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Old 05-24-2009   #1
my.dragons.lady
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Porcine and Bovine medicine and surgical products

When you see a doctor, does it occur to you that their religious practices or lack of may affect your treatment? Should doctors disclose their personal beliefs to patients so they might make better informed decisions?

Quote:
Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu Perspectives

Catherine Easterbrook, BHSc(Hons); Guy Maddern, MBBS, MS, MD, PhD, FRACS

Arch Surg. 2008;143(4):366-370.

ABSTRACT

<snip>

Data Synthesis It is deemed acceptable for members of the Jewish faith to undergo surgery using porcine products. In dire situations and only after all other options have been exhausted, followers of the Muslim faith are permitted to use porcine surgical products. Hindu religious leaders did not accept the use of bovine surgical implants.


Conclusions Australia comprises a multicultural society; therefore, it is necessary to consider religious beliefs of all patients. As part of a surgeon's duty of care, the informed consent process should include a discussion about animal-derived surgical implants to avoid religious distress and possible litigation. A greater understanding of religious views would enhance the medical care of persons of Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu faiths.

<snip>

A patient's religion and his or her religious beliefs have the potential to influence medical decisions and can cause conflict regarding medical care. Certain religious groups have beliefs regarding the dietary use of porcine and bovine products that could limit treatment options during surgery, particularly as many surgical products contain prohibited materials. The Jewish Bible (the Tanakh), the Islamic Holy Books (the Suhuf-i-Ibrahim [commonly the Scrolls of Abraham], the Tawrat [Torah], the Zabur [commonly the Psalms], and the Injil [commonly the Gospel]) and the Koran prohibit persons of Jewish and Muslim faiths from ingesting porcine products because the pig is considered unclean. Followers of Hinduism avoid slaughtering cattle because of cultural and agricultural reasons, as cows are considered sacred, auspicious, and important laborers.1


Many medications and medical and surgical implants are made from porcine or bovine material; hence, their use among certain religious groups could be deemed insensitive. Unfortunately, the use of animal-derived medications or surgical implants may be unavoidable in some situations. Because of known dietary prohibitions among followers of Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu faiths, uncertainty develops among the medical profession when medications or surgical implants that contain porcine or bovine material are required The use of animal-derived surgical material has the potential to cause ethical dilemmas that could potentially influence consenting practices and cause religious distress to patients, particularly if no alternative nonanimal product is available.


Little is known about what surgeons do when they are confronted with a religious conflict of this nature and how they navigate through it. Current literature has not addressed the use of porcine or bovine surgical products among Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu religious groups. The use of religiously forbidden medications, particularly gelatin capsules and surfactants, has been described in the literature.1-4 Gelatin is widely used in medicine and is derived from collagen, which is a protein found in the skin and bones of cows and pigs. Religious debate has previously centered only on medications containing gelatin. Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu religious leaders suggest that alternative nonanimal products should be the first option.1 If no alternatives are available or if alternatives are inadequate, then an animal-derived medication is acceptable because it would be the only way to conserve life.1


Xenotransplantation has also been widely examined in the literature relative to persons of Jewish and Muslim faiths.5-7 Investigations of religious laws and discussions with scholars disclose that xenotransplantation does not defy strict religious laws and is readily permitted in the Muslin and Jewish religions.8-10 It is expected that the prevalence of xenotransplantation will increase in the future, particularly as the pig is considered the most probable species for use in organ transplantation because its anatomy is similar to that of humans.5


There is a lack of evidence available to surgeons about the use of animal-derived surgical implants among persons of different religions. The result is that when a surgeon is confronted with a patient who wishes to avoid animal-derived surgical material, he or she is unable to draw on established principles. This type of situation can prove difficult for the treating physician; therefore, guidelines are needed to help surgeons navigate religious conflicts. The deficit in knowledge led us to examine this topic to assist surgeons in determining the right course of action when confronted with a patient who refuses surgical implants based on his or her religious beliefs. Approximately 81 porcine and bovine surgical implants are regularly used in Australia (Table). This article focuses on the opinions of persons of Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu faiths relative to the use of animal-derived material in surgery.
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Old 05-24-2009   #2
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Re: Porcine and Bovine medicine and surgical products

It does and I hate it. I think that, in a perfect world, doctors could put aside their beliefs for the benefits of the patient, and the patients could put aside their beliefs to receive the best treatment.
In the real world, though, there are gynecologists who don't believe in birth control and remove hormone implants without telling their patients. There are doctors that discriminate treatment based on a patient's religion. There are even doctors that believe that prayer is better than physical treatment.
I can't believe that it's allowed to happen, but it does.

My honest preference would be for an atheist doctor for all of my procedures, simply because it's a guarantee that there will not be any religious-based decisions in my treatments. I don't ask my doctors their religions, though, unless I feel it is directly relevant to the situation.
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Old 05-24-2009   #3
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Re: Porcine and Bovine medicine and surgical products

Unless you are going to a "Catholic" hospital, well then you know where they are going to stand on .... abortion, contraceptives, etc. So if I don't disclose my personal belief's then I don't want my doctor/health care person doing the same, it has no bearing on my care or treatment. If I wanted that, then I would go to a church.... right?
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