Article in The Guardian.



Terminally-ill patients would be well advised to find out the religious beliefs of their doctor, according to research showing the effect of faith on a doctor's willingness to make decisions that could hasten death.


Doctors who are atheist or agnostic are twice as likely to take decisions that might shorten the life of somebody who is terminally ill as doctors who are deeply religious – and doctors with strong religious convictions are less likely even to discuss such decisions with the patient, according to Professor Clive Seale, from the centre for health sciences at Barts and the London school of medicine and dentistry.



Wow, way to take a story about end-of-life care and spin it as hard as one possibly can in favor of the religious. Wonder if they took a cue from the pull-the-plug-on-grandma/death-panels crowd here in the States?

Tags: death, doctors, end, ill, life, medicine, of, panels, terminally

Views: 35

Replies to This Discussion

*head desk*
"...and doctors with strong religious convictions are less likely even to discuss such decisions with the patient..."

If people read that for what it is, that's actually a pretty damning (if you'll forgive the term) account of those doctors for letting their religion get in the way of their work. It also leads logically to condemnation of the religion(s) in question, for endorsing prolonged and terminal suffering in order to adhere to dogma.
It also leads logically to condemnation of the religion(s) in question, for endorsing prolonged and terminal suffering in order to adhere to dogma.

Plus, if their afterlife is such a super-awesome paradise, wouldn't they be eager to get there sooner? Just sayin.
The author also assumes that prolonging the life of a patient is favourable in all cases. It's simply not: sometimes ending a life is the ethical thing to do.

I'm currently going through the euthanasia dilemma with someone very close to me, so I've really come to appreciate the doctors who can think rationally about the virtues of life, and come to despise the ones who want to maintain life no matter what, for the sake of some ancient semitic beliefs.
I'd hate to have to go through that. I salute your continued pursuit of rationality in your situation.

Put simply, it should always, always be the patient's choice - or if the patient is in such a state that they're not lucid, the decision should be made by one who knows them best.
Unfortunately, it's the latter in my (well; me and my family's) case, and considering that laws in this country are such that the family has very few options unless there is a written confirmation by the patient himself about what to do in these specific cases,... that just makes it all the more difficult.

Thank you for the support though. I appreciate it.
I personally would want a doctor who doesn't believe the big god man in the sky was gonna heal me. Seems to me this is just fishing for another reason to diss the non-believers. There's no good data or statistics. Only a statement, not backed up with any evidence whatsoever.
This is in Britain, healthcare is generally free and public. Private healthcare's available but the majority just go with the free option. It's not like it doesn't work.
Ah, so you're one of those Nazi, Commie, Socialists that the Republican Party has been warning us about, trying to turn our nation's health care system into the sort of disaster that Europe's health care system is.
Yeah, where people get treated okay, where the doctors still all drive Mercedes and where you can go into any hospital in the country if you need help.

Actually, I spent a couple of weeks in Minnesota recently, and some army lunatics tried to recruit me in a supermarket car park. I am actually a socialist, in that I believe everyone should get what they need and give all they can - you should've seen the speed they left at when I said it!
Yeah, where people get treated okay, where the doctors still all drive Mercedes and where you can go into any hospital in the country if you need help.

The horror! That's just what Glenn has been warning us about, yeah.

Actually, I spent a couple of weeks in Minnesota recently, and some army lunatics tried to recruit me in a supermarket car park. I am actually a socialist, in that I believe everyone should get what they need and give all they can - you should've seen the speed they left at when I said it!

Heh heh heh. Wow. That would have been fun to watch. I usually have to start going into my psychological disorders. The reaction isn't as entertaining.

Maybe I should give Atheism a try. It's not a disqualifier, but I bet it would get a better reaction. Of course it's been 2 or 3 years since anyone has tried to recruit me. I'll have to grab the opportunity when it comes.
You could try turning them down in song?

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