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Comment & Response
December 26, 2017

Spiritual Care in Medicine—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA. 2017;318(24):2496. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.16571

In Reply We agree with Dr Liao that philosophical ideas have influenced the nature and practice of medicine. We agree also that philosophical discussion of the “truth claims” of world religions and spiritual entities is important, albeit challenging. Although we further agree that materialist presuppositions have led to a neglect of spiritual care, we do not believe that materialist or atheist perspectives necessarily preclude the provision of such care. There is now robust data demonstrating its importance.1