Upcoming Meeting

Our September speaker is:

Elizabeth Brooks, JD, IBCLC, FILCA

Liz Brooks, JD, IBCLC, FILCA, is a lawyer/litigator (since 1983) and private practice IBCLC lactation consultant (since 1997) who brings to life the connection between lactation consultation and the law. Healthcare workers (HCPs) face ethical, moral and legal challenges every day in their clinical care. With plain language and humor, Liz explains how law and ethics affect IBCLCs and HCPs. She offers immediate, pragmatic tips so HCPs can practice ethically, legally and confidently. She is an Adjunct Professor in Drexel University’s Human Lactation Consultation Program, recently served as the President of the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) and Secretary of the United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC), and is a current Director at the Human Milk Banking Association of North American (HMBANA)(2015-1017). She wrote the only textbook focusing on IBCLC ethics and law, authored chapters on similar topics in five other texts, and is a well-received writer and lecturer in her field.

Our September topics are:

Conflict of Interest BINGO: The Big Business of Persuading Thought Leaders

When commercial interests (pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers) mix-and-mingle with healthcare providers (HCPs), it changes the clinical behaviors of the HCP.  This presents a fundamental conflict of interest for the HCP.  Their clinical judgment and recommendations favor the commercial entity that has provided free meals and trips, or “freebies” like mugs and lanyards and pens, or educational subsidies, or lucrative honoraria to speak to other HCPs. And the HCPs are often not even aware of how their behaviors have been influenced.  This grooming of “thought leaders” is increasingly apparent in the field of clinical lactation care and advocacy, creating legal and ethical tensions with professional practice-guiding documents that caution against such unethical relationships.

This session will define personal and professional conflicts-of-interests (COIs), identify elements in practice-guiding documents for Lactation Helpers that warn against COIs, and provide examples demonstrating how for-profit entities have mastered marketing persuasion techniques to groom “thought leaders” (revered experts) to serve as unwitting shills for their commercial logos, brands, and products.

Human Milk Sharing, Selling and Donation: Legal and Ethics Angles

Parents have been using each other’s milk since the dawn of time. The 21st century imbues this age-old practice with legal and ethical tensions for the healthcare provider not imagined by our ancestors. Can an IBCLC be the “link” between the parent with too much milk in the freezer, and the low-supply parent whose baby doesn’t qualify to receive milk from a milk bank? How does a healthcare provider (HCP) counsel a family shaken by the birth of an extremely premature baby, that wants to collect expressed milk from friends and neighbors? Can HCPs be sued if they counsel a family about milk donation, and the parent unwittingly passes on a pathogen in that milk that harms the other baby? The Internet offers a worldwide market for human milk sharing. Is that even legal? This session looks at all the risk and liability angles at play here: for the baby, the family, and the healthcare provider.

Parents, Babies, Milk and the Law: Legal and Ethical Issues in Bedside Breast/Chestfeeding Support

Parent blood tested positive for opiods when they arrived to deliver the baby, and they now want to breastfeed. New parent hands you a print-out from a social networking site, and asks if you agree with the customer ratings given for various breastfeeding supplies. Low-supply NICU parent wants to know if they can bring in expressed human milk from their best friend, who is still breastfeeding a toddler. OB orders a hormonal contraceptive injection on Day 2 for an exclusively breastfeeding mother, and you are concerned the progestin will affect milk supply. Yikes! Who knew the road to safe, natural, biologic-norm breast/chestfeeding had so many legal and ethical potholes? At the end of this session, participants will be able to: (1) Describe the difference between a legal and an ethical responsibility as a health care provider; (2) Define a professional conflict of interest for the medical professional serving clients/patients; (3) Identify three reliable on-line, evidence-based lactation resources for parents, and for health care providers; (4) Implement immediate changes in record-keeping to conform with ethical benchmarks for lactation consultation

5 E-CERPS will be awarded for the conference.