Thursday, August 26, 2010

What your doctor believes about God may matter more than you think...

As it turns out believers and atheists have different ideas about the dignity of human life. Of course, this should not be any surprise. Apart from a biblical worldview, what reason is there, other than sentiment, to invest human life with any dignity?

An article in the Daily Mail comments on a study published in the Journal of Medical Ethics which found that doctors who do not believe in God are twice as likely to kill their patients, er, help them die.

Atheist doctors are almost twice as likely to take decisions that speed up death for very ill patients as those who are deeply religious, research has found.

Those with a strong faith are also less willing to discuss treatments that hasten the end, according to a poll of nearly 4,000 British doctors. Medics from a wide range of specialities were asked about their religious views, their care for their last patient who died and any decisions they had taken that were expected, or partly intended to, end life.

The findings, published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, showed that doctors who described themselves as non-religious were more likely than any other group to have given continuous deep sedation until death, having made a decision that they knew could or would end life. Those who described themselves as ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ non-religious were almost twice as likely to have taken these kinds of decisions as those with a strong religious belief.

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