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Doctors' beliefs can hinder patient care

 
 
Reply Sat 23 Jun, 2007 08:10 am
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19190916/


I'm curious about some of your thoughts on this story.


I'd also like to remind those of you who may disagree with the article of the recent article about Muslim cab drivers who wanted to refuse service to people who were doing things against their religion. The overall consensus of that thread was that if they can't do the job they are licensed by the state to do becuase of their religion, then they should find another job.

Let the discussion begin.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 2,101 • Replies: 23
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neologist
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Jun, 2007 08:23 am
My own personal thoughts. I'm not a doctor, but I played one as a child...

I have no right to impose my beliefs on a patient. Nevertheless, I would explain my beliefs. Then I would refer the patient to a colleague willing to provide the prescription.

Same would apply to a patient coming to me for elective surgery where some doctors would routinely provide blood transfusions.
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Montana
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Jun, 2007 08:31 am
If a doc refuses to do their job for any reason, they shouldn't be allowed to practice.
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neologist
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Jun, 2007 08:39 am
Montana wrote:
If a doc refuses to do their job for any reason, they shouldn't be allowed to practice.
If a patient comes asking for an abortion, would you fault him/her for declining?
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Montana
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Jun, 2007 08:56 am
Yes. I am no fan of abortion, but it's there job and if they refuse, they are not doing their job and should look for other work.
I've read about people being refused treatment by doctors simply because they were fat and there's no excuse for this.
If I work somewhere and refuse to do my job, I'd get fired and I think that should apply to everyone.
Religion has no place in the work place, unless of course you work in a church or for some religous line of work.
A religous doc would scare the hell out of me and wouldn't touch me with a ten foot pole.
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Jun, 2007 08:57 am
neologist wrote:
Montana wrote:
If a doc refuses to do their job for any reason, they shouldn't be allowed to practice.
If a patient comes asking for an abortion, would you fault him/her for declining?


I am personally appalled that a doctor would use his personal beliefs as a measuring stick for provision of medical care. On the other hand, a person should not be forced to do what he finds morally inappropriate.

I think that all hospitals and doctors that will not provide certain procedures need to have that fact listed prominently on their doors, their business cards, and on their letterheads and advertisements, so people know, from the getgo, that they need to go elsewhere for the services.

Perhaps a logo could be developed that would alert potential patients to the fact that this particular doctor or hospital will not provide certain services.
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Montana
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Jun, 2007 09:00 am
Now there's a great idea, Phoenix. If they at least listed the things they refuse to treat people for, I wouldn't have such a huge problem with this.

Although, I'd still have a problem with it.
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neologist
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Jun, 2007 09:02 am
Phoenix32890 wrote:
neologist wrote:
Montana wrote:
If a doc refuses to do their job for any reason, they shouldn't be allowed to practice.
If a patient comes asking for an abortion, would you fault him/her for declining?


I am personally appalled that a doctor would use his personal beliefs as a measuring stick for provision of medical care. On the other hand, a person should not be forced to do what he finds morally inappropriate.

I think that all hospitals and doctors that will not provide certain procedures need to have that fact listed prominently on their doors, their business cards, and on their letterheads and advertisements, so people know, from the getgo, that they need to go elsewhere for the services.

Perhaps a logo could be developed that would alert potential patients to the fact that this particular doctor or hospital will not provide certain services.
Yeah. What disturbed me about the Doc. in the original post was his apparent lack of empathy for the patient's distress. He could have simply provided a referral.
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Jun, 2007 09:06 am
Montana wrote:
A religous doc would scare the hell out of me and wouldn't touch me with a ten foot pole.


I had an interesting experience some years ago. There are a group of ophthalmologists in my area who have an excellent reputation. They also are known as a group of "born agains". My husband made an appointment with one of them.

Here he is, lying in a chair, his eyes dilated, and this doctor is having a religious "discussion" with my husband. I was very uncomfortable about this. I told my husband that I would never go to this person, even though his care was excellent. I thought that disussing religion with a patient in not appropriate. My husband was much more stoic about it.

"What do I care? I just let him talk", he said! Rolling Eyes

What do YOU think about that?
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neologist
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Jun, 2007 09:08 am
Phoenix32890 wrote:
Montana wrote:
A religous doc would scare the hell out of me and wouldn't touch me with a ten foot pole.


I had an interesting experience some years ago. There are a group of ophthalmologists in my area who have an excellent reputation. They also are known as a group of "born agains". My husband made an appointment with one of them.

Here he is, lying in a chair, his eyes dilated, and this doctor is having a religious "discussion" with my husband. I was very uncomfortable about this. I told my husband that I would never go to this person, even though his care was excellent. I thought that disussing religion with a patient in not appropriate. My husband was much more stoic about it.

"What do I care? I just let him talk", he said! Rolling Eyes

What do YOU think about that?
I'd be afraid to answer him for fear he would poke out my eye. Laughing
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Jun, 2007 09:10 am
neologist- I would suspect that the doctor did not have empathy for the patient. He was far more concerned that she wanted to curtail a potential life.

I certainly would not want to have an abortion performed on me by a doctor who detested the entire idea of abortions.
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Jun, 2007 09:13 am
neologist wrote:
I'd be afraid to answer him for fear he would poke out my eye.


That was part of my discomfort, even though I really did not think that there was any danger of the doctor poking out my husband's eye. My husband was in a very vulnerable position, psychologically, and should not have been subjected to proselytizing.

He was in the doctor's office for a medical service, not a discourse on religion. Personally, I think that what the doctor did was extremely unprofessional.
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shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Jun, 2007 09:30 am
I think doctors have the right to say no when they believe that something is wrong, or that their personal beliefs may get in the way.

Everyone else has that right.. so why not them?

but I agree.. there NEEDS to be some way that people can tell who can /cant or will/wont do certain things.

But I am absolutely against doctors in the EMERGENCY room being able to do this. This is where people go in an emergency.
Their life crisis is not a place for someones bible. It is rude and uncalled for. He may have condemned her to pregnancy of a rapists child.

yes. I said CONDEMNED. I don't care who you are. You are human enough to understand how that would feel for a woman.
If you are not, then you need to question yourself .

The morning after pill is NOT an abortion.
It is taken before any 'conception' happens.

Just like during a womans menstrual cycle, the egg is flushed out in her blood. Thats it.

so why would he say that a woman having her menstrual cycle is against his religion?

i think he sounds like a prick frankly. Confused
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Jun, 2007 09:46 am
I would be very curious. Does anyone know of any statistics that would show the percentage of men as opposed to woman doctors who refuse to perform abortions and provide other medical services that would be considered immoral by some religions?

I am interested in knowing the views of religious Catholic and Christian women physicians.
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maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Jun, 2007 11:39 am
So should that Muslim taxi-driver be allowed to not carry passengers who are doing things against his religion.

Should he simply have to put that on the door or something or identify his cab as a non-alcoholic cab?

I mean, there were other cabs around the airport where this was happening right?

If it's ok for a doctor to refuse to provide legal care to his patients, and the argument being that there are other doctors the patient can go to, then wouldn't that same logic apply to that Muslim taxi-driver?





Personally, I'm calling my doctor on Monday to find out if there are any procedures he would not perform due to a religious belief. I'm a guy so I don't have to worry about abortions or birth-control pills, but I can refuse to go to a doctor that would refuse legal care to a woman on religious grounds.

I suggest that everyone who agrees does the same thing.
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Jun, 2007 11:48 am
Quote:
Personally, I'm calling my doctor on Monday to find out if there are any procedures he would not perform due to a religious belief. I'm a guy so I don't have to worry about abortions or birth-control pills, but I can refuse to go to a doctor that would refuse legal care to a woman on religious grounds.

I suggest that everyone who agrees does the same thing.


maporsche- I applaud you. Now THAT is, IMO the way to deal with this problem, not government interference. If a doctor discovered, that his practice (along with his income) was shrinking due to a boycott by people who don't care for his practices, I would bet that he would change his tune, quickly. If he persists, that's no loss.
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Montana
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Jun, 2007 10:07 pm
Amen to that!
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jun, 2007 08:47 am
maporsche wrote:
If it's ok for a doctor to refuse to provide legal care to his patients, and the argument being that there are other doctors the patient can go to, then wouldn't that same logic apply to that Muslim taxi-driver?

That analogy was specifically dealt with in the taxi driver thread. In summary, cabbies and doctors aren't alike, so the analogy doesn't work.
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jun, 2007 09:18 am
Re: Doctors' beliefs can hinder patient care
maporsche wrote:
The overall consensus of that thread was that if they can't do the job they are licensed by the state to do becuase of their religion, then they should find another job.

In general, a government license is a permission to do something. It does not confer a duty to do it. The situation is different if the license the doctor applied for specifically confers the duty, or if the doctor has a contract with the hospital that confers it.

But judging by the information you give -- just a normal license, no known contractual obligations for the doctor -- the doctor is free to refuse the patient. I disagree with the "general consensus".

PS: Of course, the hospital is just as free to fire such doctors, and patients are free to boycott them.
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stlstrike3
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jun, 2007 10:09 am
I was taught in medical school that physicians are not obligated to provide care that they are morally opposed to. However, if it is legal medical treatment that the patient is requesting, they are obligated to provide the patient with means (another doctor's phone number, treatment by another physician) to obtain the treatment they are looking for.

Many physicians (obviously this is usually conservative Christians) have told me that they see sending the patient to someone who will write for Plan B no differently than actually doing it themselves. Therefore, they are forbidden from doing that, as well.

I find this appalling. I'm not a fan of abortion, either. But I'm also not naive enough to think that a sperm and egg unite, and the resulting cell is instantly infused with a soul. (I don't believe in "souls" anyway.)

Some physicians (like myself) say that we took an oath to do no harm.

Some physicians (like some I've stopped talking to) say that the oath extends to doing no harm to a clump of cells growing in a woman's uterus.

It's difficult... but thanks to the judges that Bush has appointed... it's probably only going to get worse for patients.
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