“The two most frightening words in Washington are ‘bipartisan consensus.’ Bipartisan consensus is when my doctor and my lawyer agree with my wife that I need help.” —P.J. O’Rourke
I have been struggling with the idea of consensus-building for some time in my machinations within the Defense Health Agency to mold effective pain management policy for military beneficiaries. P.J. O’Rourke, one of my favorite modern authors and satirists, cuts to the heart of the issue with brevity and humor. I can easily identify with the feeling that O’Rourke’s comment on consensus evokes in my efforts to move forward on any front within pain medicine by forging agreement among military medical leaders.
As I have noted many times in this column, decisions for medical change are far easier to achieve during a hot war, when the necessity for action is made clear through the clarifying lens of servicemembers’ blood, injury and suffering.