Good post. While doctors are supposed to be as neutral as possible in providing advice and information to their patients, doctors are human and their own worldview, nature of their faith, and overall perspective affects their advice as this survey shows.
While I do think all doctors have an obligation, should medical circumstances indicate, to have end-of-life discussions with their patients, should a doctor be uncomfortable with these kinds of issues it would be better to be open and discuss their philosophy, faith-inspired or not, than skirt the issue. Similarly, patients also need to be aware of the need for this discussion to ensure they have a doctor that can engage in these discussions and whose overall philosophy and approach is most helpful to them and their family as they work through these difficult issues.
While in an ideal world, the service idea of providing the medical advice and options in a neutral way would be preferred, and to all kinds of patients (e.g., providing health care to the LGBT community which became a public issue for one doctor in Canada some time ago), we have to take human nature as we find it and mitigate these ‘biases’, either for or against end-of-life options, through open discussion. Quote:
What does seem clear, though, is that when it comes time for a person to make their final decision, and they’ve scrutinized their souls, looked deep into their hearts, consulted spouses, children, other loved ones–there’s still one factor they need to know will influence their decision, and it comes out of left field.
It’s the religious convictions of their doctor.