Wonder what you would find if you frisked a group of atheist doctors?
Answer: They are twice as likely to make decisions that shorten the life span of terminally ill patients!
😯 Yikes! The Guardian reports:
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.
“If I were a patient facing end of life care, I would want to know what my doctor’s views were on religious matters – whether they are non-religious or religious and whether the doctor felt that would influence them in the kinds of decisions they were looking at,” said Seale.
A patient who wanted their life prolonged at all costs in the event of a terminal illness, or did not want it prolonged, should make sure they had a doctor who was in sympathy with this.
Doctors are influenced by their beliefs, just as other people are, said Seale.
“It is easy for clinicians to present themselves as neutral appliers of science, but values do come into it,” he said. […]
Seale’s study, published online today in the Journal of Medical Ethics, was based on a survey of doctors in specialisms likely to care for people at the end of life, such as neurology, elderly and palliative care but also general practice. More than 8,500 doctors were contacted and almost 4,000 responded.
Interesting study… I know which doctor I would be choosing.