Abstract: While the United States is becoming more secularized, religion and spirituality continue to play an important role in the US. Parents’ and adolescents’ religious beliefs may substantially influence their medical decision making. While some religiously-based refusals may constitute medical neglect and justify judicial intervention, many do not and require negotiation. It is therefore important for providers to be able to understand how individuals’ beliefs are influencing their decisions and to be able to propose reasonable alternatives. In other cases, such as the determination of death, greater accommodation of religious beliefs than is currently generally permitted may be justified.
Pediatric Ethics Grand Rounds/ Donald N. Medearis Jr. Lecture
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