‘Laughter Doc’ Patch Adams Awarded Israel’s ‘Healing With A Heart’ Prize

Dr. Patch Adams, who pioneered the use of laughter in medicine, was given a special award by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday during a ceremony honoring Israeli doctors and nurses.

Twelve Israelis were feted during the second annual “Danielle Prize - Healing with a Heart” awards ceremony, which honors medical personnel who distinguish themselves as “exemplars of human kindness and compassion” when treating cancer patients. Adams, made famous by the 1998 Robin Williams biopic, was given a special prize “in appreciation of his lifelong endeavors on behalf of patients which promote the cause of healing with the heart around the world.”

The prize is awarded in honor of Danielle Sonnenfeld, a volunteer in a hospital oncology unit who died in a car accident two years ago.

“Being a good doctor is more than just understanding the science of medicine; it’s understanding the science of the human being,” Rivlin proclaimed.

“I can’t imagine a prize more beautiful than a prize given for compassion,” Adams said at the ceremony. “It is a thing that could save the world.”

Contact Aiden Pink at or on Twitter at @aidenpink.

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‘Laughter Doc’ Patch Adams Awarded Israel’s ‘Healing With A Heart’ Prize

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