Healthcare Law as a Spiritual Path
These days, everybody’s into public health. It’s obviously a topic of concern. Everybody wants to know about virology and how we can get healthier. So, being a healthcare lawyer is very occurrent right now.
Why is it that we practice healthcare law, and what does this mean to you?
Well, for one thing, healthcare law involves a specialty language. So, you have to understand the regulatory landscape. It’s not just about laws. But more pivoting, I want to say that the laws are not something dry, there are things that have really shaped behavior. And the way that I got into this is because I had two professional identities. I was a lawyer on Wall Street, a corporate lawyer, and so I was drafting and reviewing and assisting partners with these huge mega documents on these multi multi-million dollar deals, and I was learning the ropes as a young attorney.
Simultaneously, I was enrolled in an interfaith seminary. I was studying the world’s religions, I was studying like different spiritual paths, and I was expanding my experiential base as well as my knowledge base. And that’s what got me interested in healthcare law, because I wanted to know what is it that makes the whole system tick, how does it come together, how do I map my knowledge as a business lawyer with my passion for health and wellness.
After the seminary, I enrolled in a four-year course of study with a teacher named Barbara Brennan. She wrote a book called Hands of Light. In that course, I remember the first day we had this exercise. We were to put our hand on the knee of somebody next to us, and we were to energetically sink our hands deep into below the surface of the skin and feel all the different particles of existence.
So, here it is now we’re talking about public health. Five years later, I had a faculty appointment at the Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School. There, I was like deeply steeped in the science and standing shoulder to shoulder with people in white coats, whose job it was to look at analysis and meta analysis and to construct and deconstruct and critique the data and figure out what’s real from a scientific perspective. At the same time, I had this experience where I was at the school of healing, Barbra Brennan School of Healing, and we were sinking our hands into the energetic substructure of a human need and trying to feel with our subjective senses.
I remember Barbara asked in the room, there were 200 people, “How many people have talked to angels regularly?”
It was like this huge majority of people raised their hands. I didn’t raise my hand. I didn’t know what to do. But these days, I talk to angels, and I had this wonderful conversation with a really important theologian of our times. Actually, he’s not known yet, but I’m going to claim that for him. So, that’s my son.
We were reading a comic book version of the Bhagavad Gita, whether you’re of that faith or a different one, it is acknowledged as one of the great spiritual works of literature of all time. So, I want to expose them to this rich substrate of material. Some people, their mythology, Superman, Batman. That’s what I learned when I was a kid. We lived in Argentina. So, I used to say Superman and Batman. I don’t know if it was Spiderman, but I turned out okay. But I want to expose him to other mythological heroes.
So, he sees like this picture of Arjuna and Krishna, one of the greatest dialogues in history. Krishna says to Arjuna and they talk and they talk and they talk. It’s one of the greatest dialogues in history. He says, “Daddy, when are we going to stop talking? Let’s get to the action.” Another thing that he asked is, “How does Krishna turn into a giant? How does that happen? I remember this other story where someone could take something and they would become very large or they would become very small.” So, I had explained to him how Krishna suddenly becomes like supersized. Then of course he has all these other lives in his being. But some of my spiritual experiences involved these archetypical memories, if you will, of other dimensions of reality, other times and spaces, some people say past lives.
On one hand there, I was faculty member at Harvard medical school, dispassionate publishing medical journal. On the other hand, spiritual guy, meditating, doing yoga, now it’s become very popular, and accessing my past lives. I got to say, my son asked me tough questions. I don’t think they even asked those questions at Harvard, like, “Do you talk to God about your past lives?” I don’t know. That’s where the legal training comes in handy to give an answer that’d satisfying enough, but still acknowledges the mystery and preserves humility, a stance of humility for him.
But out of all of this, my interest came in the regulation of medicine and wellness and health and all these dimensions. Right now, whenever this video appears at the moment this is being filmed, there’s a lot of talk about justice and injustice. My passion for justice really comes from this perspective that I got when I was studying at the new seminary in the Barbra Brennan School of Healing, which is tied to health, which is how do we live as whole human beings, acknowledging all the aspects of ourself, which of course, we have shadow sides that we have to integrate, there’s a lot of work with trauma and ancestral trauma and generational trauma, cultural trauma, and how do we grow and cultivate compassion in ourselves, how do we have empathy for the suffering of others, and how do we rise to our best selves, and how are we in that battlefield like Arjuna was in his famous dialogue with Krishna, how do we engage in action while still being mindful of our connection to all realms of reality?
Right now in the political arena, a lot of lies are being told, and I don’t know 10s of thousands of lies, I think, by one count. While this isn’t a political message, my experience from the Barbara Brennan School of Healing, and this isn’t a commercial for that school, but simply to have a touchstone for my own experience, that the things we do and, say, ripple out in our aura, in our human energy field and our bio-energy field and who we are, and we have energetic connections to people. I found this a tremendous, tremendous truth. I really work to incorporate my understanding of this reality while I was on these Augusta faculties and to try to bridge the scientific and spiritual, and many people have done that, and the law. So, those three. That’s a little bit about me. There’s a lot more of my books, if you’re curious, I’m Michael H. Cohen, Founder of Cohen Healthcare Law Group.
Recently, I saw a post by another healthcare attorney, and they said that a lot of people in healthcare law are mere pretenders. We’re not going to insult anybody, but I claim our ground here in our authenticity, and passionately pursuing that, which we care about most, which is the healing and transformation of the world.
I recently interviewed a candidate actually for my staff, we’re not clinicians, but she had a clinical background. It turned out that she’d read one of my books in nursing school. It was called Beyond Complimentary Medicine. I believe the subtitle is Legal and Ethical Perspectives on Health and Human Evolution. And that’s ultimately our game, that’s what we’re interested in. So, while we help our clients through these micro-niche areas of healthcare law, health and wellness law, FDA law, FTC law, things like HIPAA which are very arcane, FDA rules which are Byzantine in their own right, corporate practice of medicine, and a kickback law, stark, fee-splitting, liability, standard of care. It goes on and on.
We really care about the total health of the human being and how that affects our destiny. It was wonderful to talk to you. We look forward to connecting with you again soon.
I would definitely recommend. I needed direction regarding the FDA and how the rules would affect my business. Responsive, accessible, and knowledgeable.
Impressive credentials are only overshadowed by their clear awareness of practical strategies to help Physicians navigate modern healthcare and achieve successful outcomes.