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Introduction to the “Rules” issue of Forward

Antonio Addis

Department of Epidemiology Lazio Regional Healthcare Service Rome 1 Local Health Authority (ASL)

By December 2021February 13th, 2023No Comments
Photo by Lorenzo De Simone

Such title certainly represents an oxymoron in certain sectors. We need rules in order to construe the medicine of the future and to be able to understand, recognise, study and govern phenomena. Yet the work of the regulators- those who formulate, update and maintain the rules of the game in medicine- is associated to terms such as bureaucracy, formalities, lengthy procedures or other synonyms that ultimately indicate barriers to innovation. In this new issue of Forward we try to delve into the relevance of rules and how essential they actually are- not only in medicine- to interpret daily life and to manage uncertainty.

Only the creation of a limit, a language, a metric and a reference standard enables us to move within and understand the environment that surrounds us. At the same time we cannot deny that rules run the significant risk of being seen as having value on their own thus- since the time of Socrates- turning into dangerous or even lethal things.

Therefore the process of creating rules that enable innovation to take place within healthcare should not be seen as conservative work but rather as the commitment of those who aid and support the application of the medicine of the future.

Keeping this in mind, rules in the context of medicine should not become the centre of attention and the efforts of regulators should be viewed as an attempt to create a framework of regulations and procedures that facilitate the core objective of the sector, which remains health and patient care.