(As far as I can tell the study doesn't disentangle the two most obvious hypotheses: "religious people have a greater fear of death" vs. "religious people suffer less under terminal conditions.")
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
No true believers in hospice beds?
The oft-toted benefits (to society) of religious faith include greater happiness and charitable giving; the oft-toted primary benefit to the individual is the promise of life beyond the grave. Linked article reports that far from fearlessly facing the ends of their lives, terminal cancer patients who reported the highest importance of religious "coping" were more than twice as likely to request invasive, painful procedures such as resuscitation even when their doctors explained that the procedure was not likely to prolong their lives nor improve their quality of life.