Doctors' Religion Influences End-Of-Life Care

This article is more than 11 years old.

praying manA doctor's religion can influence care Highly religious doctors tend to talk to terminally ill patients less about treatment options that might shorten their lives (but might also lead to a more peaceful death), according to a survey of U.K. physicians reported by ABC News.

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 of Queen Mary, University of London, reported online in BMJ.

They were also less likely to report discussing such options with patients or to support the legalization of euthanasia.

Holly Prigerson, director of the center for psycho-oncology and palliative care research at Dana Farber Cancer Institute told ABC:

"Everyone talks so much about personalized medicine, and it's more than just genetic profiling and tailoring medicines. This study says personalized medicine means doctors are people too and their views strongly influence the care patients should get."

This program aired on August 27, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

Rachel Zimmerman Twitter Health Reporter
Rachel Zimmerman previously reported on health and the intersection of health and business for Bostonomix.