, Overcome, and Rise (ROAR) Center, University of Maryland Baltimore, Carey School of Law
• Michael Smith, 3L Student, Georgetown University Law Center; Member, Working Group on Policing and Patient Rights
Spotlight Presentation: Reconciling Patients’ Wellbeing, Public Health, and Public Safety in a Health System
Three UCLA physicians discuss their advocacy efforts to re-envision how clinicians and law enforcement officers interact with each other and with patients in the emergency department. They detailed multi-pronged efforts to engage hospital administrators, local community stakeholders, law enforcement agencies, the County Board of Supervisors, and the LA Department of Health Services in adjusting policies related to law enforcement presence and authority parameters in the county’s community hospitals.
• Vincent Chong, MD, MS, Division of Trauma/Critical Care, Department of Surgery, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center; Assistant Professor of Surgery, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
• Hannah Janeway, MD, International and Domestic Health Equity and Leadership (IDHEAL) Fellow, Department of Emergency Medicine, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
• Shamsher Samra, MD, MPhil, Department of Emergency Medicine, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center; Assistant Clinical Professor, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine
Evidence, Impact, and Context: What We Do and Don’t Know from Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Law Enforcement and Health Care
Evidence from multiple disciplines including medicine and public health, law, the social sciences and bioethics is needed to fully understand the relationships between law enforcement procedures and clinical practice. This panel explored that. What has already been described through existing research? What are the important questions that remain unanswered? How do we best design a research agenda to drive evidence-based policy and practice?
• Sara Jacoby, PhD, MPH, MSN, Assistant Professor, Department of Family and Community Health, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
• Joseph Richardson Jr., PhD, Joel and Kim Feller Professor of African American Studies and Anthropology, University of Maryland
• Hope Smiley-McDonald, PhD, MA, Research Sociologist and Director of the Investigative Sciences Program, RTI International
• Ji Seon Song, JD, Assistant Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine School of Law
• Utsha Khatri, MD, MSHP, Department of Emergency Medicine, Mt. Sinai Hospital; Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and Population Health Science and Policy, Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai
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