Presenter Information

Tyler HershenhouseFollow

Major

Chemistry

Anticipated Graduation Year

2022

Access Type

Open Access

Abstract

The relationship between a physician’s religious beliefs and how they frame an end-of-life prognosis for a terminally ill patient is poorly understood. Most physicians strive to provide the best patient centered care while attempting to respect the patient’s religious beliefs during final moments of life. This study seeks to uncover if a physician’s religious beliefs have any influence on the prognosis provided to a terminally ill patient. Data collected suggests physicians who identify as Atheist responded with no significant correlation to hastening or prolonging treatment for a terminally ill patient, but there are indications to a higher degree to patient autonomy. Physicians who identify as Roman Catholic responded with a strong correlation to providing terminally ill patients with a higher quality of life rather than increasing quantity of life. Finally, physicians who identify as Jewish responded with a strong correlation to prolonging end of life treatment, implying a higher value on the quantity of life.

Faculty Mentors & Instructors

Lisa Reiter, PhD, Campus Ministry

Supported By

Michael McCarthy, PhD, HEC-C, Stritch School of Medicine

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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How a Physician’s Religious Beliefs Frame an End-of-Life Prognosis For a Terminally Ill Patient

The relationship between a physician’s religious beliefs and how they frame an end-of-life prognosis for a terminally ill patient is poorly understood. Most physicians strive to provide the best patient centered care while attempting to respect the patient’s religious beliefs during final moments of life. This study seeks to uncover if a physician’s religious beliefs have any influence on the prognosis provided to a terminally ill patient. Data collected suggests physicians who identify as Atheist responded with no significant correlation to hastening or prolonging treatment for a terminally ill patient, but there are indications to a higher degree to patient autonomy. Physicians who identify as Roman Catholic responded with a strong correlation to providing terminally ill patients with a higher quality of life rather than increasing quantity of life. Finally, physicians who identify as Jewish responded with a strong correlation to prolonging end of life treatment, implying a higher value on the quantity of life.