AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

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AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Virtual Mentor. May 2005, Volume 7, Number 5.

Test Questions

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Test Questions: The Role of Faith in the Patient-Physician Relationship

May 2005
The Role of Faith in the Patient-Physician Relationship

1. In the case of a fetus with a severe genetic condition like trisomy 13, which of the following options would be acceptable to both an observant Catholic patient and a non-religious doctor?

A. Medical abortion to spare the child a short lifetime filled with suffering.
B. Early induction of labor for therapeutic reasons that would more than likely cause the infant's death, although that would not be the main goal of the procedure.
C. Normal course for the pregnancy that allows "nature to take it's course" without extraordinary care.
D. Monitoring the pregnancy, planning for a live birth, and then providing all the care necessary for the child to have the most comfortable life.
E. C and D.

2. An Orthodox Jewish physician is forbidden by Jewish law to:

A. Force treatment on a patient against his or her will.
B. Perform an act that hastens a patient's death.
C. Withdraw nutrition, hydration, or oxygen from a terminally ill patient.
D. All of the above.
E. A and B.

3. When a physician's religious beliefs dictate that he or she not provide a standard medical treatment that a patient is requesting, the physician should:

A. Attempt to persuade the patient to accept the physician's point of view.
B. Tell the patient that this request is unacceptable and suggest that he or she find another doctor to provide the treatment.
C. Explain why the physician cannot provide the treatment and work with the patient to find an alternative that is acceptable to both.
D. Provide the requested treatment if it conforms with medical standard of care.

4. When a patient attempts to evangelize his or her psychiatrist, it is appropriate for the psychiatrist to:

A. Tell the patient that discussion of his or her religious beliefs has no place in the therapeutic encounter.
B. Ask to learn more about how the patient's religious beliefs guide his or her daily actions and behavior.
C. Use the therapeutic encounter as a means for discovering whether the patient's religion is one the psychiatrist might want to adopt.
D. Make sure the patient understands the clear distinction between his or her beliefs and his or her psychiatric illness.

5. The clinical pearl outlines several goals of a patient spiritual assessment. Which of the following is not one of those goals?

A. Give the physician a way to evaluate the merits of the patient's religion.
B. Provide a safe, therapeutic setting for patients to discuss their spiritual preferences as they relate to medical care.
C. Use an approach that will be acceptable and helpful for any patient regardless of religious or cultural background.
D. Keep patient needs as the primary focus.
E. A and D.

6. A pregnant woman refuses, on religious grounds, treatment needed for her survival and that of her fetus. According to Illinois case law:

A. Those who wish to override her refusal are encouraged to seek a court order do so.
B. The state's interest in the life of the woman's fetus overrides her right to refuse the treatment.
C. The woman's right to refuse treatment overrides the state's interest in the life of her fetus.
D. The physician and hospital can impose the treatment on the woman for the benefit of the fetus as long as the treatment is not considered "invasive."
E. She must demonstrate proof of her membership in the faith tradition that forbids the treatment.

7. One of the strengths of the literature on the effects of spirituality on health is a uniform definition of "spirituality" throughout the studies.

A. True
B. False

8. In the play Equus, the psychiatrist is concerned that medicine may have a negative effect on his patient Alan because:

A. It could make Alan less violent towards the horses.
B. It may alter the passion and purpose in Alan's life, ultimately leaving a void in his personality.
C. Treatment might strain the already fragile relationship between Alan and his parents.
D. Medical intervention could force Alan to recall painful memories.

9. If a community health clinic, such as the Lawndale Christian Health Center in Chicago, wishes to be eligible for federal funding, it must not offer any faith-based services.

A. True
B. False

10. According the Interfaith Health Program, physicians' first steps into the area of faith-health interaction should:

A. Recognize that faith is more like health than like illness.
B. Seek from patients what they think is the cause of their life, their thriving, and vitality.
C. Seek to determine in what ways religious-social networks are assets for health.
D. All of the above.
E. A and C.
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