Area Doctors Of Various Faiths Back Changes to Aid Patients

October 3, 2009

Author: David Yonke

Source: The Toledo Blade

As the nation continues to debate health-care reform, some local physicians are hoping for changes that will help them better align their religious and professional concerns.

When taking the Hippocratic Oath, physicians vow "to keep the good of the patient as the highest priority," but the current medical system often creates obstacles to fulfilling that pledge, several doctors said in recent interviews.

"From a religious standpoint, there is a conflict between your own personal beliefs and how you are trained," said Dr. Jay Jindal, an ear, nose, and throat specialist and a Hindu. "You have to take care of people the way you would want to be treated. But not having health care is a barrier to seeking medical treatment."

A specialist in cancer treatment, Dr. Jindal is disturbed by the fact that too many patients put off medical treatment because of finances.

"There are people who are having to make choices between health care and paying the rent," he said. "And with the economy being so bad, even people with insurance are not coming to the doctor's office because the $20 or $30 co-pay is deterring them."

Similar concerns were voiced by local Christian, Muslim, and Jewish physicians and scholars about the morality of health-care reform.