We regard the “brain injury community” as encompassing the fellowship of individuals who have sustained brain injuries. We survivors are stakeholders in our own affairs and the affairs of our community. We regard other “stakeholders” as being second party (family, friend, associate, neighbor, etc.) or third party (other individuals, groups, organizations or systems).
First-party stakeholders (that would be we people who have sustained brain injuries) have the pre-eminent claim on our own affairs. We recognize, however, that others assert many claims on our community and on our affairs. Second-party stakeholders generally have “a stake” in the affairs of one person in our community, that is to say, they have a stake in the interests of the person with a brain injury that they love or know. Third-party stakeholders have a wider stake in our community’s affairs. The third party stakeholders have governmental interests, professional interests, business interests or altruistic interests.
As a general rule, we recommend that survivors practice the art of dealing at arm’s length in any interaction with “third-party” stakeholders.