Stephen G. Post, PhD
Director, Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics
Professor of Bioethics
History of Bioethics
Religion and Health Care
Compassion and Altruisim
Office Phone: (631) 444-9797
Stephen G. Post is Professor of Preventive Medicine and Director.Founder of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics at Stony Brook University. He was previously (1988–2008) Professor in the School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, and Senior Research Scholar at the Becket Institute of St. Hugh’s College, Oxford University. Post is a Senior Fellow in the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University, and a Senior Advisor for the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania. His research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health and the National Endowment for the Humanities. A public intellectual Post has appeared widely on television programs such as Nightline and 20/20.
From the late 1980's, Post focused on the dynamic of caring and on ethical issues surrounding persons with developmental cognitive disabilities and dementia. He is an elected member of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Panel of Alzheimer's Disease International, and was recognized for “distinguished service” by the Association’s National Board for educational efforts in bringing ethical issues to Association Chapters and families throughout the United States (1998). In 2003, Post was elected a Member of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia for "distinguished contributions to medicine." His book entitled The Moral Challenge of Alzheimer Disease: Ethical Issues from Diagnosis to Dying (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000, 2nd edition) remains widely influential, and was designated a “medical classic” by the British Medical Journal, which wrote (2009), “Until this pioneering book was published in 1995 the ethical aspects of one of the most important illnesses of our aging populations were a neglected topic.”
Related to his work on the care of the deeply forgetful, Post is a leader in the study of altruism, compassionate health care, and love in the integrative context of scientific research, health care delivery and outcomes, philosophy, and religious thought. He completed his Ph.D. (1983) on the relationship between self-giving love/altruism and happiness at the University of Chicago, where he was an elected University Fellow, and a preceptor in the Pritzker School of Medicine. He received the Hope in Healthcare Award in 2008 for his "pioneering research and education in the field of unconditional love, altruism, compassion, and service." His work was included in "Best American Spiritual Writing" (2005), and he received the Kama Book Award in Medical Humanities from World Literacy Canada (2008). He writes the Psychology Today blog entitled "The Joy of Giving."
In 1994, Post was elected a Hastings Center Fellow, and a Senior Scholar in the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University. Post co-founded the Bioethics Network of Ohio. He served as editor-in-chief of the definitive third edition of the five-volume Encyclopedia of Bioethics (Macmillan Reference, 2004), widely considered the most influential reference work in the field.
Post is the primary author of over 150 articles in peer-reviewed journals such as Science, The International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, Annals of Internal Medicine, The Journal of Religion, The American Journal of Psychiatry, The Journal of the American Medical Association, The Journal of the American Academy of Religion, The Hastings Center Report, The Journal of Social Philosophy, and The Lancet. He has written seven scholarly books on altruism, compassionate care, and love, and is also the editor of nine other books, including Altruism & Health: Perspectives from Empirical Research and Altruism and Altruistic Love: Science, Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue, both published by Oxford University Press.
Selected Recent Publications
M.E. Pagano, S.G. Post, S.M. Johnson, “Alcoholics Anonymous-Related Helping and the Helper Therapy Principle,” Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 1, 2011, pp. 23-34.
S.G. Post, “In Defense of Myoblast Transplantation Research in Pre-Teens with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy,” Pediatric Transplantation, Vol. 14, No. 7, 2010, pp. 809-812.
S.G. Post, “Humanism, Posthumanism, and Compassionate Love,” Technology in Society, Vol. 31, No. 1, 2010, pp. 35-39.
S.G. Post, “Physicians and Patients’ Spirituality: The Perennial Collaboration of Medicine and Religion,” Virtual Mentor- The American Medical Association Journal of Ethics, Vol. 11(10), 2 October 2009, pp. 804-815.
S.G. Post, “It’s Good to be Good: Science Says It’s So,” Health Progress, Vol. 90, No. 4, July-August 2009, pp. 18-25.
M.E. Pagano, B.B. Zeltner, S.G. Post, J. Jaber, W.H. Zywiak, R.L. Stout, “Helping Others and Long-term Sobriety: Who Should I Help to Stay Sober?” Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 1, 2009, pp. 38-50.Representative National and International Presentations:
Plenary Address, “The Power of Giving, Compassion and Hope” in the Dalai Lama’s “Living Compassion Inside Out” Speakers Series (Dalai Lama Center) Vancouver, BC: 29 April 2011.
Plenary Address, “The Hidden Gifts of Helping” (Annual Conference of the International Association of Advisors in Philanthropy) Chicago, IL: 28 April 2011.
Grand Rounds, “Altruism in Living Organ Donors: Moral and Psychological Perspectives” (Tufts University School of Medicine/Lahey Clinic) Boston, MS: 21 April 2011.
Visiting Lecturer, “The Science of Healing” (Benson-Henry Mind-Body Institute, Mass General Hospital/Harvard University) Boston, MS: 20 April 2011.
Keynote Panel, “Servant Leadership and the Psychology of Giving” (West Point Global Leadership Conference ) U.S. Military Academy, West Point, NY: 31 March 2011.
Louis Mohollen Distinguished Lecturer in Humanism & Medicine, “Compassionate Care Enhancement” (Abington Memorial Hospital, University of Pennsylvania) Abington, PA: 24 November 2010.
Visiting Lecturer, “The Philosophy and Positive Psychology of Altruistic Love” (Masters in Positive Psychology, The University of Pennsylvania) Philadelphia, PA: 25 February 2010.
Annual Author Address for “The Common Reading” (The Salisbury School) Salisbury, CT: 12 February 2010.
Distinguished Gheens Foundation Visiting Scholar (University of Louisville School of Medicine) Louisville, KY: 27 January 2010.
Visiting Lecturer, “The Science and Virtue of Compassionate Care” (SUNY Downstate Medical College) Brooklyn, 3 December 2009.
Consultation Presenter, “The Interdisciplinary Study of Prayer” (Princeton University Center for the Study of Religion Consultation on Prayer and Prayerfulness) Princeton, NY, 21 November 2009.
Keynote Lecturer, “Compassionate Care in the Treatment of Behavioral Disturbances in Persons with Dementia” (American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry) Baltimore, MD, 7 November 2009.
Visiting Scholar, “The Nature of Goodness” (The Baylor School), Chattanooga, TN, 28 September 2009.
Plenary Address, “The Enduring Self: The Meaning and Joy of Compassionate Care for the Deeply Forgetful” (Allies in Aging, Alzheimer’s Society Canada) Ontario, Canada, 22 October 2009.
Distinguished Lecturer, “It’s Good to be Good: The Convergence Model of Science, Religion, Ethics, and Health” (Series on Celebrating the Legacy of C.P. Snow’s The Two Cultures 50 Years Later, Weill Cornell Medical College, Division of Medical Ethics) New York, 7 May 2009.
Keynote Speaker, “Spirituality, Health, and Compassionate Care” (8th Annual Spirituality & Health Forum, Hospital for Special Surgery) New York, 7 May 2009.rdquo;
Distinguished Sifle Lecturer, “It’s Good to be Good: The Benefits of Compassion in Healthcare” (Temple University School of Medicine), Philadelphia, PA, 19-20 February 2009.