The Health Care Professional as Friend and Healer: Building on the Work of Edmund D. Pellegrino

The Health Care Professional as Friend and Healer: Building on the Work of Edmund D. Pellegrino

The Health Care Professional as Friend and Healer: Building on the Work of Edmund D. Pellegrino

The Health Care Professional as Friend and Healer: Building on the Work of Edmund D. Pellegrino

Synopsis

Focusing on the bond between patient and healer, this study of ethics places emphasis upon friendship. Drawing upon philosophy, theology and bioethics, it considers whether bioethical issues can be explored from the perspective of this bond.

Excerpt

This book originally was conceived by John F. Monagle, Ph.D., who was one of the first clinical ethicists in the field of bioethics. During years of working closely with health care professionals, hospitals, and (later) hospital associations and corporations, Monagle clung to the notion that there was something very special about the relationship between healer and patient. For Monagle, that special character lay in the idea of friendship. This insight is controversial. Many critics would argue that friendship could get in the way of the objectivity that is required in health care. Yet Monagle articulated a conception of medical ethics that included friendship at its core within an Aristotelian ethic of a role model.

Inspired by Monagle’s ideas, we decided to develop this book on the grounds of friendship and role modeling. Our friend and model is Edmund D. Pellegrino, M.D., to whom the book is dedicated.

We asked many persons who have been touched by Dr. Pellegrino’s leadership, friendship, and support to write on topics that have interested Dr. Pellegrino over the years in his capacity as physician, educator, president of a university, ethicist, and philosopher of medicine. Yet this volume is not a Festschrift; we did not request contributions about Dr. Pellegrino’s thinking per se. Instead, we offered to potential contributors a slate of Dr. Pellegrino’s interests—from bioethics to education—and asked them to write from their own perspectives, perhaps as influenced by his leadership in the area. Because one of Dr. Pellegrino’s primary interests was helping to formulate the role of the humanities in medical education, some of the contributions fall into this general category.

We approached many of Dr. Pellegrino’s friends and colleagues about contributing to this volume. Those who, for one reason or another, could not meet our deadlines still wished to underline their deepest respect for Dr. Pellegrino. This regard is universal. in 1998, Dr. Pellegrino received the first Lifetime Achievement Award from the newly constituted American Society of Bioethics and Humanities at its annual meeting in Houston, Texas.

In effect, this book recognizes Dr. Pellegrino’s prominence as a role model by developing ideas about the health care professional as role model, friend, and healer in the new century.

David C. Thomasma, Ph.D. Chicago, Illinois

Judith Lee Kissell, Ph.D. Milledgeville, Georgia . . .

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