Global Health as Spiritual Practice: The Central Role of Compassion
David G. Addiss, M.D., MPH
Director, Children Without Worms
Task Force for Global Health
October 8, 2014
136 DeBartolo Hall
This seminar will explore the role of compassion in global health. Unlike hospitals and medical centers, which frequently highlight compassion in their mission statements and core values, the word “compassion” is rarely heard within global health organizations, training programs, or literature. This seems curious given the significance of compassion as a key motivation for many in global health and given the millions of compassionate acts that are offered each day in primary health care clinics, refugee health units, and public health programs around the world. Our collective silence on such a core shared value isolates us as individuals and predisposes the field of global health to distortion by commercial, institutional, military, and political interests. In this seminar we will explore the role of compassion as motivation for global health, examine how it can be diminished, and identify challenges to, and opportunities for, compassionate action in this field. We also will explore how reconnecting with our own sense of compassion might influence the field of global health.
This lecture is part of Science Week, celebrating 150 years of science at Notre Dame.