Letter to the Editor

Spirituality of Physicians

Authors: Duraiyah Thangathurai, MD, PhD, Sarah Vitug, MD, MPhil, Vikas Ravi, MD


To the Editor: We evaluated the spirituality of caretakers, mainly physicians, in regard to its effect on the care of critically ill patients, terminally ill cancer patients, and older adult patients with comorbidities involving multiorgan dysfunctions. Spiritual issues are common in patients’ final days of life. Historically, spiritual care has been present throughout many cultures.1 During the 20th century, with the advances in science and technology, spiritual care has been neglected. Modernization of medicine, however, does not significantly alleviate patient suffering related to psychological, spiritual, and social aspects.2

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1. Markham I. Spirituality and the world of faiths. In: Cobb M, Robshaw V, eds. Spiritual Challenge of Health Care. London:Churchill Livingstone; 2000: pp 73-87.
2. Astrow AB, Puchalski CM, Sulmasy DP. Religion, spirituality, and health care: social, ethical, and practical considerations. Am J Med 2001;110:283-287.
3. Brady MJ, Peterman AH, Fitchett G, et al. A case for including spirituality in quality of life measurement in oncology. Psychooncology 1999;8:417-428.
4. Cawley N. An exploration of the concept of spirituality. Int J Palliat Nurs 1997;3:31-36.
5. Thangathurai D. Spirituality of Caretakers and End of Life Care [dissertation]. https://search.proquest.com/openview/1dc7b14c4f45055e989df5bfe8eb72ef/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&ampcbl=18750&ampdiss=y. Published 2010.