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Stephen G. Post PhD, is Founder and Director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics at Stony Brook University[1]. Prior to his arrival at Stony Brook University, he was (1988-2008) Professor in the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University. His PhD was completed in 1983 at the University of Chicago[2], where he wrote his dissertation on eudaemonistic happiness and altruistic love. Post is widely known for his writings on caring for persons with dementia and for research at the interface of selfless love and science [3], though his work in spirituality and psychiatry contributed to the de-pathologizing of religion in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistic Manual (DSM IV). [4] In addition to being an accomplished academic, he is a committed public intellectual who has written for or been interviewed by such diverse periodicals as Parade (magazine)[5], O: The Oprah Magazine [6], The New York Times, [7] and Psychology Today.[8] He is a lifelong member of the Episcopal Church and serves on the board of trustees at the John Templeton Foundation. [9]

Contents

Academic Work

Post has focused on ethical issues surrounding cognitive disability and dementia since the late 1980s. He is an elected member of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Panel of Alzheimer's Disease International. [10] Post is also an elected fellow of the Philadelphia College of Physicians for "outstanding contributions to medicine." He is a pioneer in the field of altruism and compassionate love, leading to his selection as a founding member of the International Society for Science and Religion housed at Cambridge University, and as a senior research fellow in the Becket Institute at St. Hugh's College of Oxford University. Through the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love[11], an Ohio-based 501 (c)(3) that Post established in July 2001 with support from philanthropist John Templeton and the Templeton Foundation, he was able to competitively fund research at more than eighty universities on the science of altruistic love and its underpinnings in philosophy and religious thought. In 2007 he co-authored the blockbuster Why Good Things Happen to Good People: How to Live a Longer, Healthier, Happier Life by the Simple Act of Giving.[12] At the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics he brings a broader and more integrative approach to the issues traditionally studied by bioethicists. The work at the Center aims to humanize the illness experience for both the patient and doctor as well as to study the integral function of the dynamic of compassion in the art of healing and the experience of recovery. The importance of compassionate care, hope, and other dynamics of the art of healing are studied with a model that integrates empirical investigation with the humanities. The Center includes major initiatives in narrative medicine and history of medicine, building on a distinguished Stony Brook history that harkens back to founding Medical School Dean Edmund D. Pellegrino, MD. The curriculum for medical students is extensive throughout all four years.

Post is also a Senior Research Fellow in the Center for Law and Religion in the School of Law of Emory University, and a Senior Scholar in the Center for Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is a visiting lecturer in the Masters in Applied Positive Psychology program. He received the Hope in Healthcare Award in 2008 for "pioneering research and education in the field of unconditional love, altruism, compassion, and service." His book with the Johns Hopkins University Press, The Moral Challenge of Alzheimer Disease: Ethical Issues from Diagnosis to Dying (2nd edition 2000) was designated a "medical classic of the century" by the British Medical Journal, which wrote (2009), "Until this pioneering work was published in 1995 the ethical aspects of one of the most important illnesses of our aging populations were a neglected topic." Post's work was included in Best American Spiritual Writing (2005), and he received the Kama Book Award in Medical Humanities from World Literacy Canada (2008).

Awards & Honors

  • Elected Hastings Center Fellow 1994 [13]
  • Senior Scholar in the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University
  • Elected Member of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia for "distinguished contributions to medicine in 2003.[14]
  • Hope in Healthcare Award, 2008 [15]
  • Kama Book Award in Medical Humanities from World Literacy Canada, 2008 [16]

Bibliography

Stephen Post is the author and editor of numerous books including:

  • The Moral Challenge of Alzheimer Disease: Ethical Issues from Diagnosis to Dying (John Hopkins, 1995) [17]
  • Encyclopedia of Bioethics 3rd ed. (MacMillan, 2003)[18]
  • The Fountain of Youth: Cultural, Scientific, and Ethical Perspectives on a Biomedical Goal (Oxford University Press, 2004). [19]
  • "Altruism & Health: Perspectives from Empirical Research" (Oxford University Press, 2007) [20]
  • "Why Good Things Happen to Good People: How to Live a Longer, Healthier, Happier Life by the Simple Act of Giving" (Broadway, 2008) [21]

References

External links

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