American Univesity of Beirut

Abdul Wahab Itani Moral Courage Award

AUBMC-SHBPP Abdul Wahab Itani Moral Courage Award 
The Abdul Wahab Itani Moral Courage Award was presented by Interim Dean Dr. Ghazi Zaatari and SHBPP Founding Director Dr. Thalia Arawi to this year’s winner, fourth year medical student Mr. Bashar Hassan. Named after one of our patients, the late Mr. Abdul Wahhab Itani, the Annual AUBMC-SHBPP Abdul Wahhab Itani Moral Courage Award was established by SHBPP in 2018, offered to encourage and medical students at AUBMC who have shown moral courage at the AUBMC, stood up for patients and what is right regardless of the consequences. The award is aligned with AUBMC’s Vision which gives precedence to patient-centered care and emphasizes the value of doing the right thing even in the most challenging situations and even when no one is looking. It is granted to the candidate who exemplifies qualities of moral courage and shows integrity and consistency of thought and action. He/she must demonstrate the willingness to question, speak up, and be courageous in a world filled with inequities deserves to be a priority in the work setting. The award consists of a medal, pin, and a check in the amount of $1000 awarded by the wife of the late Mr. Itani, Mrs. Diala Itani. In his recorded keynote address, Dr. Hugo Slim, Senior Research Fellow at the Blavatnik School of Government of the University of Oxford, highlighted the importance of moral courage, “Courage is famous in ethics as the foundational virtue. When we are brave and courageous, then we can do good things, then we have the courage  and the power to do good. So, courage makes us kind. Courage makes us fair and just. Courage makes us patient, and courage makes us hopeful. And courage makes us wise and decisive. So courage is the motor and the power which allows us to step forward and keep moving up the path of goodness”. He also congratulated the winner of the Abdul Wahhab Itani Moral Courage Award noting “I feel sure that there are so many courageous and good people in Lebanon today. And with this award you represent them. So thank you, for taking a stand, for walking up the right path, and for setting us all an example”.

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Moral courage is an exceptionally honored trait exhibited by individuals, who, despite potential personal risk, decide to act upon their ethical values to help others during difficult ethical dilemmas. These individuals struggle to do the right thing, even when others choose less optimal behavior, which may comprise taking no action at all.  Morally courageous professionals persevere to stand up for what is right despite the consequences or even when their action means they may do so alone.

Since moral courage requires a steadfast commitment to standing up for what is right, morally courageous individuals deserve to be acknowledged and honored. Accordingly, an annual award will be offered to encourage residents, fellows, and medical students at AUBMC to continue being a role model in moral courage, particularly when it comes to patient-centered care. The award is aligned with AUBMC 2020 Vision in that it gives supremacy to patient-centered care and emphasizes the value of doing the right thing even in the most challenging situations.

Under the auspices of the Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program (SHBPP), Ms. Diala Itani, the wife of the late Mr. Abdul Wahab Itani will grant the award to the candidate who exemplifies qualities of moral courage and shows integrity and consistency of thought and action. 

Ms. Itani believes that professional moral courage leads the way to value-based decisions. The willingness to question, speak up, and be courageous in a world filled with inequities deserves to be a priority in the work setting

Potential recipients include residents, fellows, and medical students (year 3 and 4) at AUBMC. The recipient shall receive $1000, an award, and a moral courage pin.

Nominations should be received by Thursday, March 1, 2018

​The Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program granted its second AUBMC- SHBPP Abdul Wahab Itani Moral Courage Award during the AUBFM White Coat Ceremony which took place ( June 7, 2019).
The award, consisting of a medal, pin, and a check in the amount of $1000, was presented to this year’s winner graduating fourth-year medical student Mr. Michael Dagher EVP and Dean Mohamad Sayegh, Associate Dean of Medical Education Dr. Kamal Badr and SHBPP Founding Director Dr. Thalia Arawi. 

​This year, Dr. Ghassan Abu-Sitteh was also chosen as an Honorary Recipient of the Moral Courage Award, marking the first time a physician is granted this prestigious award in recognition of his exceptional dedication and courage in defying the dangers of war and conflict to help underserved patients through volunteerism and campaigning to secure all possible means of support.

A first at AUBFM-MC, in Lebanon and the region, the award was first launched in December 2017. Under the auspices of the Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program, the award is granted by Ms. Diala Itani, the wife of the late Mr. Abdul Wahhab Itani, to a medical student or resident/fellow who exemplifies qualities of moral courage and shows integrity and consistency of thought and action. Ms. Itani believes that professional moral courage leads the way to value-based decisions. The willingness to question, speak up, and be courageous in a world filled with inequities deserves to be a priority in the work setting. 

According to Dr. Thalia Arawi, Founding Director of SHBPP, “moral courage is an exceptionally honored trait exhibited by individuals, who, despite potential personal risk, decide to act upon their ethical values to help others during difficult ethical dilemmas. Morally courageous professionals persevere to stand up for what is right despite the consequences or even when their action means they may do so alone. Since moral courage requires a steadfast commitment to standing up for what is right, morally courageous individuals deserve to be acknowledged and honored. Accordingly, this annual award will be offered to encourage residents, fellows, and medical students at AUBMC to continue being a role model in moral courage, particularly when it comes to patient-centered care. The award is aligned with AUBMC 2020 Vision in that it gives supremacy to patient-centered care and emphasizes the value of doing the right thing even in the most challenging situations.” 

In response to receiving the award, Mr. Michael Dagher expressed his gratitude stating “I am honored to hear that I have been chosen as the recipient of such a special award! It is an honor that I do not take lightly.” 

On the other hand, Dr. Ghassan Abu-Sittah, also the recipient of the 2015 AUB FM- SHBPP Humanism and Professionalism Physician Award, remarked: “In the daily lives of all of us there are two moments that we can never escape. First thing in the morning when you look at yourself in the mirror and last thing at night when you put your head on the pillow and try to go to sleep. No amount of hubris or self-delusion can help you get through those fleeting moments that feel like a lifetime. It is only the moral decisions we make in the daily lives that allow us to look at ourselves in the mirror and put our heads on the pillow. I am grateful for this award.”​


The Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program (SHBPP) Announces the Winner of the First Moral Courage Award 2018 (June 4, 2018)

The Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program granted the first AUBMC- SHBPP Abdul Wahab Itani Moral Courage Award during the AUBFM White Coat Ceremony which took place on June 4, 2018. The award, consisting of a medal, pin, and a check in the amount of $1000, was presented to this year's winner graduating fourth-year medical student Mr. Mohamad Ali Cheaito by President Fadlo Khoury, EVP and Dean Mohamad Sayegh, and Dr. Thalia Arawi.

A first at AUBFM-MC, in Lebanon and the region, the call for nominations for the award was first announced in December 2017. Under the auspices of the Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program.

According to Dr. Thalia Arawi, Founding Director of SHBPP, “moral courage is an exceptionally honored trait exhibited by individuals, who, despite potential personal risk, decide to act upon their ethical values to help others during difficult ethical dilemmas. Morally courageous professionals persevere to stand up for what is right despite the consequences or even when their action means they may do so alone. Since moral courage requires a steadfast commitment to standing up for what is right, morally courageous individuals deserve to be acknowledged and honored. Accordingly, this annual award will be offered to encourage residents, fellows, and medical students at AUBMC to continue being a role model in moral courage, particularly when it comes to patient-centered care. The award is aligned with AUBMC 2020 Vision in that it gives supremacy to patient-centered care and emphasizes the value of doing the right thing even in the most challenging situations."

In response to receiving the award, Mr. Mohamad Ali Cheaito expressed his gratitude by humbly thanking his family, role models at AUBFM and AUBMC, and all those who helped mold him into the physician he is today. Addressing the class of 2020, he added “always remember that although the world has a lot of physicians, we still have a shortage of healers who possess the moral courage to do the right. Please try to be such healers this world needs."

 

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