“A revolution is a transfer of power…”

“The Victorian parliamentarian and novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton declared, “A reform is a correction of abuses; a revolution is a transfer of power.” Patient centred care began as a correction of abuses, a response to patients being treated like “imbeciles and inventory.” Decades later, what’s claimed to be patient centred still too often reflects a paternalistic attitude, ironically expressed by comedian Stephen Colbert in a different context on the Late Show in 2015: “See what we can accomplish when we work together by you doing what I say? It’s called a partnership.”

In contrast, collaborative health describes a shifting constellation of collaborations for sickness care and for maintaining wellbeing that is shaped by people based on their life circumstances. The result is not reform, but a transfer of power in which the traditional system loses some of its control. That system will often be part of wellbeing and care relationships—providing patient centred, person-centric, or collaborative care—but other times (and not by choice) it will be excluded.”

– Michael L Millenson

photo credit: ethnosax DSC_1263 via photopin (license)

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