Global Health Needs and the Short-Term Medical Volunteer: Ethical Considerations
- 1.4k Downloads
Never underestimate the ability of a small group of committed individuals to change the world. Indeed, they are the only ones who ever have—Margaret Mead.
Many licensed health care professionals from the United States and other developed nations travel each year to resource poor regions as medical volunteers. These trips, sometimes referred to as “medical missions” or “short-term medical missions” (STMMs), vary in scope, goal,...
Through many conversations with health professionals throughout the United States on such matters, I have come to a clear realization. Those who write and talk about the dream of global health equity can make people think, but can not make them care. It is only through direct involvement with the poor in the developing world (or here at home) that medical students and others in the medical profession at large will find reasons to care and, ultimately, find ways to change the health of the world’s most vulnerable—Edward O’Neil, Jr., MD (2006a, p. 848).
KeywordsHealth Care Professional Resource Poor Setting Obstetric Fistula Medical Mission Health Profession Student
- Anderson, F. W. J., & Wansom, T. (2009). Beyond medical tourism: authentic engagement in global health. Virtual Mentor, American Medical Association Journal of Ethics, 11(7), 506–510.Google Scholar
- Ansbacher, R. (2006). Medical missions enlighten. Michigan Medicine: The Journal of the Michigan State Medical Society, 105(1), 5.Google Scholar
- DeCamp, M. (2011). Ethical review of global short-term medical volunteerism. HEC Forum. doi: 10.1007/s10730-011-9152-y.
- National Library of Medicine. Accessed June 23, 2011, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov.
- O’Neil, E., Jr. (2006a). The ‘ethical imperative’ of global health service. Virtual Mentor, American Medical Association Journal of Ethics, 8(12), 846–850.Google Scholar
- O’Neil, E., Jr. (2006b). Awakening hippocrates: A primer on health, poverty, and global service. Chicago: American Medical Association.Google Scholar
- O’Neil, E., Jr. (2006c). A practical guide to global health service. Chicago: American Medical Association.Google Scholar
- Organization for economic co-operation and development (OECD). (2004). The Development Assistance Committee Journal of Development Co-operation 2003 Report, 5(1). Development assistance committee of the organization for econimic co-operation and development. Paris, France: OECD Publications.Google Scholar
- Ott, B. B., & Olson, R. M. (2011). Ethical issues of medical missions: The clinicians’ view. HEC Forum 22(2). doi: 10.1007/s10730-011-9154-9
- Wall, A. (2011). The context of ethical problems in medical volunteer work. HEC Forum 22(2). doi: 10.1007/s10730-011-9155-8
- Wall, L. L. (2011). Ethical concerns regarding operations by volunteer surgeons on vulnerable patient groups: the case of women with obstetric fistulas. HEC Forum, 22(2). doi: 10.1007/s10730-011-9153-x
- Wall, A. E. (in press) Ethics in international medicine: a practical guide for medical aid workers in developing countries. Lebanon, NH: University Press of New England.Google Scholar
- White, M., & Cauley, K. (2006). Op-ed. A caution against medical student tourism. Virtual Mentor, American Medical Association Journal of Ethics, 8(12), 851–854.Google Scholar