Forget examining the medical degree on the wall of your doctor’s office. Don’t ask where they did their residency. Don’t wonder what prestigious scientific journals published their work. Ask your doctor about their belief in God. If you don’t it could cost you your life.

The Guardian is reporting on a study:

Doctors who are atheist or agnostic are twice as likely to take decisions that might shorten the life of somebody who is terminally ill as doctors who are deeply religious – and doctors with strong religious convictions are less likely even to discuss such decisions with the patient, according to Professor Clive Seale, from the centre for health sciences at Barts and the London school of medicine and dentistry.

“If I were a patient facing end of life care, I would want to know what my doctor’s views were on religious matters – whether they are non-religious or religious and whether the doctor felt that would influence them in the kinds of decisions they were looking at,” said Seale.

A patient who wanted their life prolonged at all costs in the event of a terminal illness, or did not want it prolonged, should make sure they had a doctor who was in sympathy with this.

Doctors are influenced by their beliefs, just as other people are, said Seale.

“It is easy for clinicians to present themselves as neutral appliers of science, but values do come into it,” he said.

Anyone who’s had a loved one in a hospital knows that you sometimes have to fight for their lives. A Catholic hospital tried to overdose my father to death and a secular hospital attempted to starve my brother.

This is one of the reasons the battle for integrity of Catholic hospitals matters so much. This is why the culture of life is about a heck of a lot more than abortion.

So ask your doctor about their belief in God. They’ll probably freak but hey, at least you can share the story with us over here. But really, why would you put your life in the hands of someone who doesn’t believe that life is sacred at every moment of the spectrum?