Ethical Considerations Regarding Religion/Spirituality in Consultation Psychiatry

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Abstract

Psychiatrists who practice in medical settings often receive requests for consultation regarding value-laden issues such as coping and capacity. When patients’ values are intertwined with their religious faith, such requests can raise ethical concerns about the psychiatrist’s scope of practice, as illustrated here by 2 case examples. Furthermore, clinicians’ own religious or spiritual values may cause them to experience ethical conflict when they are expected to provide care in cases involving issues such as abortion or assisted suicide.

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