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Religion, spirituality and health: an American physician's response

Harold G Koenig
Med J Aust 2003; 178 (2): 51-52.

Assessing patients' spirituality provides important medical information

In this issue of the Journal, Peach examines whether the medical profession in Australia ought to consider patients' religion or spirituality in clinical practice (page 86).1 There is much that Peach writes which I wholeheartedly support. This includes the important role that clergy play in medical settings, the need for further research on the health benefits (and risks) of spirituality in Australian patients, and the need to better understand the costs and benefits of Australian physicians making spiritual inquiries. However, on four points we disagree:

  • Harold G Koenig

  • Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, US.

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