Faith influences aggressive treatment
A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that cancer patients who use "positive religious coping," or collaborating with God to overcome illness, are more likely to seek heroic measures in an attempt to prolong life.
Because religious patients often trust in God's sovereignty and an afterlife, "one might expect them to be more accepting of death and let nature take its course at the end of life, rather than pursuing very aggressive treatments," says Dr. Andrea Phelps, lead author on the study and senior medical resident at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical in Boston.
But, Phelps says, a few reasons might help explain why religious cancer patients commonly opt for aggressive care in their final days, inlcuding Faith leads to optimism, even when a prognosis is bleak; Faith gives purpose to suffering, and in turn helps patients muster stamina for invasive treatments; Beliefs about sanctity of life may give rise to a quest to prolong life at almost any cost.
Patient Kevin Brumett says determined to fight the disease, and says God is on his side every step of the way. He hopes his fight can help others who share his condition.
To learn more abaout Kevin and his personal battle, please click here.