*According to a new study in Britain, doctors who are atheist or agnostic are twice as likely to make decisions that could end the lives of their terminally ill patients, compared to doctors who are very religious.
Dr. Clive Seale, a professor at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, conducted a random mail survey of more than 3,700 doctors across Britain, of whom 2,923 reported on how they took care of their last terminal patient.
Many of the doctors surveyed were neurologists, doctors specializing in the care of the elderly, and palliative care, though other specialists like family doctors, were also included.
Doctors who described themselves as “extremely” or “very nonreligious” were nearly twice as likely to report having made decisions like providing continuous deep sedation, which could accelerate a patient’s death.
To ensure doctors are acting in accordance with their patients’ wishes, Seale wrote that “nonreligious doctors should confess their predilections to their patients.”
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