Acessibilidade / Reportar erro

Ethical and legal aspects of religious assistance in psychiatric hospitals

The religious assistance to inpatients with severe psychiatric disorders is a problem rarely discussed among psychiatrists. Legal aspects ensure the right to religious assistance to such patients, although some specific aspects lead to reflection and caution in certain situations. Thus, the main of the work is to discuss ethical, legal, scientific and religious aspects of religious assistance in psychiatric hospitals. It will also address some comments on the concepts of autonomy, beneficence and nonmaleficence, contained in bioethical principles. Finally, it will be presented the experience of the João Evangelista Hospital approach on such cases. In conclusion, ethical and legal conflicts can appear because patients have the right to receive a religious attendance. However, in some conditions, this assistance could lead to a worse in patient’s clinical status. Family orientation and doctor-patient-hospital relationship are essential to resolve these conflicts.

Spirituality; religion and medicine; psychiatry

Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo Rua Ovídio Pires de Campos, 785 , 05403-010 São Paulo SP Brasil, Tel./Fax: +55 11 2661-8011 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil