Friday, December 19, 2008


Medicine is a great boon to us all. Doctors are one of the few professionals pledged to take responsibility for their patients. In our uncertain age it is refreshing to find someone who cares enough to do something for us.

Modern medicine and we face several crises. While the medical specialties have brought miracles, they unfortunately come in tight little packages. The result is that it is very difficult for doctors and families to find the right combination of help when there is more than one challenge - which is usually the case.

The big crisis in medicine is called case responsibility - who is responsible for the whole person and family? Who has the full picture of all the needs and services? Who sees that things get coordinated? GPs are in the best position to do this but they are either too busy or don’t have the case management skills.

As a big result, we have crises and tragedies. The some 40,000 U.S. deaths due to hospital errors is one result. Silver bullet, specialist treatments often fail because no one sees the whole picture. We humans are biological, social and spiritual beings and one dimension cannot be understood without the rest.

This whole scene has got so bad, so inefficient and so tragic, that someone has to take charge. Guess who? Right. We families have to become our own case managers. Someone must have our whole picture. We now have the know-how from the internet. In a half hour, we can learn more about our condition that our GP could ever get time to study.

So, medicine of our future must become a partnership between family and doctor, or psychiatrist, or counselor or pastor. We are in charge of our lives. We need to politely take charge and learn how to help our helpers become a partner without losing their own professional status.

Let's hear your thoughts on this latest FAMILY CHALLENGE.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


Family solidarity is our greatest treasure. It nurtures children’s well-being. It provides security for its members. It is our most reliable source of caring. It is with us when we are dying.

Fragmentation is the enemy of family solidarity. Inside and outside forces create splits. Relationships get shattered. Children become victims of neglect, abuse and addictions. All sorts of neurotic patterns get imbedded.

There are some clear community forces that promote family fragmentation. Here we list some in the interest of identifying “Family Enemy Number One”:

Phony Beliefs: We are offered an endless list of fixes for every possible life problem. Many of these have a money motive. Some are innocent. Others promote selfish and negative thinking. Few have stood the test of time. The number of choices is bewildering. Those without a firm belief easily become victims.

Debt: We have banks, financing schemes, reverse mortgages, etc. which makes us slaves to the dollar. Debt splits families by putting money first and sending members out on individual jobs. Debt distracts parents from their primary job of child nurturing.

Media: The right word for media is “Extreme”. The news, the entertainment and the ads keep pushing the extreme boundaries. In our fast age, their purpose is to get attention. Their impact is to sully our values giving us a coarse way of life. Children are helpless in the face of media information and glitz.

Rights: It is popular to support some “rights” efforts. This happens with enthusiasm without attention to the cost. Rights have to do with law. Laws mainly apply to individuals. However, when one individual’s rights are increased others are diminished. Among men, women, children and seniors in a family, when one gains new rights it is at the expense of the others and the family. For some strange reason the family is not seen as a legal entity and there are few family rights efforts. Who has a family view of rights?

Our purpose here is to ferret out “Family Enemy Number One”. In the process we get a clearer view of the powerful forces putting families on the ropes.

Tell us who you think is “Family Enemy Number One” in our endless battle to meet THE FAMILY CHALLENGE.