Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Primary care physicians nationwide face clinical ethical conflicts with religious hospitals

Date:
April 9, 2010
Source:
University of Chicago Medical Center
Summary:
Nearly 1 in 10 primary care physicians has experienced a conflict with a religiously-affiliated hospital or practice over religious policies for patient care. Most feel that when clinical judgment conflicts with religious hospital policy, physicians should refer patients to another institution.

Nearly one in ten primary care physicians in the United States has experienced a conflict with a religiously-affiliated hospital or practice over religious policies for patient care, researchers from the University of Chicago report in a paper published early online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Related Articles


Younger and less religious physicians are more likely to experience these conflicts than their older or more religious peers. Most primary care physicians feel that when clinical judgment conflicts with religious hospital policy, physicians should refer patients to another institution.

"Religious hospitals represent nearly 20 percent of our health care system," said study author Debra Stulberg, MD, instructor of family medicine and of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Chicago. "Yet we know little about how religious policy affects the care doctors give to patients. This study is the first to systematically ask physicians whether religious hospital policies conflict with their judgment. We found that for a significant number of physicians, they do."

The study surveyed a representative sample of U.S. family physicians, general internists and general practitioners in 2007. Physicians were asked whether they had worked in a religiously-affiliated hospital or practice, if so, whether they had ever faced a conflict with the hospital or practice over religious policies for patient care, and what a physician ought to do if a patient should need a medical intervention and the hospital in which the physician works prohibits that intervention because of its religious affiliation.

Responses showed that 43 percent of primary care physicians have practiced in a religiously-affiliated setting. Of these, 19 percent experienced conflict with religious policies.

Ninety-six percent of all primary care physicians believe physicians should adhere to hospital policy. Eighty-five percent of physicians thought 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."

The Greenwall Foundation and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine funded this story. Additional authors include Ryan Lawrence and Farr Curlin of the University of Chicago and Jason Shattuck of Michigan State.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Medical Center. "Primary care physicians nationwide face clinical ethical conflicts with religious hospitals." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100409131417.htm>.
University of Chicago Medical Center. (2010, April 9). Primary care physicians nationwide face clinical ethical conflicts with religious hospitals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100409131417.htm
University of Chicago Medical Center. "Primary care physicians nationwide face clinical ethical conflicts with religious hospitals." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100409131417.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

Newsy (Nov. 28, 2014) — WHO cites four studies that say Ebola can still be detected in semen up to 82 days after the onset of symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins