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Center for Ethics and Humanities

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When illness strikes, patients reach inside for sources of strength and explanation to sustain them through their crisis. These core sources may come from cultural, social, and spiritual values and beliefs and experiences which give meaning to life and create the patient's identity. Discerning these sources of meaning and identity, and the capability to connect with them in establishing a relationship are essential components of the clinician's task. We believe that ethics, humanities and spirituality can be used as a force to positively influence the work of healthcare professionals to the benefits of our community and our world. Our focus is to humanize the practice of healthcare and address the challenges of the impersonal forces of bio-medicine by studying and teaching ways in which compassionate care may be delivered in an ethically-sound, spiritually sensitive, and culturally appropriate manner.

Our Values

  • Humanism: We believe it is vital  to respect the humanity and dignity of each person; every human is multi-faceted, complex and unique and that contained within each individual are multitudes of possibility. When the humanity of one person is undermined it diminishes us all, when it is upheld it elevates us all.
  • Professionalism: We believe the professional should exhibit a sense of duty towards patients, towards the professional of healthcare, and towards oneself while upholding the highest ethical aspirations of humanistic practice. Professionalism supports a recognition of the unique cultural differences among a diverse workforce and patient population.
  • Spiritual Purpose: We believe that our lives and our work have meaning and that each individual has a distinct contribution to make in life. We respect and celebrate this capacity and encourage its expression in ourselves and in those we serve.
  • Ethical Integrity: We believe that in order to live a life of meaning and purpose one must be honest not just with others but also with oneself. We must constantly ask ourselves if our behavior and actions reflect who we really are so that we remain true to ourselves.
  • Compassion: We believe compassion is an integral dimension of patient care and an expression of our common humanity. The cultivation of compassion is necessary as an aid to healing for patients, their families, and caregivers.