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Veritas Forum: Imposing morality in global health?

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HMS TMEC Amphitheater

260 Longwood Avenue

Boston, MA 02115

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RSVP for dinner discussions immediately following the event:


Global health in cross-cultural settings can involve numerous complex situations. Many have accused global health practitioners, despite their best intentions, of cultural imperialism due to their imposition of certain (usually Western) norms and worldviews as they attempt to improve health in cultural settings different than their own. History demonstrates many examples of foreigners detrimentally affecting the various groups they sought to help.


But is all advocacy for cultural change wrong? As an extreme example, one might point to human sacrifice as an area where even certain forms of cultural imperialism might be called for. Along the gradient there might be increasing gray areas for issues like foot-binding, female circumcision, differing views on mental health treatment, or even cultural practices for food or intake of different substances.


How should we decide what change to advocate for amidst cultural diversity? What should advocacy look like for outsiders in a different cultural environment? How do we balance individual autonomy and group cohesion in more communitarian cultures? Are there any moral absolutes or universal principles to guide our advocacy?


In the midst of differing worldviews and backgrounds, is there a “right” way to view health? How should one’s worldview or religious beliefs be allowed to impact the cultural change one advocates or the cultural underpinnings to particular global health agendas?


This year's Veritas Forum at Harvard Medical School will be a dialogue between 2 speakers with differing worldviews and perspectives on the issue. Come with an open mind and any questions you might have!



Imposing morality in global health?: Thoughtful Advocacy Amidst Cultural Diversity

Friday, Feb. 21, 2020 / 6:30-8:30 pm

(Note: Dinner discussions immediately following the event will occur in rooms in the same building from 9-10pm)

TMEC Amphitheater (260 Longwood Ave., Boston, MA 02115)


Speakers:

Jacqueline Bhabha, JD, MSc, Harvard School of Public Health: Professor of Global Health.

Clydette Powell, MD, MPH, Associate Professor, The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences


Moderator:

Gloria Hammond, MD, MDiv, Bethel AME Church: Pastor (founder and executive director of My Sister's Keeper, an initiative for global health in Sudan)


Sponsored by: Harvard Medical School Center for Bioethics, the Initiative on Health, Religion, and Spirituality at Harvard Medical School

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260 Longwood Avenue

Boston, MA 02115

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