Symposium on the Ethics of Help
The "Ethics of Help" Symposium was held on June 8 & 9 of 2017 at the University of Minnesota Twin Citites Campus. This year, the conversation will be continued at the 6th Global Service Learning Summit, held on November 3-5 at Clemson University. In the past, we have explored the ethical complexities of volunteering in health care settings at home and abroad. From high school students to licensed health professionals, more and more people are engaging in philanthropic health care among vulnerable populations, usually in settings unfamiliar to them. They are well-intentioned individuals who give their time in hopes of making a difference to others, and possibly to explore or test their skills in new settings.
This symposium brought together the champions and challengers of voluntarism in health care settings at home and abroad, opening up space for a challenging conversation: what inadvertent harms can occur even when one volunteers with the best of intentions? What can we as individuals, as members and leaders of organizations, institutions, and professional associations, do to understand better the inadvertent risks in volunteering in health care settings, and what strategies can we use to maximize the benefits for patients, communities, volunteers, and institutions everywhere?