Christian Doctors
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07-11-2012, 11:29 PM (This post was last modified: 08-11-2012 02:43 PM by Misanthropik.)
Christian Doctors
I was at the hospital tonight because a family member has been pounding on death's door for about the past decade, and just in the last couple of weeks, that door has started to open. (I'm not worried about it, so don't trouble yourselves with condolences) Just a few hours ago, he was transported out of town to the ICU at a well-equipped hospital where he'll begin what will be a fruitless routine of dialysis before either his kidneys fail; the leaks in his heart finally burst; his lungs fill with fluid or his heart (which hasn't had a regular beat-pattern in months) just gives out altogether.

As I and 3 other family members stood in the small hospital room with the doctor, he began explaining how this man has about a month left in him at the most. The procedures can be carried out, but they will pretty much just serve to delay the inevitable. It was at this point that, to my shock, he began speaking about "God's will". He explained how God was putting everyone in this position, and that whatever happened from this point on is a sign from God. Being that everyone in the room - aside from myself - is devoutly religious, they all absolutely ate. it. up. There was talk of "the next life" and "interpreting God's signs" and how we as a family need to decide what God is trying to tell us in regard to the treatment.
For those of you who haven't experienced this (I'm sure many have), it's amazing how tiny you can suddenly feel in an already-cramped room full of deluded theists. Most alarming of all was this son-of-a-pastor doctor who initiated the whole "God" thing. I'm not shocked that there is a man of medicine who adheres to outdated superstitions - this happens all the time - but I was taken aback by the simple fact that I was hearing it. What's more, I nearly bit my tongue in half as I tried not to scream out "Are you fucking kidding me?!", given that the timing wouldn't have been the best for it - even by my cold, emotionless standards.

I'm appalled that we have to put up with this shit in today's world; especially in an environment where scientific medicine is supposed to reign supreme.

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
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07-11-2012, 11:48 PM (This post was last modified: 07-11-2012 11:53 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Atheist Doctors
(07-11-2012 11:29 PM)Misanthropik Wrote:  I was at the hospital tonight because a family member has been pounding on death's door for about the past decade, and just in the last couple of weeks, that door has started to open. (I'm not worried about it, so don't trouble yourselves with condolences) Just a few hours ago, he was transported out of town to the ICU at a well-equipped hospital where he'll begin what will be a fruitless routine of dialysis before either his kidneys fail; the leaks in his heart finally burst; his lungs fill with fluid or his heart (which hasn't had a regular beat-pattern in months) just gives out altogether.

As I and 3 other family members stood in the small hospital room with the doctor, he began explaining how this man has about a month left in him at the most. The procedures can be carried out, but they will pretty much just serve to delay the inevitable. It was at this point that, to my shock, he began speaking about "God's will". He explained how God was putting everyone in this position, and that whatever happened from this point on is a sign from God. Being that everyone in the room - aside from myself - is devoutly religious, they all absolutely ate. it. up. There was talk of "the next life" and "interpreting God's signs" and how we as a family need to decide what God is trying to tell us in regard to the treatment.
For those of you who haven't experienced this (I'm sure many have), it's amazing how tiny you can suddenly feel in an already-cramped room full of deluded theists. Most alarming of all was this son-of-a-pastor doctor who initiated the whole "God" thing. I'm not shocked that there is a man of medicine who adheres to outdated superstitions - this happens all the time - but I was taken aback by the simple fact that I was hearing it. What's more, I nearly bit my tongue in half as I tried not to scream out "Are you fucking kidding me?!", given that the timing wouldn't have been the best for it - even by my cold, emotionless standards.

I'm appalled that we have to put up with this shit in today's world; especially in an environment where scientific medicine is supposed to reign supreme.
Sorry that happened man. I know EXACTLY how ya feel. I almost got roped into something like that. a couple weeks ago. I was at a donors dinner as my dad asked me to go with him, and I thought, "why not". It was ok, but then all of a sudden this idiot pastor stands up, and goes, totally out of the blue, "let's hold hands and have a moment of prayer". I was like WTF ! My dad looked really shocked, and looked at me like "I'm really sorry for dragging you into this". But then dad said, being a GREAT dad, "ah..excuse me, can you tell me where the rest room is, Bucky was wondering where the rest room was ? "..... he thought faster than I did. It was, and is the perfect out. Just use it as a learning experience. Next time just tell 'em ya gotta pee. It's your own way of saying "piss on it". Big Grin
Most docs in a big center would never do that crap. They might ask if you wanted to have the chaplain stop in. That's pretty unusual.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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08-11-2012, 01:46 AM (This post was last modified: 13-11-2012 04:47 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Atheist Doctors
I am an atheist doctor.

I have had hundreds of conversations about death with patients and relatives over the years. I can't remember one instance when god was mentioned. The situation is too real to be talking about bullshit.

This fellow who bought god up is a disgrace to the profession. People expect their doctors to be men or women of science. They can get the bullshit from elsewhere if they want it.

I think you have a right to make a formal complaint if you feel so inclined.
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08-11-2012, 01:46 AM
RE: Atheist Doctors
(07-11-2012 11:29 PM)Misanthropik Wrote:  I was at the hospital tonight because a family member has been pounding on death's door for about the past decade, and just in the last couple of weeks, that door has started to open. (I'm not worried about it, so don't trouble yourselves with condolences) Just a few hours ago, he was transported out of town to the ICU at a well-equipped hospital where he'll begin what will be a fruitless routine of dialysis before either his kidneys fail; the leaks in his heart finally burst; his lungs fill with fluid or his heart (which hasn't had a regular beat-pattern in months) just gives out altogether.

As I and 3 other family members stood in the small hospital room with the doctor, he began explaining how this man has about a month left in him at the most. The procedures can be carried out, but they will pretty much just serve to delay the inevitable. It was at this point that, to my shock, he began speaking about "God's will". He explained how God was putting everyone in this position, and that whatever happened from this point on is a sign from God. Being that everyone in the room - aside from myself - is devoutly religious, they all absolutely ate. it. up. There was talk of "the next life" and "interpreting God's signs" and how we as a family need to decide what God is trying to tell us in regard to the treatment.
For those of you who haven't experienced this (I'm sure many have), it's amazing how tiny you can suddenly feel in an already-cramped room full of deluded theists. Most alarming of all was this son-of-a-pastor doctor who initiated the whole "God" thing. I'm not shocked that there is a man of medicine who adheres to outdated superstitions - this happens all the time - but I was taken aback by the simple fact that I was hearing it. What's more, I nearly bit my tongue in half as I tried not to scream out "Are you fucking kidding me?!", given that the timing wouldn't have been the best for it - even by my cold, emotionless standards.

I'm appalled that we have to put up with this shit in today's world; especially in an environment where scientific medicine is supposed to reign supreme.
Is the guy in question religious ? Maybe he did it for his benefit. Still... waaaay weird.
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08-11-2012, 03:30 AM
RE: Atheist Doctors
In the bible belt it is not unusual to hear this type of conversation in a hospital, but the conversation is usually initiated by the patients family, not the doctor. It is rather presumptuous on the part of the doc, but seeing as he wasn't making decisions based on what he felt god told him, I would probably let it slide, I am sure he means well. I might have (in a one on one situation) politely asked him to shut up, but I think intentions overrule his actions. Someone does need to correct him though...

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08-11-2012, 06:21 AM
RE: Atheist Doctors
People can compartmentalize many things, and being religious while a medical doctor is probably one of the easier ones. I suspect he was familiar enough with the family to know they (except for Misanthropik of course) would be comfortable with it. I don't imagine he'd say the same thing in a group of atheists, or a different religion for that matter.
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08-11-2012, 06:41 AM (This post was last modified: 08-11-2012 06:48 AM by Dom.)
RE: Atheist Doctors
I was very pleased that our doc never touched religion through hubbie's war with cancer or after he passed. If he had started that shit too, I would have exploded.

There is enough of that floating around when someone is very ill or dies, I would not want the person who is supposed to make intelligent suggestions to join in that annoying chorus.

That said, perhaps the doc described in the OP was using it as a way to make these religious folk understand what they were looking at. I would give him the benefit of a doubt here, it seemed to be a way of explaing things that religious folk can understand. It can be difficult dealing with having to communicate to people that their loved one is not really going to benefit from treatments anymore...and in such a situation I would be for "whatever works" since the situation is so grave and people don't want to hear what you have to say. There is a time to fight and there is a time to let go, and the poor physicians have to exlain this to people who are often hell bent on prolonging suffering.

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Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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08-11-2012, 08:58 AM
RE: Atheist Doctors
It can definitely be problematic. I've encountered the difficulty myself, although not in the same way.

Back in 1986, I cut my thumb open pretty good on a soup can lid. I erred on the side of caution and called an ambulance. ("Not the biggest emergency you've ever dealt with," I told the medic who was looking at it. "No, not the smallest, either," he said.) They took me to the ER for further examination. The receiving nurse said I was going to need stitches, and she began the usual paperwork/interview routine for receiving patients.

Name... birthdate... height... weight... any allergies? And so on. Then, of course, we got to the big one.

"Religion?" she asked.

"None," I said.

She paused, blinked a couple of times, then looked up from her clipboard and squinted at me as though she were trying to look thru a dirty window. "No religion...?"

"Yes, that's right," I said, feeling pretty pissed off because I had already been dealing with this crap since elementary school. (I've always been an open atheist.)

She paused for another moment, then shrugged, made a note on her clipboard, and continued with the interview. I could tell she wanted to push the matter, but apparently she remembered that we were in a hospital, not a church, and decided to drop it. Wise choice.

Obviously, I had no objection to her asking about my religion -- it's easy to understand why a hospital would need to know that, but when I said "none", she should have just written it down and moved on. Her reaction was very unprofessional. Admittedly, open atheists were far less common back then than they are today, and there was no atheist movement, but even so, she shouldn't have reacted the way she did.
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08-11-2012, 09:00 AM
RE: Atheist Doctors
Last december (a week before xmas) my body decides its suddenly fashionable to pass a 6mm stone thru a 4mm tube...ahh the joy of a kidney stone. Anyhoo i spent the weekend in a make shift room in the emergency room waiting for monday and a urologist. I had dilaudid on a steady 2 hour cycle so i was waking up just long enough to get put back to sleep. On monday the chipper fellow that was to push my Gurney to the OR. He was bursting with the Xmas spirit. He started pushing me and said something to the tune of 'How jesus is going to take good care of you", i recall in my hazy drug induces stated saying something to the tune of "No thanks, i'll trust the doctor to fix me up"......i really dont recall him saying much after that. For a second i felt really proud to have confronted the nonsense, then the pain reminded me why i was there...and then they put me to sleep really good to shove a rather large tool down my willie! Oh My!
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08-11-2012, 11:41 AM
RE: Atheist Doctors
It's not bad enough that this doctor might be speaking to atheists when he mentions "God", but he isn't even thinking about the fact that there are more gods besides the one he worships that others believe in. Also nobody questioned it. You could have a Muslim, a Christian, a Hindu, and a Jew all in the room listening to that and each would be reacting "uh huh, he's right", but not thinking he meant the same thing. Anyway, this was totally inappropriate to bring Zeus into the discussion. (Wasn't that the one he meant? Tongue )

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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