Journal of Medical Humanities

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 255-263

First online:

From the Victim's Point of View

  • David HilfikerAffiliated withJoseph's House

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In this keynote speech to the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities in October, 1999, Hilfiker suggests that the underlying goal of teaching ethics should be to develop in those who care for others an empathy with the outsider. Unless care givers cannot see the world from the victim's point of view, they will have a difficult time developing an ethical framework in which to work. In this paper, Hilfiker tells the story of how he came to find the victim's point of view through his own experiences as a physician and through the work of Dorothee Sölle, René Girard, and John Rawls.

empathy marginalized justice ethics poverty AIDS