January 24, 2000
Mr. Sherwin P. Simmons, Chair
Commission on Multidisciplinary Practice
Center for Professional Responsibility
American Bar Association
541 North Fairbanks Court
Dear Mr. Simmons:
The Hospice Organization of Wisconsin urges the American Bar Association to continue to give serious consideration to the issue of multidisciplinary practices. Hospices are examples of multidisciplinary teams that work together effectively to deliver quality end of life care. Having lawyers on such a team would be a great asset because the majority of people do not have advance directives or wills. At the time of a terminal illness it is even more stressful for family members to try and find a lawyer if they have no prior relationship with one.
As you continue to study this issue we hope you will develop standards and guidelines that will preserve the ethical and legal integrity of the individual professions. There are numerous groups of people with special needs who would greatly benefit from being able to access multi-disciplinary practices. In fact it is hard to imagine who would not.
If there is any way we can assist you, please let us know.
Melanie G. Ramey