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Primary care physicians nationwide face clinical ethical conflicts with religious hospitals
Date:4/9/2010

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."


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Contact: John Easton
john.easton@uchospitals.edu
773-702-6241
University of Chicago Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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