The 2012 Bellarmine Forum will take on the challenge of considering the value of health, its accessibility, and the ethical questions it raises. Good health does not suggest an end to disease and disability, it suggests that resources for health are equally distributed and that essential health care be made available to everyone. Good health implies that people recognize that poor health can be avoided by shaping their own lives and their environment so that it is free from the risk or burden of disease. In working towards this goal there are significant challenges, questions, and controversy which call for developing strategies to meet these difficulties by raising awareness, developing opportunities and overcoming obstacles. Improved health is not achieved with simply financial resources and technological advances. It requires a social conscience and a commitment to share the advances of health science throughout society. A Forum discussing the concept of health is a timely issue considering recent health care reform and the latest Supreme Court decision. The concept of good health is of international importance and urgency, and has ethical issues which encourage personal responsibility.

The objectives stated below will be achieved via programming with special emphasis on inequalities, access to health care, and prevention of illness. The forum objectives are to:

  • Raise awareness of personal health, health of our community, and health of populations lacking power
  • Provide a personal application of material to one’s self, one’s immediate community, and beyond
  • Draw attention to international issues
  • Raise questions that promote discussion, discernment, and identification of challenging problems
  • Present controversial issues while appreciating many viewpoints
  • Provide historical perspective on medicine, health science, and health care issues
  • Prevention of illness implies that people take responsibility in recognizing that ill-health can be avoided by shaping their own lives and the lives of others in creating an environment where someone has the tools to successfully avoid the burden of disease. We encourage considering prevention as a collective social goal to ensure that all people have the ability to prevent illness.

    We view health inequality as unequal power in the social structure of our health care system which is shaped by race, age, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, religion, geography, community, nationality, and more. In examining access to health-related resources, we define this as access to: information

    Browse the contents of 2012: Health Now: Questions, Controversy, and the Promise of Prevention:

    Planning Committee