Healthcare and Religion

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Healthcare and Religious Beliefs
In the healthcare organizations, the medical staff must conform to accepted standards of conduct. Physicians must make ethical decisions regarding healthcare. They must also take spiritual and religious beliefs into consideration for treatment of the patients. Spiritual beliefs may help the healing process and spiritual beliefs can also hinder the healing process (Patients’ Religious and Spiritual Lives). “The Joint Council for Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) has recognized the influence of spirituality on hospitalized patients by requiring a hospital chaplain or access to pastoral services in the standards for accreditation of all hospitals” (JCAHO, 1999). For the Department of Defense, Air Force medical treatment facilities (MTF) the family planning services provided and sterilization through the direct or purchased care system. Medical personnel who, for moral or ethical, religious or professional grounds, object to providing family planning services need not perform or assist in such procedures unless their refusal poses life-threatening risks to the patient (AFI 44-119, 2001). The MTF Commander or designee at each MTF establishes specific guidance on informed consent, consistent with any relevant state law and reasonable standards of medical practice. Although local policy need not list all procedures or itemize what disclosures must be made in specific types of cases, it must provide a method for providers in the MTF to obtain answers to specific informed consent questions such as extent of disclosures or whether to use written consent forms (AFI 44-119, 2001). Providers shall consult the Staff Judge Advocate (SJA) and the regional Medical Legal Consultant (MLC) to determine any peculiar standards concerning informed consent. Providers shall obtain information concerning consent and disclosure practices from local medical institutions, state and national professional organizations, and from the MLC annual briefing. The treating provider (or resident with the oversight of the attending physician) is ultimately responsible for assuring that informed consent is obtained and documented. Verbal consent is not acceptable unless in extreme circumstances. Consent needs to be obtained and recorded prior to sedation or procedure requiring consent and before pre-medication is given. The attending provider documents informed consent on the appropriate forms. Minimum requirements for the documentation include; the nature of the proposed care, treatment, services, medications, interventions, or procedures, potential benefits, risks, or side effects, and including potential problems related to recuperation (AFI 44-119, 2001).

There are different religious beliefs regarding birth control and abortion among Buddhism, Christianity: Protestant and Catholic, Hinduism, Judaism, and Islam. The Catholics are only religion to forbid abortion and birth control. Most of the religions agree abortion is acceptable only if the woman’s health is at risk; the woman was raped, or acts of incest. In Buddhism it is believe that conception occurs when consciousness enters a fertilized egg. This is considered the beginning of life and it is regarded as killing if the life of the future person is aborted after that point. Birth control that prevents conception is acceptable. Abortion and birth control are generally considered acceptable for Protestants. Some church teachings prohibit. If abortion/miscarriage occurs, assess relevant religious practices such as prayer, baptism, blessing, burial, etc. The Catholics believe in the official Church teaching forbids direct abortion and birth control. It does have an impact on the abortion issue. Hinduism is supported by their belief in Karma, most Hindus do not approve of abortion, with no exceptions for rape, deformities, or the like. However, birth control, natural or artificial, is approved of and practiced. Judaism in keeping with the principle of...
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