Doctors’ beliefs do affect care

According to the Journal of Medical Ethics as portrayed in the CNN blog post Docs’ beliefs affect end-of-life care, Doctors subjectivity does play a role in care, specifically regarding the challenges of end-of-life care.  I am not suprised a finding like this would be had, as I believe all people involved in hospice and end-of-life care have trouble, understandably, of separating personal belief from what the patient desires.  Doctors especially struggle with this as there is an authority given to doctors by patients that often causes the patient to give in when a doctor’s thinking is different.  I personally always caution those who work in hospice to remember that it is not us who can make decisions.  If someone is uncomfortable, then either they should recuse him/herself from care or perhaps need to rethink career paths.  The worst thing that can happen is to cause additional suffering and grief because one is unable to separate personal choice from patient autonomy.

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