A recent article in the Law Society Gazette raised a number of interesting points regarding the bond between law and medicine. James Sandbach of the Low Commission discussed how 67% of GPs in the Healthy Legal Advice report noted an increase in patients post the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012. Most of these patients would have benefitted from specialist advice on social welfare law matters.
It is curious that this subject has not been debated more often, due to the similarities between the medical and legal professions. Unfortunately, these are not always positive. Your doctor and lawyer are probably two people you dread seeing the most, as seeing them infers that something has gone wrong that needs to be fixed.
However, this is not the only way these sectors coalesce. Doctors and solicitors prefer to focus on preventative and protective measures that can help people moving forward, rather than simply handle cases on reactive basis. For instance, in the context of GPs, they provide vaccinations to protect people from diseases for the foreseeable future.
Your solicitor should be viewed in the same way, as offering clients security in a variety of scenarios. There are instances in private client law, as you can ensure your Will and Lasting Powers of Attorney are in place to give you security in later life.
Concurrently, prior to getting married you can draft a pre-nuptial agreement to organise your assets, or a Cohabitation Agreement to help unmarried couples understand their rights. A final example is guaranteeing a clear understanding of your property ownership through a Declaration of Trust. These protective measures can prepare you for the worst-case scenarios.
Keeping your ducks in line
One of my clients recently viewed these steps as ensuring her “ducks are all in line”, affording her peace of mind, which Sandbach’s article demonstrated is crucial to your general health and well-being.
Does this mean there is potential for a merging of legal businesses and medical practices? There would undoubtedly be complications affecting this unification, but it certainly is not out of the realm of possibility. Both professions seek to improve the welfare of their patients/clients, and if these efforts can coexist, it is certainly an avenue worth exploring.
If you would like to take legal steps to protect yourself in future, our solicitors in Essex are happy to offer supportive advice. Get in touch with our offices on 01702 477106. Also, you can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Instagram.