Ethics Talk: Doctors, Patients, and Spirituality


Some physicians believe that knowing about patients' religious and spiritual beliefs helps them care for the whole person. There is even evidence that patients who are part of faith traditions and attend services regularly are healthier. Other physicians believe medicine and religion should be kept separate, and encourage their patients to talk to a chaplain for spiritual support in times of suffering. This interview with a physician-theologian, medical student, and patient explores a range of perspectives on what has become a hotly debated topic. To read more about the role of spirituality in patient care, see the October 2009 issue of Virtual Mentor at www.journalofethics.org