Center for Ethics and Humanities
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.
- 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.