Personal beliefs and Medical Practice

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Fernbee
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This question is for Christians and non-Christians alike. Sorry for the long question, I'm just curious about this topic and how people feel about it. Let me know if this is the wrong place to post!

These are the official guidelines of what doctors should do when objecting to a procedure because of religious reasons:
-Tell the patient that you do not provide the particular treatment or procedure, being careful not to cause distress. You may wish to mention the reason for your objection, but you must be careful not to imply any judgement of the patient.
-Make sure that the patient has enough information to arrange to see another doctor who does not hold the same objection as you.

Imagine that a hypothetical same-sex couple comes to see a doctor to receive advice on how to have children. What do you think of what this doctor says? How can it be improved taking into account the doctor's beliefs and the patients' care?

Couple: We just got married and are thinking of having children through IVF, how can we go about doing it?

Dr: Ok so first things first, I'm really glad that you came here for advice on this issue, it is not common for people to be willing to talk about this openly. You can be totally honest with me and I will try to support you as best as I can to make the decision whether you should have children. However, I'm sorry that because of personal beliefs, I will provide contact details for you to see another doctor if you want to have children in the end. Is that okay? And can I explain more?

Couple: Okayy

Dr: So everyone has their own personal beliefs, and to me, the ideal family is for children to have a father and a mother. Sadly in many cases, this is not possible, and I'm not only talking about children with same-sex parents but children in orphanages and with single parents as well. But you have a choice, especially since you are thinking of IVF. Of course, you came here not to hear me express concern, but I'm sorry that since I believe that it won't be in the best interests of the child, it will put me in a difficult situation to recommend you going for it. I would really like to help in any other way possible and will also let you know about other places that offer such services. You can go to them for more information because it is up to you to make the choice. What do you think?

Couple: ...

Dr: Just to let you know that I don't see you any differently as anyone else, and even myself, because in my view literally everyone has been tempted to do something not according to God's plan before. I totally understand if you don't agree with what I'm saying. If you don't have any moral reason against this decision, I feel something to consider is also how your children can find a role model of the opposite sex, and how their emotional experiences of growing up will be like. But it is up to you to make the final decision and here is the contact information of other clinics where you can discuss this if you want to go ahead in more detail:.........

Edit:
Thank you all for your helpful responses.
Tl;dr Qn: If a doctor has an objection against providing non-emergent treatment due to reasons outside mainstream medical knowledge, in how much detail can they explain to the patient the reasons for not providing this treatment?

If I'm not wrong, these are the main points brought up:
-The dr should explain in as little detail as possible, depending on how much he/she thinks the patient feels comfortable with and refer them to another clinic or doctor early on.
-The dr should avoid practicing in the area where such situations will be encountered frequently
-Homophobia is definitely not okay, but this is not homophobia, like how if you think some people work too much at the expense of everything else, you wouldn't think it is appropriate to encourage them to work more, but you definitely do not dislike these people.
Last edited by Fernbee; 1 year ago
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Joleee
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tl;dr are you asking can a doctor refuse IVF to a same-sex couple on grounds of religious belief if he says it nicely? or can a doctor refuse treatment on religious grounds on anything, to anyone?

some christians/religious people don't believe in IVF at all. they think that doctors are 'playing God' and 'if it's God's will' the couple would have a child naturally. not naturally is therefore sin. do you think it's okay for a doctor to refuse IVF to an opposite sex couple for that reason? what if that couple are christians wanting IVF?

what if the doctor is against sex before marriage. is it okay to refuse birth control to a single woman?

i think you're right; i think in some circumstances a doctor can refuse treatment on religious grounds but she must refer the patient to another doctor (see Conscientious objection).

if you want my humble opinion tho, if a doctor 'cant do things' because of certain religious belief, then she shouldn't be working in that area of medicine. there's enough to choose from and i'm assuming she would also know her religious limits before finishing med school.
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artful_lounger
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If you can't treat all your patients equally, find another career.
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StrangeLilBean
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I think that the first part of what the doctor said (in your OP) would be fine. That's all that needs to be said: I don't offer this procedure, so here are the contact details of a colleague who does.

There's absolutely no reason for them to start going on about what they see as the 'ideal family' though. It's unnecessary and could be seen as offensive.

(I'm a Christian btw, but not homophobic or okay with homophobia).
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Gofre
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(Original post by Fernbee)
This question is for Christians and non-Christians alike. Sorry for the long question, I'm just curious about this topic and how people feel about it. Let me know if this is the wrong place to post!

These are the official guidelines of what doctors should do when objecting to a procedure because of religious reasons:
-Tell the patient that you do not provide the particular treatment or procedure, being careful not to cause distress. You may wish to mention the reason for your objection, but you must be careful not to imply any judgement of the patient.
-Make sure that the patient has enough information to arrange to see another doctor who does not hold the same objection as you.

Imagine that a hypothetical same-sex couple comes to see a doctor to receive advice on how to have children. What do you think of what this doctor says? How can it be improved taking into account the doctor's beliefs and the patients' care?

Couple: We just got married and are thinking of having children through IVF, how can we go about doing it?

Dr: Ok so first things first, I'm really glad that you came here for advice on this issue, it is not common for people to be willing to talk about this openly. You can be totally honest with me and I will try to support you as best as I can to make the decision whether you should have children. However, I'm sorry that because of personal beliefs, I will provide contact details for you to see another doctor if you want to have children in the end. Is that okay? And can I explain more?

Couple: Okayy

Dr: So everyone has their own personal beliefs, and to me, the ideal family is for children to have a father and a mother. Sadly in many cases, this is not possible, and I'm not only talking about children with same-sex parents but children in orphanages and with single parents as well. But you have a choice, especially since you are thinking of IVF. Of course, you came here not to hear me express concern, but I'm sorry that since I believe that it won't be in the best interests of the child, it will put me in a difficult situation to recommend you going for it. I would really like to help in any other way possible and will also let you know about other places that offer such services. You can go to them for more information because it is up to you to make the choice. What do you think?

Couple: ...

Dr: Just to let you know that I don't see you any differently as anyone else, and even myself, because in my view literally everyone has been tempted to do something not according to God's plan before. I totally understand if you don't agree with what I'm saying. If you don't have any moral reason against this decision, I feel something to consider is also how your children can find a role model of the opposite sex, and how their emotional experiences of growing up will be like. But it is up to you to make the final decision and here is the contact information of other clinics where you can discuss this if you want to go ahead in more detail:.........
The first response is fine, everything after that goes off the rails in terms of what's acceptable.
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Leviathan1611
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this is one of the reasons I can't be a doctor 😂 i wouldn't treat everyone equally.
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ByEeek
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Is this even a thing? Do doctors really go into fields where they would put impose their beliefs on their patients ahead of their medical practice? As for a GP - surely he / she would simply refer them to the IVF clinic at which point you would hope the doctors working there informed their practice on science (rooted in ethics and the law) and not on a story book.
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Chioru'
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As far as the doctor having a belief system that could intersect with his job i wouldn't say that's ok. You can believe whatever you want until you put the uniform on. As to the second answer, i find it better overall since it's based on objective reasoning rather than belief though i'm probably biased because i completely agree with that view. With that said, i believe there are a lot of gay couples that could provide a far better life to a child than many other irresponsible heterosexual couples.
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