National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership (NCMLP)
February 10, 2016
This article reviews the cultural changes that affect cancer survivors at work, explains how their legal needs can impact their quality of life, and proposes that medical-legal partnerships are an ideal model to provide legal resources to underserved survivors to help them avoid and address negative employment consequences.
Of the little research that has been devoted to the legal needs of cancer survivors, most research involves the legal issues of end-of-life care and not the legal issues faced by survivors who are healthy enough to work. This article states that since approximately two-thirds of all adults diagnosed with cancer will survive at least five years, far more attention must be devoted to measuring the legal needs related to cancer survivor rights to fair treatment at work. It reviews the cultural changes that affect cancer survivors at work, explains how the legal needs of cancer survivors can impact their quality of life, and proposes that medical-legal partnerships are an ideal model to provide legal resources to underserved survivors to help them avoid and address negative employment consequences.
One of the non-medical consequences of cancer survivors living more productively during cancer treatment, living longer after cancer treatment, and living with cancer is employment problems that implicate legal issues. Some of these employment problems include: reduced income, loss of medical insurance, lost promotional opportunities, and limited work-related social interactions. A cancer experience can also affect a survivor’s ability to obtain an initial job, maintain employment, make career advancements, and change jobs. This article proposes that at each of these stages, legal resources could help survivors address their obstacles. It outlines several ways medical-legal partnerships can address the work-related legal needs of cancer survivors including:
-Partnerships can provide survivors documentation of their cancer diagnosis, treatment summary, and whether the patient is able to continue working.
-Partnerships can support their patients’ requests for reasonable accommodations.
-A partnership can provide an assessment for an individual cancer patient.
-A partnership can provide medical information to support a patient’s request for leave under the FMLA
PUBLICATION DETAILSFormat: Commentary, Research
Publication Type: Article
Geographic coverage, US: NATIONAL
Geographic coverage, World: North America
Topics: Medical-Legal Partnerships
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