The Platinum Rule and Harm Reduction


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Religion and Social Innovation Conference presentation at St Michael s College the Platinum Rule goes beyond the golden rule and focuses on ‘treating others how they want to be treated’.

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  • The Golden Rule “do unto other as you would have them do unto you” or treat others how we would like to be treated, is what I learned growing up. In Nursing, this is seen as supporting the provider-client relationship. When the client is culturally, ethnically, or spiritually different from the person or group providing care a dilemma evolves. For social justice to support inclusivity, avoid the Golden Rule, and shift our focus to the Platinum Rule, ‘treating others how they want to be treated’. The challenge for the Platinum Rule is evident in practice, and occurs when providers work with clients who are actively engaging in risky, unhealthy behaviours. Specifically, Harm Reduction education in post-secondary education creates challenges for educators, just as morals and personal values can often interfere with providing care to “those” people. Atheism and Secular Humanism seek to minimize harm, support balance, and realize that all humans have certain rights - to give meaning to their own life and social responsibilities, and the right to make “bad” choices. The notion of a provider’s belief in a supernatural being who decides on right and wrong can affect interactions with marginalized people, especially those who “choose” harmful behaviours. I will review Humanistic scholarly literature to challenge the status quo that some patients or clients choose their unhealthy lifestyles, and should accept their fate and consequences. I believe we should not treat everyone the same because we are all different. Patients, families, groups, and communities possess the knowledge to be active consumers and partners in health programming. Acceptance of all clients, with a focus on genuine empathy, regardless of lifestyles and choices, is required for health care providers and educators in today’s dynamic learning and client-first focused environment. It is time to learn about and support the Platinum Rule.
  • The goal with consequences for actions is not to physically hurt children, but to teach a lesson. Some would argue that this would teach a lesson, but I personally argue that prolonged exposure to pain is cruel and unnecessary.
  • What is Humanism?Humanism is a philosophy or life-stance based upon a profound respect for human dignity and the conviction that human beings are ultimately accountable to themselves and to society for their actions. It is a deity-free worldview that affirms our ability to lead ethical and meaningful lives without reliance upon a belief in the supernatural. Humanists are guided by reason and scientific inquiry, inspired by music and art, and motivated by ethics, compassion and fairness.Twelve Principles of HumanismHumanism aims at the full development of every human being.Humanists uphold the broadest application of democratic principles in all human relationships.Humanists advocate the use of the scientific method, both as a guide to distinguish fact from fiction and to help develop beneficial and creative uses of science and technology.Humanists affirm the dignity of every person and the right of the individual to maximum possible freedom compatible with the rights of others.Humanists acknowledge human interdependence, the need for mutual respect and the kinship of all humanity.Humanists call for the continued improvement of society so that no one may be deprived of the basic necessities of life, and for institutions and conditions to provide every person with opportunities for developing their full potential.Humanists support the development and extension of fundamental human freedoms, as expressed in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and supplemented by UN International Covenants comprising the United Nations Bill of Human Rights.Humanists advocate peaceful resolution of conflicts between individuals, groups, and nations.The humanist ethic encourages development of the positive potentialities in human nature, and approves conduct based on a sense of responsibility to oneself and to all other persons.Humanists reject beliefs held in absence of verifiable evidence, such as beliefs based solely on dogma, revelation, mysticism or appeals to the supernatural.Humanists affirm that individual and social problems can only be resolved by means of human reason, intelligent effort, critical thinking joined with compassion and a spirit of empathy for all living beings.Humanists affirm that human beings are completely a part of nature, and that our survival is dependent upon a healthy planet that provides us and all other forms of life with a life-supporting environment.
  • As for example in the question of drugs policy where the Vatican has just intervened to condemn harm reduction measures such as needle exchange programmes on grounds that harm reduction condones the use of drugs and using drugs is “anti-life”.
  • What happens when a person visits a hospital and experiences stigma and discrimination? This negative consequence can have a lasting effect, where the person may not return to the hospital, just as the cat does not go back to the stove, hot or cold. Health care providers have a duty to care that treats clients with respect, acceptance, and leaves morals and value judgments at the door.Human beings aren’t really much different from cats when it comes to negative consequences. Negative consequences, like punishment, pain, stigma and discrimination, or embarrassment, block patients from re-entering into the health care system. This has the potential for people to not get tested for HIV or address other health concerns, and potentially could lead to the increase in HIV exposure as people do not know their status.
  • use God so they don't have to look at themselves. You give them soup and what they want it to get their lives back. They want the pain to‎ stop. Toronto Christian program tries to ‘heal’ gays
  • Cultural Awareness – is concerned about acceptanceCultural Sensitivity – is about respecting differences often uses neutral language, and neutral communicationCultural Humility – self reflection acknowledges power differences, white privelegeCultural Competence – is about understanding, knowledge skills and attitudes, working effectively in cross cultural and intercultural situations, this is the application of knowledge, creates the environment of cultural safetyCultural Safety – relationships and partnerships, power shifts to the client, to decide what is safe and what is notThis is how I learn.
  • There is little recognition that the history of near extermination, cultural genocide, land loss, oppression, ongoingracism, and poverty are related to not only emotional, spiritual, and mental disease but also physical disease.
  • "People don't take drugs because Amy Winehouse takes drugs," added Kushlick. "It entirely misses the point. They take drugs because they make them feel better or they stop them feeling bad."
  • Bronze rule - Do unto others as they have done unto youSilver – negative form of the golden rule - what you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others Confucius or One should not treat others in ways that one would not like to be treatedGold – do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Platinum – do unto others as they want done unto them, basically treat other people how they want to be treated. This is really what we are trying to do with all people.
  • Cultural safety stresses the importance of reflection and acceptance of differences. We should not treat everyone the same, but we do need to recognize and acknowledge our blind spots.
  • The Platinum Rule meets people where they are at, it is a balanced approach that gives power to the client. Just like all areas of the medicine wheel need to be balanced for (w)holistic health for the client, where the client is the person, family, group, or community. Indigenous teachings support addressing all areas of the person to achieve balance.
  • “we can never judge others because we can never truly be able to understand an entity outside the boundaries of ourselves and what we can not fully understand, we can not judge. but as I mentioned, it is an automatic process, human brain is a comparison computer and it will judge others to measure their value. it is only by judging that we can admire some people. it is an evolutionary subroutine hardwired in our brain to realize whether others can be a good company to keep or not. The best we can do is simply to keep the judgement to ourselves and to keep in mind the fact that our judgement is only based on the limited knowledge we have and there is always the possibility of introduction of a new piece of information that can turn the whole conclusion around.”Judging others, especially in the context of our environment, is a part of evolution.
  • The Platinum Rule and Harm Reduction

    1. 1. The Platinum Rule and Harm Reduction Religions and Social Innovation: An International Conference at the University of St. Michael's College Oct 27-29, 2013
    2. 2. Objectives  To broaden the understanding of Harm Reduction value neutral perspective  To describe current trends in Harm Reduction programs  Compare the Golden and Platinum Rules  To discuss who is at risk and in harms way  To identify the unique challenges faced by marginalized people in Canada and also the challenges for care providers
    3. 3. St. Aloysius Catholic Church
    4. 4. Anti-life arguments As for example in the question of drugs policy where the Vatican has just intervened to condemn harm reduction measures such as needle exchange programmes on grounds that harm reduction condones the use of drugs and using drugs is “anti-life”.
    5. 5. Drug policy - the Vatican condemns Harm Reduction Its intervention, based on religious doctrine, has wrecked an EU consensus in the run-up to a new United Nations declaration and has opened itself to the accusation from experts in drug policy that “it will needlessly lead to the increased spread of blood-borne viruses and the death of thousands more people from HIV/Aids.” (The Guardian 27/2/09, quoting drugs charity Release)
    6. 6. All Saints Church Community Centre in Toronto Harm Reduction: refers to an approach designed to reduce the harmful consequences associated with high risk activities. We do not try to ‘save’ or ‘rescue’ anyone, we support them wherever they are without judgment or assumption.
    7. 7. Some churches and program tries to ‘heal’ gays I try to be skeptical (question things) and not cynical (dismiss ideas & find fault with them)
    8. 8. Cultural Competence is a part of the Platinum Rule  Cultural Awareness  Cultural Sensitivity  Cultural Competence  Cultural Humility  Cultural Safety
    9. 9. • Cultural safety stresses the importance of reflection & acceptance of differences. • We should not treat everyone the same. • We do need to recognize and acknowledge our blind spots.
    10. 10. Bronze silver gold platinum rules The culture of Western medicine places diagnosis as a central goal, whereas other approaches, including Aboriginal medicine, see it as less central and pay more attention to finding a safe environment in which the patient may recover. For conditions such as mental disorders, this latter approach may prove more effective than struggling to attach a label to the disorder.
    11. 11. Bronze, Silver, Gold, & Platinum Rules
    12. 12. Cultural Safety An environment that is safe for people; where there is no assault, challenge or denial of their identity, of who they are and what they need. It is about shared respect, shared meaning, shared knowledge and experience, of learning, living and working together with dignity and truly listening. 12 Step Programs (Health Q. F., 2012)
    13. 13. MASLOW
    14. 14. Does the Platinum Rule help to provide health care or simply treat diseases?
    15. 15. Imagine if your child were to try a mind-altering drug. Would you rather have your child use a drug which, compared with other drugs, are less likely to cause harm?
    16. 16. Harm Reduction is about the Client & Care Provider North American culture looks at health and issues of substance abuse as individual problems or behaviour choices rather than looking at the larger societal picture. In individualistic societies we blame the individuals, often missing the larger patterns and forces at work. The individualistic perspective frequently narrows the ethical discussions to consideration of individual rights rather that collective goals and responsibilities.
    17. 17. We all judge… Stigma and Discrimination can be addressed with the Platinum Rule in mind. “Addiction is the product of a poisoned environment that kills the spirit . . . And causes illness of the mind and body” Lucy Barney
    18. 18. “Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is a freedom.” Marilyn Ferguson
    19. 19. Practice what you Teach.
    20. 20. Contact information Greg Riehl RN BScN MA Aboriginal Nursing Student Advisor Aboriginal Nursing Student Achievement Program SIAST Wascana Campus Email: Email: @griehl
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