Tuesday, September 9, 2008

God and medicine

I'm not particularly religious, but I know many patients and doctors are. Although I don't believe in the same thing they do, I feel that I have plenty of respect for their beliefs and don't usually have a problem with it. However, I have a small pet peeve about something I hear a lot of patients say. It's not a big deal, really it isn't, but I dislike it when there's a test or therapy patients don't want to take and they say "it's in God's hands." I completely respect patients' wishes (and sometimes agree with them) when they don't want to take something or do something - it's their right. However, I have a problem with them using God as an excuse. I'd rather them tell me they just don't want to do it, even if it's against all logic, than use what I call the God excuse.

For one thing, it's contradictory. The very fact that they came in to the emergency room or the hospital means that they do not completely believe that "it's in God's hands." Why go to a doctor at all? The very act of going to seek medical help means you believe that you can change what happens to your health and that maybe you believe that it's not all "in God's hands." If you truly believed that, you would just stay at home to live, die, suffer at will.

But it's not a big deal. For whatever the reason, whether it be religious or not, we respect what the patients want.

1 comment:

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