G. Post, Ph.D., is Professor and Associate Director for Educational Programs,
Department of Bioethics, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University,
where he has taught since 1988. He is also President of a nonprofit 501(c)3 research entity,
the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, which studies phenomena such as
altruism, compassion, and service. The
Institute began in 2001 with a generous grant of $4 million from the John
the mid-1970s, Post was a research assistant in pediatric endocrinology at New
York Hospital while simultaneously pursuing a less realistic career as a
classical guitarist, and doing informal studies in philosophy and religious
thought. In the fall of 1978 he
began studies at the University of Chicago Divinity School in the Ethics and
Society Program, combining with moral philosophy with comparative religious
ethics. His Ph.D. dissertation on
the topic of self-denial in relation to other-regarding love was completed in
1983 with award of distinction under the supervision of James M. Gustafson and
Robin W. Lovin. Post was one of
several faculty-elected student fellows in the Divinity Schools
Nuveen Institute for the Advanced Study of Religion (renamed the Martin
Marty Center) and a co-preceptor in the social issues in medicine course at the
Universitys Pritzker School of Medicine.
finishing at Chicago, Post taught undergraduates for five years as an assistant
professor responsible for courses in the interdisciplinary humanities, and for
courses in ethical theory, religious ethics, concepts of love and altruism, and
applied ethics (just war, business ethics, social justice, and bioethics).
He also was involved in projects at the nearby Hastings Center, a
bioethics institute. In 1988 he
accepted a position as assistant professor in the newly created Center for
Biomedical Ethics at the School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University. He
became Associate Director for Educational Programs and achieved the rank of full
professor (1998) with tenure (1995). The Center has since become the first full Department of
Bioethics in the U.S., and is ranked third in the nation.
the field of bioethics, Post is both a generalist and a specialist with a focus
on neurology, dementia, and aging. He is Editor-in-Chief of the definitive reference work in the
field, the third edition of the five-volume Encyclopedia
of Bioethics (Macmillan Reference, 2003), and served earlier as
Associate Editor for the second edition of this work.
His more than 110 peer-reviewed publications span a wide variety of
issues have appeared in leading venues such as the
Journal of the American Medical Association, Annals of Internal Medicine, the
Hastings Center Report, and
Journal of Psychiatry. An
early book publication, entitled Inquiries
in Bioethics (Georgetown University Press, 1993) provides an example
of his initial work in the field. By
the early 1990s, however, Post developed a specialty in ethical issues
surrounding developmental cognitive disabilities and dementia in the context of
an aging society. He is now
an elected member of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Panel of Alzheimer's
Disease International, serves on the National
Ethics Advisory Board for the Alzheimer's Association, and was recognized for
distinguished service by the Associations National Board for
educational efforts in bringing ethical issues to Association Chapters and
families throughout the United States (1998).
He was presented with the special recognition award by the American
Geriatrics Society for service on its Ethics Committee (2001). His book entitled The
Moral Challenge of Alzheimer Disease: Ethical Issues from Diagnosis to Dying
(The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000, 2nd edition), is widely
influential and well reviewed. He
has also edited a variety of books pertaining
to dementia on topics such as genetic testing and anti-aging technologies. He is an Editor for the four-volume Encyclopedia of Aging
(Macmillan Reference, 2002). Post
has received RO1 funding from the NIH Human Genome Research Institute and from
the National Institute on Aging.
Posts scholarship has not, however, been focused narrowly on bioethics.
He has a long-standing interest in the related topic of the family.
He is a consultant for family caregivers throughout the United States and
Canada, and has led workshops and educational forums for more than 80 Chapters
of the Alzheimers Association across the United States since 1995.
Post worked with Professor Don S. Browning of the University of Chicago
on The Religion, Culture, and Family Project, funded by the Lilly Endowment, and
published a monograph with the project series addressing marriage, parenthood,
and filial duties, entitled More
Lasting Unions (Wm. B. Eerdmans Press, 2000). He also co-edited a volume with the project.
Many of his articles and book chapters focus on the moral basis and
limits of family caregiving for persons with cognitive disabilities.
third area of scholarship, which shapes all of Posts work, focuses on love,
altruism, and compassion in the context of scientific research (neurology,
evolutionary psychology, healthcare, pedagogy, and human development),
philosophy, religion, ethics, and the professions.
He has written several books on this topic, most recently co-editing a
book entitled Altruism
and Altruistic Love: Science, Philosophy, and Religion in Dialogue
(Oxford University Press, 2002). Post
is President of the Institute
for Research on Unlimited Love, a 501 (c)(3) established in July 2001
to conduct and fund high-level empirical research on topics such as unselfish
love, compassion, care, kindness, and altruism, as well as to encourage
scientifically informed reflection from the humanities (see www.unlimitedloveinstitute.org).
Posts work on the theme of love began with his dissertation at the University
of Chicago, and his articles on love have appeared over two decades in venues
such as the Journal of Religious Ethics,
of Religion, and the Journal
of the American Academy of Religion.
Posts most recent book, entitled Human
Nature and Freedom of Public Religious Expression (University of
Notre Dame Press, 2003), examines scientific images of human nature and altruism
within a wider context of freedom of religious expression.
has integrated these three related foci through his work with individuals and
families affected by Alzheimer disease. This
work has allowed him to actively serve an identified and needful constituency
through providing volunteer respite care and consultation.
Much of his writing on altruism and compassion has developed out of
experiences in providing care for this population, and out of a direct
awareness of the importance of compassionate love in the lives of the
most deeply forgetful and the cognitively disabled generally.
Working with the deeply forgetful and persons with retardation has given
him the opportunity to reflect theoretically and practically on many general
issues of bioethics ranging from genetic testing and research to behavior
control and a peaceful dying. In
addition, he has been able to develop his work on the ethics of the family
and the family caregiver in a manner that has been of real use to family caregivers across the
Alzheimers Associations in both the U.S. and Canada.
his formal training is in religious and philosophical ethics, Post has taken an
expanding integrative path that began with interdisciplinary humanities,
moved even further into the domain of biotechnology, and now culminates in the
establishment of a research institute on love at the interface of science,
religion, and practice. He
has been an active lay leader in the Episcopal Church for 20 years, and is a
husband and the father of two children.
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