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 When faith conflicts with medical advice
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Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2005 :  12:45:09  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message
I'm not sure why one cannot respect people while letting them know that their "faith" is mere superstition.

http://webcenter.health.webmd.netscape.com/content/article/99/105140.htm?DEST=WebMD_contentSRC_nsmain

"Jan. 10, 2005 -- When a person's faith conflicts with their doctor's medical advice, the road to recovery may become more difficult to navigate but not impossible, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that when religion and medicine conflict, most doctors appear able to navigate the tension while keeping the patient's well-being in mind."

I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



woolytoad
Skeptic Friend

313 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2005 :  21:14:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send woolytoad a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Gorgo

I'm not sure why one cannot respect people while letting them know that their "faith" is mere superstition.


You might offend the patient causing them to totally dismiss their doctors recommendation out of spite.

Doctors are supposed to heal people not insult their religious beliefs no matter how misguided. Dismissing a patient's belief's and then expecting the patient to follow their advice is probably not going to happen.
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2005 :  22:11:49   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
Medicine takes this approach:

1. Advise the patient of the best treatment.
2. If they have an objection, based on religion (or based on anything really), explain clearly what the risks are of refusing treatment. (Jehova's Witnesses refuse organ transplants and blood transfusions, for example)
3. Treat the patient as best you can while allowing for their personal choices.
4. Reiterate the risks invloved in not accepting reccomended treatments.

And just leave it at that. There is zero benefit to anyone in these instances for the doctors to tell the patients that they are idiots for believing whatever nonsense they believe.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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way
New Member

USA
35 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2005 :  23:07:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send way a Private Message
Of course, due to our litigation crazy society, the doctor will have to completely document his advice and the patient's refusal.
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satans_mom
Skeptic Friend

USA
148 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2005 :  23:10:58   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send satans_mom an AOL message  Send satans_mom a Yahoo! Message Send satans_mom a Private Message
I agree with Dude. If I were a medical doctor and followed the approach in Dude's post, I would feel my job was complete.

On further thought, I think to myself, "What are my limitations? What are my restrictions?" I don't believe I would attempt to spend an incredible amount of money to save my body if I were elderly and close to death (yet still thinking in this manner)because I don't think I would cling on to life, however this is how I feel now, and the future holds questions. I also would not spend a lot of time and money on a child I may have that I know is going to be mentally or physically handicapped to a serious degree. I understand the gene pool has a way of discarding the people that would not be at a desirable functioning ability to continue the species, and I don't believe I am one to attempt to interfere with this. If a doctor were to advise me to conflict with any of my beliefs, I would naturally disagree with his opinion unless he had more evidence to provide, however this of course because I have a tendency to listen to better reason. Tell a person why his faith is conflicting with "better reason" in any manner, he might believe that the person stating this is failing to do the same himself, although, better evidence against the faith has been provided for some time.

Yo mama's so fat, she's on both sides of the family.

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Siberia
SFN Addict

Brazil
2322 Posts

Posted - 01/17/2005 :  09:18:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Siberia's Homepage  Send Siberia an AOL message  Send Siberia a Yahoo! Message Send Siberia a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by satans_mom

I also would not spend a lot of time and money on a child I may have that I know is going to be mentally or physically handicapped to a serious degree.

Just out of sheer curiosity, what would be a 'physical handicap of serious degree'?

"Why are you afraid of something you're not even sure exists?"
- The Kovenant, Via Negativa

"People who don't like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn't have such funny beliefs."
-- unknown
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Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 01/17/2005 :  10:01:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message
The question also came up on another forum as to what to do if someone has a card that stated that the patient's religious beliefs don't allow certain treatments, but that person is unconscious, not allowing the doctor to make sure that the person understood the risks and did not have any exaggerated ideas about the health risks of transfusions, for example.

I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



Edited by - Gorgo on 01/17/2005 10:01:32
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Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 01/17/2005 :  10:05:56   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message
Woolytoad, that's why I said that one could respect a person while understanding that their ideas are shit. That would have to be done tactfully.

And Valiant, no, people who believe that prayer heals are not idiots. Neither are people who feel they must wash their hands until they bleed, or believe that they "need" a cigarette. That does not mean that there is not something very wrong with their thinking.

I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 01/17/2005 :  11:13:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
quote:
Of course, due to our litigation crazy society, the doctor will have to completely document his advice and the patient's refusal.


Yes, the patient is required to sign a release of liability for going against medical advice.

quote:
The question also came up on another forum as to what to do if someone has a card that stated that the patient's religious beliefs don't allow certain treatments, but that person is unconscious, not allowing the doctor to make sure that the person understood the risks and did not have any exaggerated ideas about the health risks of transfusions, for example.



A simple card is not sufficient if the situation is immediately life threatening. They would recieve the full-monty until they either became conscious enough to refuse or legal next of kin was contacted. There are, however, documents that can be prepared for this type of instance. Called a "living will" which clearly states the extent of medical treatment the person desires to recieve.

A simple card might suffice if the person were stable, but unconscious.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Wendy
SFN Regular

USA
614 Posts

Posted - 01/17/2005 :  11:33:41   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Wendy a Yahoo! Message Send Wendy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dude
There are, however, documents that can be prepared for this type of instance. Called a "living will" which clearly states the extent of medical treatment the person desires to recieve.

A simple card might suffice if the person were stable, but unconscious.


This is true. Though the office where I work does not specialize in probate matters we do occasionally prepare Living Wills. We inform clients to give a copy of their Living Will to their regular physician, and to their local hospital if possible. Of course in an emergency situation the hospital likely will not have time to check for a Living Will, and the attending physician probably will not be the patient's regular doctor.

Also (in Kentucky, at least) doctors have the right to refuse to honor Living Wills. We inform clients they should check with their regular physician to see if he/she would honor their Living Will, and change doctors if necessary. However, that would not solve this dilema in the case of an emergency.

Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do on a rainy afternoon.
-- Susan Ertz
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satans_mom
Skeptic Friend

USA
148 Posts

Posted - 01/17/2005 :  15:07:40   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send satans_mom an AOL message  Send satans_mom a Yahoo! Message Send satans_mom a Private Message
quote:

Just out of sheer curiosity, what would be a 'physical handicap of serious degree'?



That would be a difficult situation to decide. I believe as long as the mind works, the person is capable of doing great things for society. All I can say now is, "I don't know for sure."

Yo mama's so fat, she's on both sides of the family.

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woolytoad
Skeptic Friend

313 Posts

Posted - 01/17/2005 :  15:14:26   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send woolytoad a Private Message

quote:
Originally posted by Gorgo
I'm not sure why one cannot respect people while letting them know that their "faith" is mere superstition.
....


Woolytoad, that's why I said that one could respect a person while understanding that their ideas are shit. That would have to be done tactfully.


My reply still holds I think. No matter how tactful you are you may still offend some people. I would agree with Dude's approach in general. The doctor's oppinion on the patient's religion need never come into it.
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Valiant Dancer
Forum Goalie

USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 01/17/2005 :  15:49:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Gorgo

Woolytoad, that's why I said that one could respect a person while understanding that their ideas are shit. That would have to be done tactfully.

And Valiant, no, people who believe that prayer heals are not idiots. Neither are people who feel they must wash their hands until they bleed, or believe that they "need" a cigarette. That does not mean that there is not something very wrong with their thinking.



I would call them misguided. However, medical care is at the discression of the patient, not the doctor. If the patient patently refuses to take the course of action, then the provider needs to select a new one. The provider must take into account and respect someones held religious beliefs. They don't have to subscribe to them, but challenging them sets up an antagonistic relationship. Blowing off the religious aspect and suggesting a course of treatment which may be less effective or less direct than the religiously unacceptable one puts the provider in a more trusted designation whereby the patient is more likely to follow the instructions.

Pissing people off is no way to gain the patients confidence, Gorgo.

Your equation of obsessive compulsive disorder and addiction to religion is insulting and inaccurate. I expected better of you. As long as religion can be compartmentalized into fulfilling the psychological needs the person has for mysticism and ceremony and does not interfere with logical functioning, it really isn't that bad.

Cthulhu/Asmodeus when you're tired of voting for the lesser of two evils

Brother Cutlass of Reasoned Discussion
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Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 01/17/2005 :  16:09:34   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message
There are no psychological needs for superstition.

I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 01/17/2005 :  17:55:35   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
quote:
I would agree with Dude's approach in general. The doctor's oppinion on the patient's religion need never come into it.


The approach I outlined is the actual way it's done in the part of FL I work in. I deal with a patient population that is chronically anemic (chronic renal failure) and the issue comes up fairly often, especially with regard to blood products.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 01/17/2005 :  18:37:27   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message
Angry people are angry people. Doesn't matter much what I say. I'm not saying that doctors should tell people they're stupid, or act like they're stupid. I knew a woman who was pissed off because a doctor suggested she lose some weight. Do you think he stopped telling people that staying in good shape is a good way to remain healthy?

Religion is not good mental health. It's best if people lose the need for it. Should doctors stop recommending good health because some people are angry people?

quote:

Pissing people off is no way to gain the patients confidence, Gorgo.

Your equation of obsessive compulsive disorder and addiction to religion is insulting and inaccurate. I expected better of you. As long as religion can be compartmentalized into fulfilling the psychological needs the person has for mysticism and ceremony and does not interfere with logical functioning, it really isn't that bad.


I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



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