Controversies in faith and health care

Andrew Tomkins, Jean Duff, Atallah Fitzgibbon, Azza Karam, Edward J. Mills, Keith Munnings, Sally Smith, Shreelata Rao Seshadri, Avraham Steinberg, Robert Vitillo, Philemon Yugi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations

Abstract

Differences in religious faith-based viewpoints (controversies) on the sanctity of human life, acceptable behaviour, health-care technologies and health-care services contribute to the widespread variations in health care worldwide. Faith-linked controversies include family planning, child protection (especially child marriage, female genital mutilation, and immunisation), stigma and harm reduction, violence against women, sexual and reproductive health and HIV, gender, end-of-life issues, and faith activities including prayer. Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and traditional beliefs have similarities and differences in their viewpoints. Improved understanding by health-care providers of the heterogeneity of viewpoints, both within and between faiths, and their effect on health care is important for clinical medicine, public-health programmes, and health-care policy. Increased appreciation in faith leaders of the effect of their teachings on health care is also crucial. This Series paper outlines some faith-related controversies, describes how they influence health-care provision and uptake, and identifies opportunities for research and increased interaction between faith leaders and health-care providers to improve health care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1776-1785
Number of pages10
JournalThe Lancet
Volume386
Issue number10005
DOIs
StatePublished - 31 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

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