Thursday, August 26, 2010

Doctor's Religion Matters

When patient is close to death, your doctor's religion influenced his/her decision according to the new study.

I think it plays role even on treatments not related to death.

My Indonesian doctors are/were all Moslems. Some were really influenced by their religion to the point that they talked condescendingly to me while citing religious ideas that I went straight to second opinion afterward.

Back in NL, I had this Hindustani patient who used to be very happy with his treatment until his oral surgeon used cow's bone for his jaw bone graft. The man was very upset because he was a practicing Hindu and cow is sacred for them. He said, 'It is like you put pig's bone on a Moslem.' To be fair, pig is something forbidden in Islam, so it's not exactly the same. No one talked about religion prior to his treatment. In my own experience in NL, religion never plays role in the hospital during our consultation. I happened to know that some of my doctors were Christian and agnostics, I wonder how their beliefs influenced my treatments back then.

As a patient you have the rights to ask about the treatment and voice your concern, including things related to religion. Use that rights, and ask as detail as possible. I've been know of bringing a list of questions when I see my doctor. Some doctor loves it, some probably hates it (I think most of Indonesian doctors hate it); I dont care, as long as they answer my questions so I know what I put myself in to.


colson said...

Very interesting piece of information.

I really hope you are right about Dutch doctors. However this BBC item reminds me that the situation in GB may be not that different from the one in the Netherlands.

I think I'd better ask my GP - since I do want to die graciously with the help of my doctor(s)if possible [no intention to have a ticket to afterlife soon, by the way :)].

triesti said...

You need to make sure that he knows what you want in case of emergency. Perhaps you can write a living will or something, because you never know.

A doctor once told me, if you end up at the University hospital chances are they tried every things and it is not always the gracious way to die.