Atheists More Likely to End Life for Terminally Ill

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A study of British doctors found atheist and agnostic physicians are twice as likely to make decisions to end the lives of their terminally ill patients compared to doctors who are very religious.

A new study from Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry surveyed more than 3,700 doctors on how they make end of life decisions. It found that nonreligious doctors are more likely to accelerate death in the terminally ill.

Medical guidelines in Britain forbid religious beliefs from interfering with treatment.

"Whatever your personal beliefs may be...you must be respectful of the patient's dignity and views," the guidelines from the British Medical Association read.

The study suggests patients find out the moral values of their doctors and understand how those values might influence their treatment.

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