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Spirituality and Health Care

A Request for Prayer


Author(s)

Martha Jane Goleman
Pediatrics
The Ohio State University College of Medicine
jane.goleman@nationwidechildrens.org
Doug M. Post (rr)
Family Medicine
The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Michael S. Langan
General Internal Medicine
The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Michael.langan@osumc.edu
Allison A. Macerollo
Family Medicine
The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Allison.macerollo@osumc.edu

Abstract

In this medical ethics case, a fourth-year medical student making hospital rounds with an attending physician and several residents is asked by a family member of a patient to pray with her.  The case allows medical students to explore issues related to patients’ religious beliefs as they think through how they might respond to different expectations and requests they may receive from patients and their families in their professional career. The case is appropriate for use with medical students in all four years of training as well as interns and residents.


Objectives

  • Understand the role that spirituality plays for both patients and physicians in a patient/family’s experience of illness.
  • Recognize the nature of conflicts that may be present among members of the healthcare team regarding the issue of praying with patients.
  • Appreciate the options and challenges when asked to pray with patients, and discuss strategies that may help resolve difficulties that may arise.
  • Appreciate cultural differences which influence spiritual beliefs and behaviors in patients and families who are dealing with loss of health.

Keywords

Patient religious beliefs; spirituality; belief; prayer; physician-patient relationship; medical ethics

Topical Areas

Ethics, Social issues

Educational Level

Professional (degree program), Continuing education

Format

PDF

Type / Methods

Dilemma/Decision, Role-Play

Language

English

Subject Headings

Medicine (General)  |   Nursing  |  


Date Posted

10/19/10

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