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Editor's Correspondence
April 26, 2004

Muslim and Jewish Perspectives on Inappropriate Treatment at the End of Life

Author Affiliations

Toronto, Ontario

Arch Intern Med. 2004;164(8):916-917. doi:10.1001/archinte.164.8.916-c

As geriatricians with interests in Islamic (S.M.H.A.) and Jewish (M.G.) bioethics,1,2 we read with interest the article by Brett and Jersild3 discussing religious beliefs that may engender conflict with health care providers. Brett and Jersild3 cited 4 commonly invoked reasons by Christian patients and families to support aggressive care near the end of life: (1) hope for a miracle; (2) refusal to give up on God; (3) every moment of life is precious; and (4) suffering may have redemptive value. Given that similar arguments may arise in similar circumstances among Muslim and Jewish patients, we believed that it would be useful to provide perspectives from these 2 monotheistic faiths for the benefit of readers of the ARCHIVES.

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