Grade Religion Class Essay

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Religion and Ethics: Physicians Religion and ethics are often looked at as two very heated debate topics. Many believe that the two should be separated, while some believe they should exist together in society. The Public Broadcasting Service, also known as PBS, has a newsletter that comes out weekly called “Religion and Ethics” that was read in my 12th grade religion class. It covered a wide range of topics from how some people think there should be Starbucks in churches to seeing if, based on one’s religious beliefs, they would live a longer and healthier life. One that really stood out was the beliefs and actions of physicians when it came to dealing with the patient. When it comes to healthcare, it is important for physicians to draw the line their own beliefs and what is best for the patient. The job of a physician is to care for the patient, not advocate his or her own personal feelings and beliefs. While physicians are entitled to their own beliefs and opinions, it is important that they keep their personal and professional lives separate. In this day and age, more and more patients are asking to talk about religious matters in treatments and surgeries;
[…] As the millennium approaches, spirituality is playing a more prominent role in medical practice. Many Americans believe that religious activity can promote health, and physicians report an increasing number of patients requesting at least discussion of religion in their treatment. In response, about 30 medical schools now offer courses in religion and spirituality. ( Palevitz)
This wasn’t done twenty to thirty years ago, if a physician were to bring the topic of religion up in conversation with the patient, the patient could legally sue the physician and/or the hospital. But, as the years progress and science becomes more innovative, religion is beginning to play a bigger part in the healthcare of patients. Doctors and schools are becoming more open to the idea of allowing religion become a part of healthcare so much that medical schools are accepting it. Although many problems between doctors and patients are solved through the use of religious beliefs, one will always stand in the way. The problem at hand is abortion! Research shows that physicians face many problems when they are asked to perform a procedure that they are personally against. Many doctors find it immoral and unethical to preform abortion. They feel as though they are killing a human and that they could potentially be punished for it. In a Catholic hospital in Phoenix, a Bishop rebuked a Sister of Mercy for allowing an abortion to take place in the hospital (Grossman). This provides an example of how opposed the Catholic Church is to having abortions. Even in a life or death matter, the Church struggles with accepting abortion. In this case, the bishop let his religious beliefs affect the hospital and those working in it. In the Sister’s mind, she felt as though she was morally correct for making this decision. “O'Rourke says McBride was relying on the accepted ‘principle of double-effect,’ in which the intention is not to kill the fetus but is a sad, secondary effect of an essential treatment,” (Grossman). The line between religion and work was crossed. But even sometimes parents are the one stuck in this moral/ethical battle.
In one instance, a couple has genetic testing done on their child, to find out that it will have Down syndrome. This is where “scientific discoveries meet religious and cultural values,” (Simpson). Being Islamic, they can only have an abortion if the mother’s life is at risk. Since it is not, this act cannot be religiously justified. They are faced with the dilemma of whether or not to abort