Health Law Scholarship Spotlight: Leslie Griffin

November 28, 2017
Professor Leslie Griffin

Professor Leslie Griffin's recent work focuses on the place of patients in the world of bioethics. In 2015, she published a new bioethics casebook, Practicing Bioethics Law, with co-author Professor Joan Krause of the University of North Carolina law and medical schools. While she was teaching from that book for the first time, a local man tried to murder her while she was out for an afternoon walk. Since then, some of her writings have explained how patients' needs are too frequently ignored as patients struggle their way through the medical system.
The Nevada Law Journal will soon publish her article, Pre- or Post-Mortem?, which encourages patients to pre-plan their conversations with doctors in advance, and to ask them very detailed questions. That is a much better approach than waiting post, when it may be too late to profit from being super-organized. The better-prepared patients are, the better care their doctors will give. But you have to work for it.
On the Bill of Health blog, Griffin reviewed a fascinating new book, Into the Gray Zone, by neuroscientist Adrian Owen, in which he reviewed his extensive career experimenting and learning how people with brain injuries could improve. She urged doctors and scientists to be more like Adrian Owen. They could learn, for example, that medicine and science improve when they reach beyond pure science to include philosophy and personal interest so that patients in the gray zone "can once again take their place among us in the land of the living."
Now she and a neurosurgeon are co-writing an explanation of just what patients face when they undergo unexpected trauma ... and how they can overcome it!