Susan B. LeGrand, MD
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LeGrand S.; Physicians and Patient Spirituality. Ann Intern Med. 2002;137:372. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-137-5_Part_1-200209030-00028
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2002;137(5_Part_1):372.
TO THE EDITOR:
Dr. Graner's comments in his letter to the editor reflect a misunderstanding of the concept of separation of church and state (not “politics”) (1). The U.S. Constitution requires that the government not sanction a particular religion. It makes no statements about what I may have in my personal, nongovernmental office. My office is my personal space, which contains personal photographs, mementos of travels, gifts from patients, and other reflections of my personality that include symbols of my personal faith. I may choose to wear a cross and thereby proclaim to all my personal beliefs. This in no way suggests that I “impose [my] particular belief structure on others.” I agree with Dr. Bodey (2) that if one is a Christian it is a way of living 24/7, not a Sunday activity. As a palliative medicine physician, I routinely deal with the spirituality of my patients. I must be sensitive to the belief systems of all of my patients. This does not require that I deny an essential part of who I am.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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