Friday, August 27, 2010

Death Panels? Atheist Doctors' Patients Terminate Sooner

Doctors who are atheist or agnostic are twice as likely to make decisions that could end the lives of their terminally ill patients, compared to doctors who are very religious, according to a new study in Britain.

-- From "UK study: Nonreligious doctors hasten death more" by Maria Cheng, Associated Press 8/26/10

Dr. Clive Seale, a professor at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, conducted a random mail survey of more than 3,700 doctors across Britain, of whom 2,923 reported on how they took care of their last terminal patient.

Many of the doctors surveyed were neurologists, doctors specializing in the care of the elderly, and palliative care, though other specialists like family doctors, were also included.

To ensure doctors are acting in accordance with their patients' wishes, Seale wrote that "nonreligious doctors should confess their predilections to their patients."

Seale also found that doctors who were religious were much less likely to have talked about end of life treatment decisions with their patients.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Docs' Religion Tied to End-of-Life Care" By Todd Neale, Staff Writer, MedPage Today 8/26/10

Physicians in the U.K. who reported being very or extremely religious were less likely to endorse certain end-of-life decisions, including continuous deep sedation and initiation of treatment that would be expected to shorten life, Clive Seale, PhD, of Queen Mary, University of London, reported online in BMJ.

"One potential response to the findings about the influence of religious faith is to suggest, as others have done, that religious doctors disclose their moral objections to certain procedures to patients so that patients can choose other doctors if they wish," Seale wrote.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.