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Book and Media Reviews
February 3, 2010

Faith and Health: Religion, Science, and Public Policy

JAMA. 2010;303(5):457-460. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.50

Paul Simmons' book deals with dilemmas in which medicine and religion each have a stake. Sometimes these stakes are very much at odds with each other, leaving patients as well as physicians in a quandary. With chapters on dilemmas such as suffering, false hope, health care, aging, the right to die, physician-assisted suicide, artificial organs, stem cell usage, abortion, and mental illness, this book seemingly has the potential to bring clarity to the various positions held by adherents to religions and organized medicine alike. It is clear that a person's (whether patient or health professional) religious belief system (or lack thereof) might guide his or her decision-making in these areas.