Who wants a religulous doctor?

By   |  June 20, 2008

A recent survey by the University of Chicago’s Center for Clinical Medical Ethics examined religion in medicine.

It was shown that most doctors believe in religion as well as an afterlife. Additionally, 55% of doctors claimed that religion influences how they practice medicine. While I am a firm believer in respecting individual beliefs, I do not approve of a standard service being provided tailored araound the supplier’s belief system.

I believe that for most doctors, religion serves as a defense mechanism in the hopeless randomness of their career. A chronic smoking and alcohol abusing 93 year old man will keep on ticking, while a 25 year old vegetarian marathon runner will drop dead in the ER. Events like these promote clinging to a belief in something stable. What else could possibly save their sanity? Religion provides a solution to helplessness; it brings security.

At what point does rationalization of randomness begin to affect medical outcomes? Furthermore, why are unfortunate events attributed to luck and fortunate events to god?

If you get an incurable cancer…. It’s bad luck.

If it’s cured… Thank god.

If it isn’t cured… It’s bad luck.

You can’t have it both ways. Either you attempt to find solutions to problems using the scientific method and encompass both the successes and failures. Or you pray to [Insert Deity Here] and hope for the best.

I don’t know about you, but I want a pragmatic doctor who does not deliver a standard trained service based on their “blissful hallucinatory confusion”.

I would not hire a tie-dye wearing, tree hugging, and vegan condom-promoting hooker. Nor would I want an IT guy to fix my computer problems by using energy healing and doing tantric chants.

Why would I want to be a patient to a miracle believer?

Society needs to demand a hypothesis-driven and evidence-based solution to their problems. A romanticized approach to standard procedures is not only unnecessary but also inappropriate.

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2 Comments on “Who wants a religulous doctor?”  (RSS)

  1. This “free sharing” of infomrtoain seems too good to be true. Like communism.

  2. I don’t care if my doctor believes in wearing diapers made out of banana pudding skin and worshiping the Sacred Silly Putty on Saturday evenings as long as he sticks to his professional knowledge when he’s on the job. His personal convictions, no matter how silly, have no position in the workplace.

    Though I can understand how a doctor repeatedly exposed to unfair deaths might find solace in religion. Just keep it out of the conversation with your patients.

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