This post is part of a symposium from speakers and participants of Northeastern University School of Law’s annual health law conference, Diseases of Despair: The Role of Policy and Law, organized by the Center for Health Policy and Law.
All the posts in the series are available here.
By Tamar Ezer
As we grapple with today’s social ills and Diseases of Despair such as the opioid crisis, violence and suicide, medical-legal partnerships (MLPs), can potentially provide a powerful healing combination.
MLPs, which integrate legal services into health care, have several important strengths.
They embrace a holistic approach to health, addressing not just biological factors, but also social determinants, such as access to housing or freedom from violence. They bring access to justice to communities. People need not go out to seek legal support, but can find services at a one-stop shop for multiple, intersecting needs. MLPs help address legal issues early, preventing problems and intervening before there is an eviction or utilities are shut off.