CBS News reported: "According to a mail-in survey of nearly 4,000 British doctors, those who were atheist or agnostic were almost twice as willing to take actions designed to hasten the end of life."
Atheist David Mann, M.D. on being an atheist doctor
Atheist David Mann, M.D. wrote on being an atheist doctor in the United States:
|“|| As an interventional electrophysiologist, I would meet with each patient’s family before and after every procedure. Not infrequently, one person from each group in the waiting room was introduced as “this is our pastor.” Usually, at some point, the pastor would suggest a round of prayer, and I was expected to participate, at least by bowing my head and maintaining a respectful silence. If the prayer was before the procedure, the primary focus was usually to make sure God guided my hand, and the outcome would be good. Prayers after the procedure usually focused on thanking God for safely getting the patient through the procedure and asking for a speedy recovery.
It was not a good time to bring up the fact that I was an atheist. So I just went along with it, only briefly and mildly discomforted. Religion gives strength and comfort to people in life and death situations that doctors often deal with. I rationalized that my silent participation was helping my patient and the family psychologically. Besides, how would they feel about my performing complicated heart procedures on their loved one if they thought I was an unbelieving heathen incapable of accepting God’s guiding hand?
It’s uncomfortable to be an atheist and a doctor, just as it uncomfortable in America to be an atheist in general.
Belief in God and American doctors
See also: Atheism in medicine
The University of Chicago Chronicle reported in 2005:
|“||The first study of physician religious beliefs has found that 76 percent of doctors believe in God and 59 percent believe in some sort of afterlife. The survey, performed by researchers at the University and published in the July issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine, found that 90 percent of doctors in the United States attend religious services at least occasionally, compared to 81 percent of all adults. Fifty-five percent of doctors say their religious beliefs influence how they practice medicine.||”|
Physicians For Life
- NEWSWEEK Poll: 90% Believe in God, Newsweek 2007
- Roberts, Jessica, et al. (June 19, 2007). "Interview with an atheist". News21. Retrieved on July 30, 2014.
- Atheist doctors must come out of the closet by David Mann, M.D.
- Survey on physicians’ religious beliefs shows majority faithful , University of Chicago Chronicle