Thursday, August 26, 2010

Andrei Doctors Faith plays an important role in care of the dying

The paper's called: The role of doctors' religious faith and ethnicity in taking ethically controversial decisions during end-of-life care.

And to cut to the chase, a Doctor who is self described as religious is far less likely to prescribe treatment that may hasten death than one who is self described as atheist or agnostic.

Any surprises here?

14 comment(s):

Canterbury Atheists said...

Cripes you tell a one-sided ‘twisted’ account of this article.

When I read the same thing it said basically (a.) non religious doctors are more likely to openly discuss the dying process with patients and options to treat pain and in certain cases speed up the inevitable where the individual specified this to happen when their time came (b.) religious doctors were less inclined to discuss the dying process and options to treat pain and at times inhumanly prolonged the inevitable and caused distress for both the patient and their love-ones.

Non religious doctors were must more open with patients in letting them know their options so THEY could choose their course of care.

To appease their God theist doctors saw nothing wrong with their patients dying a pitiful and tortuous death.

My father died of cancer and he said aptly “If I was a dog they would have shot me”. His comments in his last days sum this situation up well.

See ya.


I.M Fletcher said...

It is a pity doctors don't follow the Hippocratic Oath these days, in part of which they promise -

I WILL FOLLOW that method of treatment which according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of my patient and abstain from whatever is harmful or mischievous. I will neither prescribe nor administer a lethal dose of medicine to any patient even if asked nor counsel any such thing

Anonymous said...

is that the oath that commences " I swear by Apollo the physician, and Asclepius, and Hygieia and Panacea and all the gods and goddesses as my witnesses..."?

I think I'd prefer my medical care from someone a little more up to date with the state of play, and whose decisions are based on the best for the patient, not what the doctor may fear for his non existent "immortal soul".

The cross - a symbol of sufferring used as a tool to ensure the continuance of sufferring in the face of all evidence to the contrary.

I.M Fletcher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
I.M Fletcher said...

LRO, no, that is the ancient version. The new version begins -

I SWEAR in the presence of the Almighty and before my family, my teachers and my peers that according to my ability and judgment I will keep this Oath and Stipulation.

In both cases though, the doctor is swearing before the highest power he believes in, and by those he holds most in respect (family, peers, and teachers) to uphold his oath and protect and not to cause any injury to the patients he administers to; that is how important it was to them. He is making a promise in public to those that matter to him most.

LRO, and what 'evidence to the contrary' do you offer? The changing moral values of political correctness, based on nothing but the popular opinion of the day? Life always loses it's sanctity in the face of humanism, where God is left out of the equation.

Canterbury Atheists said...

For a blog site that prides itself in up-holding traditional values etc why are you throwing scorn on the original Hippocratic Oath and not fighting for its re-establishment?

After-all the original reads:

“I swear by Apollo, the healer, Asclepius, Hygieia, and Panacea, and I take to witness all the gods, all the goddesses, to keep according to my ability and my judgment, the following Oath and agreement”

So whilst later-day Gods like Yahweh and his brat don’t get mentioned by name - they surely come-into the sundry generic term for gods?

IMF At least be consistent and agree that the original Oath is as valid today as the day it was written if one believes in the intervention of Gods (by which ever name you give them) in the practice of medicine.

That is to say superstitious hocus-pocus befitting a shaman and not a medical professional.

Great to chat.


Anonymous said...

And Paul, don't forget that christians were told at least twice NOT to swear oaths, so where does that leave Fletch now?

I.M Fletcher said...

More straw man arguments from the atheists I see. And what would your oaths be like?

"I swear by Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris to uphold the values of life, so long as it appeals to me, and for as long as our society deems them moral. I reserve the right to change my mind regarding these values when it suits me, according to the current whim of political correctness, for I hold nothing to be sacred except science itself - and not even science, but the way that I interpret science. And if we are not created by God we have no intrinsic value, therefore I exert the right to be able to kill off the unborn and terminally ill as I see fit and for the betterment of society so that there is not a drain on our precious resources."

Is that more like it?

Canterbury Atheists said...

IMF and all the crew around here...Can’t you see how ridiculous your stand is - wanting Doctors to administer medicine based on the teachings of your nominated god Yahewh rather than say Apollo or Santa and his helpers?

Just the week it was revealed Scientology affiliates had infiltrated and taken over a local Suicide prevention group wanting to rid N.Z completely of psychiatry treatment(google:
Citizens Commission on Human Rights)

But I suppose because Scientologists believe in the evil intergalactic overlord Xenu and not the god you approve of we should disregard the Scientologists ‘beliefs’?

I mean Yahweh is real and Xenu isn’t eh?

If we go down your line we should respect the beliefs of all New Zealands Scientologists and ban psychiatry altogether.

Medicine and superstition don’t mix!

Why don’t we simply cast out demons and get rid of modern medicine altogether?

You guys are all born out of your time and would fit in well in Medieval Europe (average lifespan 35)

Laughing my tits off!


Anonymous said...

Sorry Fletch, but as an atheist I don't swear oaths. I let my yea be my yea and my nay be my nay.

Anonymous said...

Actually I have no problem whatsoever with the original oath. I would take a doctor who believed in a Divine God, including Apollo, over an atheist who would put me down like a dog.

Clearly the Greeks sensibly recognised a higher power in the universe. They understood why hubris was bad and that life is a gift given to us by God. My respect for Greek religion is definitely greater than for modern fundamentalist atheism.

Anonymous said...

"...wanting Doctors to administer medicine based on the teachings of your nominated god Yahewh rather than say Apollo or Santa and his helpers?"

No. I want doctors to have their _ethics_ based on something other than the current fashionable whim which views people as useless breathers once they can't contribute their labour to society.

And even little children know that the modern mythic Santa is based on a human person - St Nicholas whose name became Santa Claus which comes from Sinterklaas. No one has ever considered Santa divine, excepting of course atheists for their own polemical purposes. Merry Christmas.

Pego said...

What I found extraordinary about this study was these "Religious" doctors ignored their patients will and needs with continued attempts to "fix" death, rather than discuss end of life care with their patients and to their patient's needs and wishes. How is it that the "Nonreligious" have so much more compassion, courage and care for their patients? How is it that "Religious" doctors have such fear of death lack of faith in what comes after?

ZenTiger said...

My apologies for not having time to read the study, but the comments are all interesting.

There are a very large number of "religious doctors" and religious people in general involved in palliative care, and in particular palliative care for the terminally ill. Not only do they have a clear understanding of what their patients are facing, but if the patient is religious, far better equipped to convey an empathy and understanding over the spiritual dimension of death.

Also, great response Muerk to Paul.

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