In the book, Dr. Gunderman expands on the adage, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” In 22 essays, Dr. Gunderman explores the ethics of philanthropy and examines the importance of sharing to those who give and to those who receive.
Dr. Gunderman’s inclusive view of giving reflects upon the needs and opportunities of donors as well as recipients. Much of what we have, things such as compassion or understanding or merely the capacity to listen, can be shared, increasing their worth to both the giver and the recipient, says Dr. Gunderman, who is vice chair and a professor of radiology at the IU School of Medicine, director of pediatric radiology at Riley Hospital for Children and a professor of philosophy and philanthropy at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis’ School of Liberal Arts.
“…medicine calls us to an even higher standard. If we find ourselves doing things to patients, we have lost our way. Even doing things with patients does not capture the full range of our calling. In medicine, we are called to do things not to patients, and not only with patients, but for patients. The wholeness of the patient is medicine’s reason for being. That wholeness encompasses not only the wholeness of the body, but also the wholeness of the person. In diagnosing and healing the body, we should never lose sight of the whole human being of which the body is a part,” writes Dr. Gunderman in an essay entitled The Golden Rule.
This book is an invitation for individuals of all professions, for those of all religions, and for current and future generations to enter into a conversation on giving. It’s an important conversation that everyone can benefit from, says Dr. Gunderman.
Dr. Gunderman is an affiliated investigator of the Indiana University Center for Bioethics.
We Make A Life By What We Give is published by Indiana University Press.