How to empower the arts of healing through law


Hello, this is Michael H. Cohen, President, and Founder of Cohen Healthcare Law Group. I have ditched the suit and tie for a more California look, here in lovely Carlsbad, overlooking some beautiful trees, and one of my corporate offices.

I’d like to talk to you about healing and healthcare, and health and wellness, why it’s such an amazing industry, and why we’re right there with you, passionately committed to improving health and wellness in this world.

Why are you in the healthcare business?

What is your dream?

What are you trying to create?

Is it the next billion dollar company?

That’s wonderful. Will it help the next billion people? That’s great. Do that five to 10 times over, and you have made a difference for every citizen in the planet.

Is it simply this longing inside of you that is just waiting to come out? Your gift to the world, your mission. That’s fantastic as well. Whatever it is, we support you. We understand that there are things that are going to come in the way of you and your dream, namely the law, regulations, and rules. I’ve just completed reviewing a memo on physician advertising done by one of my star senior attorneys.

Law and human behavior

I didn’t know that there’s this New York statue that prohibits testimonials. It actually says that testimonials are not in the public interest when it comes to healthcare licensees. It constitutes professional misconduct, so much for those reviews on your favorite social media site. Now, we’ve got to check that out because that sounds kind of extreme. I wrote a book a while ago where I looked at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. We looked at the baseline, physiology, security, safety, belongingness, love, community, self-esteem. At the highest level, it’s self-transformation, or self-actualization.

This highest level, like what is it that creates the law? What motivates the laws? Yes, we want law to be there to help encourage people, to provide social support, to provide a safety net, to create justice, to provide fairness, to provide recompense in the event of injury, or fulfillment of the value of a contract if there’s a breach of contract. Is it really there to guarantee that the next person walking around the earth is going to be a Buddha? I don’t think so. I don’t think that that’s what it’s there for.

Really, a lot of law comes from the meeting of the base need, what Maslow called the physiological needs, the security needs, life sustaining. That comes from a position of fear, the position is what the worst that could happen in human behavior? Well, it would be a terrible thing if doctors recommend products and services to their patients because they’re greedy. If they screw the patient, if they violate their oath of non-maleficence and maleficence, and they refer the patient simply to get a commission. So therefore, let’s prohibit commissions.

Out of this emerges all of the kickback rules. Out of this emerges these stories that you read in the press about nursing home administrator defrauded Medicare, the government, the taxpayers of billions of dollars. Yes, these people are out there. These crazy sociopathic people are out there, criminals are out there, and at the same time, what laws are there really to incentivize innovation? To promote and encourage the useful arts? I guess those are the lines of the federal copyright law, to patent law, to, again, encourage innovation, to stir creativity, to sponsor great developments in humanity.

So, those rules are there. In general, you can’t have prohibitions, you can’t have requirements like every human being shall practice mindfulness three times a day, or “Peace is every step,” said Thích Nhất Hạnh, “And therefore, every third step you must remember the sky above, and the earth below.” We can’t mandate that. We can prohibit, easily. We can mandate certain things like HIPAA, we can create compliance, but in order to … What would it mean? It’s really more of question than an answer.

Could we? How could we create mindfulness in society through law? Well, lawyers can do it as practitioners, maybe some clients need to fight like heck and sue, and that’s the lawyer’s message. Other clients, frankly, need to get a massage, or do some healing work, or get rid of their anger, deal with their emotions, and so, what would it mean to create laws that come from that perspective? What would it mean to create rules that encourage the citizenry to achieve the best in life?

Again, that can only happen once security needs are met, and so maybe a lot of the law is pitched from that, we would say, speaking to actually reaching to the celestial heavens, I want to make sure that my top of my hair doesn’t reach to the celestial heavens, let’s make sure that we’re covering the bases, and that we have our security needs met, and that we prohibit the lower chakra acting out, and then we can open up to a higher chakra.

My story with the gifted healer

Really, the point of this video today is, to say that after many years of hiatus, I actually went to see a very gifted healer, and I myself, have studied energy work. As many of you know me from my bio, some of you don’t know, and it’s been a while since I’ve nurtured myself by actually getting energy work. Now, what happened in the session? I’m not going to tell you. I’m not going to violate HIPA, certainly I can tell you things that would not violate HIPA, because it would be a voluntary disclosure, but I’m not going to tell you anything personal.

Every person has their own history, and I had a wonderful childhood, very loving family, no drug abuse. My parents we happily married, we went to a nice Hebrew school, and we were well taken care of. By in large, we steered clear of traumas that I see afflict many other people. I’m very, very grateful for that, and even with a wondrous childhood, look, my grandparents lived through the depression, many relatives who stayed in Poland, and Russia were slaughtered in the Holocaust. We know of this, we have documentation so there’s that whole echo to Nazi Germany, and to that archetype, and incarnation of the demonic, if you will, in human history.

My grandparents were making a living, scrapping a living very cleverly through the years of the great depression after immigrating from other countries. One of my great-grandparents sold watches. He had these watches in the pocket of his vest, he would open up his vest, on what later became 14 Mile and Middlebelt, where decades later, my parents bought a lovely home. And so, we all have ancestral trauma. In fact, I remember somebody asking, during an interview with Mel Gibson, they said, “You play all these really mean roles, but you seem like a nice guy. How do you reach in there? How do you find that within yourself?”

He said, “Well,” something to the effect of, as I would recall the interview, “I’m a pretty mellow guy, but I have a lot of ancestral chi of anger.” So, who knows whether Braveheart was his great, great, great, great uncle or somebody like that. We have all been, each and every one of us, touched by traumas of various kind, a kind of genetic, cultural, historical, ancestral, post-traumatic stress disorder, if you want to go to that level, embedded in our history as humans, and that’s part of the history of being on this planet.

So, none of us can escape it, and we can all benefit from healing. So, what happened in my healing session? You know, very little visibly. Very little. I held on to this rod, the healer at the other end held the rod, and we were connected through this rod, and sat in silence. I can tell you, sitting in silence and breathing, and what seems like nothing, I mean, internally, there were huge shifts. We talk about shifts, we talk about transformation when it comes to healing, and now I’m speaking that language again.

I’ve been speaking about mobile medical apps. I’ve been speaking about medical spas, I’ve been speaking about telemedicine, I’ve been speaking to healthcare software companies, and I’ve been speaking about healthcare regulatory compliance, artificial intelligence in healthcare renovation and the legal and regulatory dimensions of that. Artificial intelligence and augmented intelligence, and other emerging technologies, nanotechnology. Stem cell research, stem cell regulation, and now I’m talking about energetic healing, again.

I read the other day that we can connect brain to brain with people who have a brain trauma, and so, telepathy is feasible electronically. What about life after death? I read today that there are now digital avatars are being created that will … They’ll be business digital avatars. Warren Buffett, 100 years from now can give you advice, or your digital avatar advice on where to invest, and they’ll be avatars of grandma and grandpa, and it’s all coming down the pike, so it’s all here.

I want to talk to you about that healing session because on the surface, nothing happened. This weekend, I was at a law conference for lawyers, and another lawyer who’s very, very energetically sensitive and awakened connected. She and I connected, and she looked at me and said, “You know, you’re very intense,” I guess that’s okay because she said, “I’m intense too, and I’ve been intense my whole life, and I didn’t know what to do with it, but thank you, you give me permission.”

I looked around the table, and I turned to the person next to her, and I said, “Do you think I’m intense?” And he said, “No. You’re a quiet guy.” His wife said, “Yeah, he’s very quiet.” You know, and what occurred to me is the intensity was visible to her because she’s spiritually alive, and awake. She could feel my energy, and it was very strong and pulsating that night, and the other people couldn’t. So, maybe I’ve learned the art of camouflage, maybe I can be human when I need to be human, and beyond human when I need to be, or whatever term we would use.

The point is that being awakened to our inner potential is a very subtle process, and healing can range from healthcare on the gross physical level, and I don’t mean gross in a bad way, I mean the physical level.

There’s surgery, there’s emergency care, there’s acute care, and obviously I’ve benefit from that. I have literally, physical scars to show from it, and not to mention, you know, the dreaded colonoscopies, not to give you TMI, but we all go through physical procedures and they really matter, especially when your loved one has a physical procedure, and that’s where we count on medicine and love and compassion really come in, and also, simply sitting with another human, being connected by a rod, a wooden rod with a palpable somatic experience can afford a huge release, and bring us, through all these levels from physiological, security, self-esteem, belonging, and transformation.

It all comes down to the arts of healing

Really, I started my path as a healthcare and an FDA lawyer, seeking to empower the healing arts, the art of healing through law. I’ve wrote some books about that, academic books, practical books, served on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, taught law, opened my law practice. No matter who we represent today, that’s still the mission. It is service to the planet. It’s serving you, and whether you resonate with this message or not, I simply wanted to put it out today, into the open, that I’m a healer, you’re a healer, we’re healers. We’re engaged in a mission of healing, the planet really needs us, and that’s why we do what we do.

We’re here to empower you. It may appear like we’re talking about corporate practices of medicine, and a kickback law, HIPAA, these arcane and abstruse legal rules, federal trade commission’s rules around advertising, business and professions code 17200. No matter what we’re doing, it may look like IP protection, but it’s about the gift of healing, the mission of healing.

For that, I want to stand before you today, and say we support you. We’re here to empower you, that’s why we say we provide legal strategies and solutions to businesses, and practices that accelerate health and wellness, and by that we include health and healing.

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