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עמוד בית
Wed, 29.05.24

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May 2019
Michael S. Schimmel MD, Francis B. Mimouni MD, Avraham Steinberg MD and Moshe Y. Kasirer MD

Background: Israel's population is diverse, with people of different religions, many of whom seek spiritual guidance during ethical dilemmas. It is paramount for healthcare providers to be familiar with different religious approaches.

Objectives: To describe the attitudes of the three major monotheistic religions when encountering four complex neonatal situations.

Methods: A questionnaire related to four simulated cases was presented to each participant: a non-viable extremely premature infant (case 1), a severely asphyxiated term infant with extensive brain damage (case 2), a small preterm infant with severe brain hemorrhage and likely extensive brain damage (case 3), and a term infant with trisomy 21 syndrome and a severe cardiac malformation (case 4).

Results: Major differences among the three religious opinions were found in the definition of viability and in the approach towards quality of life.

Conclusions: Neonatologists must be sensitive to culture and religion when dealing with major ethical issues in the neonatal intensive care unit.

January 2013
A.Z. Zivotofsky and A. Jotkowitz
October 2007
A. Shmueli and D. Tamir

Research findings have shown the protective effect of religiosity – among both Christians and Israeli Jews – in terms of morbidity and mortality. To explore the relationship between religiosity and health behavior as a possible explanation for these findings we conducted 3056 telephone interviews, representing the Israeli adult urban Jewish population. Health status, health behavior, frequency of medical checkups, and eating habits were measured. Logistic regressions were used to estimate the religiosity gradient on health behavior, controlling for other personal characteristics. We found a lower prevalence of stress and smoking among religious persons; we also found that religious women exercise less than secular women and that religious people – both men and women – are more obese than their secular counterparts. While no religiosity gradient was found with relation to the frequency of blood pressure, cholesterol and dental checkups, religious women are less likely to undergo breast examinations and mammography. Finally, religious people generally follow a healthier dietary regime, consuming less meat, dairy products and coffee, and much more fish. The lower smoking rates, lower levels of stress, and the healthier dietary regime are consistent with the previously shown longer life expectancy of religious people; however, obesity might become a risk factor in this community.

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