5th International Conference of Orthodox Psychoterapists Psychoterapy & Pastorale: Revelations of the Existence- Copyright © 2012
FORMAT | Presented paper
LANGUAGE | English
HOW TO CITE| Damian, S. I., SANDU, Antonio, Necula, M. R., Corîu, D. (2012). The relationship between doctor and Orthodox priest in chronic disease care: an ethical perspective. Prezentat la 5th International Conference of Orthodox Psychoterapists Psychoterapy & Pastorale: Revelations of the Existence, 27-30 Septembrie 2012, Grecia.
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Christian Bioethics underlies the relationship between doctor and patient on the Christian principles of humility, compassion, empathy and altruism. The care provided by doctors can be understood in the Christian spirit as God’s work accomplished through the doctor and the medical system. The patient needs are better served when in the care process the priest joins in. This research is based on the research of the lifestyle and health behavior of patients with chronic disease in the Center for Ethics and Health Policy in Iasi, Romania. The research was realized using a qualitative methodology focused on individual and group interviews (focus groups) with physicians and priests, as well as diabetic patients and their caregivers. Data were collected in Iasi during July-December 2011. The purpose of the research is the analysis of the doctors’ opinions involved in the treatment as well as of the Orthodox priests who attended the spiritual care of chronically ill with diabetes, in order to establish the optimal relationship between the actors involved in the care process. We will be referring especially to the relationship between doctor and priest. As results we mention: both doctors and priests mutually recognize their importance during treatment and the limits of their professional skills. A tight cooperation for the benefit of diabetic patients is established between the representatives of both professions. Contrary to common sense, in current practice, Orthodox priests who participated in research admit that they ask the spiritual son in distress to seek and follow medical advice and doctors recommend patients to benefit from the spiritual care offered by the priest. Respondents indicate that the majority of their diabetic patients feel a peace of mind when they respect the Orthodox fast and its rigors, although it apparently adds a number of supplementary needs in addition to the specific lifestyle of the diabetic. There are priests who have diabetes themselves, and this does not hinder their spiritual service and obedience to his elderly – the doctor.
doctor, priest, chronic disease, diabetes, care.