Navigation Links
Primary care physicians nationwide face clinical ethical conflicts with religious hospitals

Nearly one in ten primary care physicians in the United States has experienced a conflict with a religiously-affiliated hospital or practice over religious policies for patient care, researchers from the University of Chicago report in a paper published early online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Younger and less religious physicians are more likely to experience these conflicts than their older or more religious peers. Most primary care physicians feel that when clinical judgment conflicts with religious hospital policy, physicians should refer patients to another institution.

"Religious hospitals represent nearly 20 percent of our health care system," said study author Debra Stulberg, MD, instructor of family medicine and of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Chicago. "Yet we know little about how religious policy affects the care doctors give to patients. This study is the first to systematically ask physicians whether religious hospital policies conflict with their judgment. We found that for a significant number of physicians, they do."

The study surveyed a representative sample of U.S. family physicians, general internists and general practitioners in 2007. Physicians were asked whether they had worked in a religiously-affiliated hospital or practice, if so, whether they had ever faced a conflict with the hospital or practice over religious policies for patient care, and what a physician ought to do if a patient should need a medical intervention and the hospital in which the physician works prohibits that intervention because of its religious affiliation.

Responses showed that 43 percent of primary care physicians have practiced in a religiously-affiliated setting. Of these, 19 percent experienced conflict with religious policies.

Ninety-six percent of all primary care physicians believe physicians should adhere to hospital policy. Eighty-five percent of physicians thought a doctor facing conflict with religious policies should refer the patient to another hospital. Ten percent endorsed recommending an alternate treatment that is not prohibited by the religious hospital.

"Primary care physicians routinely see patients facing reproductive health or end-of-life decisions that may be restricted in religious health care institutions, so we were not surprised to learn that nearly one in five of the physicians who have worked in a religious setting have faced a conflict with their hospital," Stulberg said.

The authors worried that it could be more difficult for physicians practicing in underserved communities to refer patients, when appropriate, to non-religious institutions, especially for time-sensitive but restricted interventions, such as emergency contraception. Whether such delays could be harmful, they note, "depends on one's beliefs about the intervention itself."

"We found that the physicians who work in religious hospitals and practices are a diverse group, from a wide range of religious and personal backgrounds," she added, "so hospitals sponsored by a specific religious denomination have providers who may not share their beliefs."


Contact: John Easton
University of Chicago Medical Center

Related medicine news :

1. Huntington Hospital Earns Designation as Primary Stroke Center
2. Cardiome Announces Investigational Candidate, Vernakalant, Meets Primary Endpoint in European Comparator Study
3. Mercy Primary Care Center Receives $15,000 in Matching Grants for Diabetes Management Program
4. Key Pillars of Patient Centered Medical Home Will Be Focus of March 30 Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative Stakeholders Meeting
5. Residency match results not encouraging for adults needing primary care
6. Primary Care Physician Shortage: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Has the Solution
7. Thomas E. Mower Makes Generous Donations To Primary Children's Medical Center
8. Study: Many physicians not using established criteria
9. Sanford Heart Hospital Physicians Again Recognized Internationally for Innovative Techniques
10. Mercy Memorial Hospital Selects CareTech Solutions to Provide Service Desk Support to Physicians, Nurses, and Hospital Personnel
11. The International Association of Pediatricians & Leading Physicians of the World Helps New Mothers Find Top Pediatricians in Their Area
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Quality metrics are proliferating in cancer care, ... remain in the eye of the beholder, according to experts who offered insights and ... Journal of Managed Care. For the full issue, click here . , For ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios Released ProSlice ... "Film editors can give their videos a whole new perspective by using the ... of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different presets to ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is helping to ... app. The fitness app plans to fix the two major problems leading the fitness industry ... fits all type program , They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Experts from the American ... Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. ... including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. , AIR ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on ... Observer , brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability ... fumigation is not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016   Pulmatrix, Inc ., ... developing innovative inhaled drugs, announced today that it was ... Investments reconstituted its comprehensive set of U.S. and ... "This is an important milestone for Pulmatrix," said Chief ... shareholder awareness of our progress in developing drugs for ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...  MedSource announced today that it has selected ... of choice.  This latest decision demonstrates MedSource,s commitment ... clients by offering a state-of-the-art electronic data capture ... as the EDC platform of choice in exchange ... has long been a preferred EDC platform by ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... DUBLIN , June 23, 2016 ... the "Pharmaceutical Excipients Market by Type (Organic Chemical ... Preservative), Formulation (Oral, Topical, Coating, Parenteral) - Global Forecast ... The global pharmaceutical excipients ... 2021 at a CAGR of 6.1% in the forecast ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: