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11/2/2015

Empowering Athletic Trainers is the Only Solution

Concussions & Sports–Legal & Ethical Review: Part 10
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The conclusion of our "Concussions and Sports" blog series



As stated at the beginning of this blog series, there is a strong case to be made that our athletes are not sufficiently protected by legislation alone. Those in charge of maintaining the health of athletes are not meeting that obligation by simply living up to the letter of the law. If a helmet cannot adequately protect a brain from injury, no piece of parchment will, either.

Therefore, obligations exist that go beyond the law. And if we insist on letting young athletes put themselves at risk, a cultural change must take place—among athletic trainers, coaches, parents, and healthcare providers—about the real risks inherent in these sports even after the legislation has been passed and the new helmets have been purchased.

At the very least, we must ensure that our athletes are truly informed about the danger that exists when participating in these sports, and the need to change the “warrior culture” and peer pressure that influences an injured player to step back onto the field before the brain has recovered.

The solution—to the extent that these problems can be “solved”—likely rests in the empowerment of athletic trainers and sports medicine specialists, the willingness of coaches and parents to put safety ahead of wins, and in players’ willingness to put their health ahead of their instinct to exude “team spirit.”

The American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics has made this issue of The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics available for download. We encourage you to go here to access the full article, which contains a far more exhaustive review of the issues explored here, including the full details behind their research methods.

For a free download of our complete review of this report, please click here.

A Legal & Ethical Review of CONCUSSIONS & SPORTS
A Legal & Ethical Review of CONCUSSIONS & SPORTS
Key Takeaways for the Athletic Trainer, Athletic Director, Coach, Heath Care Provider, and Parent


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