The DNC Medical Organizing Group, which started as the Boston Area Liberation Medic Squad (BALM Squad), has formally approved the following points of unity.
We are really excited to work with lots of different people, and hope that these points of unity will make our hopes and expectations clear.
If you plan to come to work as a medic at the DNC, please read them carefully. We will all be held accountable to these points of unity.
In solidarity, the DNC Medical Organizing Group
Points of Unity for health care providers working with the DNC Medical Organizing Group at the DNC protests Edit
We are excited to have lots of people working with us to provide health care support during the DNC protests. Street medics, as a group, tend to operate a little differently than the established medical system in the US. To introduce you to the practices and expectations of street medics, and to insure that people coming to us for care receive attention consistent with our values, we have developed these points of unity.
Please talk with us about this information—it may be unclear, difficult to understand, or different than what you are accustomed to. We welcome dialogue about these points, and hope that you will engage actively with us, and with the values that these points of unity reflect.
We ask that anyone working with the DNC Medical Organizing Group to provide health care support for the DNC agree to follow these points of unity. If you cannot agree to follow all of them, please talk with us. If you do not talk with one of us, we will assume that you agree to these points of unity, and will hold you (and ourselves!) accountable to them.
Thanks for your time, energy and thoughtfulness.
As a medical or healthcare volunteer for the DNC Medical Organizing Group Wellness Center and other DNC Medical Organizing Group health care activities at the DNC protests, I will:
General Points of Unity Edit
- Help create a compassionate and supportive environment for other health care providers, people we treat, and the general activist community at the DNC protests. If under stress or in a crisis situation, I will do my best to maintain calm, treat everyone with respect, and work with kindness and compassion.
- Communicate openly and honestly, and work to develop an understanding of the perspectives, limitations, needs, and skills each person brings to our work together.
- Be aware of issues of oppression and vulnerability, and how they impact my relationships with other health care providers, the general activist community, and the people to whom we provide care. These issues may include, but are in no way limited to, oppression of transgendered people, genderqueer people, people of color, survivors of sexual assault, and immigrants. I will incorporate sensitivity to these issues into the care I provide and my interactions with other health care providers.
- Appreciate that many people may have difficulty accepting care, or may need care specially designed to meet their needs. I will do my best to create safer situations for all injured and ill people, and will work towards establishing trust and meeting the needs of those receiving care.
- Have zero tolerance for physical, emotional or sexual assault and harassment. If I observe assault or harassment of any kind, I will quickly address the situation directly or find someone to address the situation as quickly as possible.
Points that are a bit more specific to care of individuals (though not exclusively so) Edit
- When first encountering an injured or ill person, introduce myself and, whenever possible, state my training or health care background.
- Get clear and explicit consent for every part of your interaction with an injured person from initiating contact (can I help?) to touching (can I touch your shoulder?).
- Treat every individual with respect, asking what their needs are and how I may be of help. Acknowledge that people hold different definitions of "health" and "wellness", and my services may not be the best option for the person being treated.
- Maintain strict confidentiality of the care provided and the people to whom it was provided. This includes information about specific injuries, as well as an individual's name and any other personally identifying information (clothing, political insignia, etc.). I will, to the best of my ability, prevent media from photographing or otherwise documenting information about anyone to whom I am providing care.
- Accept a person's request for a different provider, and do my best to find one.
- Act within the limits or my training and experience. Get more help whenever needed.
- Respect the expertise and experience of other health care providers. For example, I will not assume care of an injured or ill person unless the medic currently treating that person explicitly requests assistance, and the person being treated consents to a transfer of care. When transferring a patient to care within the wellness center, I will explain the need to transfer to different providers (if appropriate).
- Provide information to people I am treating about other care available, regardless of my beliefs about these therapies. These may include massage, energy work, flower essences, herbal therapies, and more.
- Be accountable to the people to whom I provide care, for both the care
delivered and the manner in which it is provided.
See DNC Medical Organizing Information Archive (off site) - In the summer of 2004, the BALM Squad organized medical support for the DNC protests in Boston. Their DNC Medics page and associated pages posted on behalf of the DNC Medical Organizing Group are being maintained here for reference and archival purposes.