I am responding to the GMC’s revised advice on discussions of religion with patients.
Faith has a very important role in paient care, particularly when dealing with distress, anxiety, depression and coming to terms with loss. If we approach the matter in terms of patients’ beliefs, or ‘generic religion’ then I can see no problem. Difficulties arise when say a Christian doctor speaks to a Muslim patient in terms of Christian beliefs. But we would lose a valuable tool if they did not raise the matter out of fear. I regularly discuss religion with patients and there has never been a problem. Patients actually appreciate it. It is important to be familiar with various beliefs and faiths.
Dr Ravi Vatish, Handsworth, Birmingham