Sunday, March 9, 2008

“To be or not to be…”

“To be or not to be…” The workplace controversy

What does it mean to be a Christian in the workplace and to integrate faith and professional/work related activities? Should we separate our personal religious beliefs from public or professionals roles?

An article in the New England Journal of Medicine, and correspondence provokes a good look at what is being said and practiced in the “medical workplace controversy”.
In a survey of 1144 physicians three questions were asked on the issue of “whether health professionals may refuse to provide treatment to which they object on moral grounds”. The specific treatment areas intrinsic in the questions were the controversial issues of: terminal sedation, abortion for failed contraception, and prescription of birth control to adolescents without parental consent.
The questions in the survey:

  • Would it be ethical for the physician to plainly describe to the patient why he or she objects to the requested procedure?
  • Does the physician have an obligation to present all possible options to the patient, including information about obtaining the requested procedure?
  • Does the physician have an obligation to refer the patient to someone who does not object to the requested procedure?

The results from the physicians were a 63% yes on the first question, 86% yes on the second and 71% yes on the last.

Think about these results.
Do you believe that the patients have the right to receive information from physicians and to discuss the benefits, risks, and cost appropriate alternatives?
Should religious beliefs intrude in the way of “good sound medicine”? What ever that may be?
The study showed that those physicians with religious moral positions were less likely to report full disclosure on alternate objectionable procedures, such as terminal sedation.

Well, what am I supposed to do? The doctors know it all, what do I know? Should the doctors confuse me? Why should some doctor’s beliefs interfere with my treatment?
Get a life!!

“The last of human freedoms: the ability to choose one's attitude in a given set of circumstances.” Viktor E. Frankl

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