Poll: Most Catholic physicians favor treatment contrary to Church teaching

.- A very large number of Catholic physicians morally support several medical and ethical issues, which are contrary to Church teaching and which have been the source of debate in the United States, says a new study released last week. According to the survey, 87 percent of Catholic doctors said they would "prescribe birth control pills to any adult patients that request them and for whom they are medically appropriate." Of the doctors who were surveyed, 93 percent said they agreed.

As well, 90 percent of the Catholic doctors surveyed support the promotion and use of condoms to protect against HIV-AIDS in developing countries. More than any other Christian denomination, 49 percent of Catholic physicians supported the statement, "Do you feel homosexuality is morally acceptable as a lifestyle choice?"

The only place that Catholics differed from most doctors was on the issue of embyronic stem-cell research. While 49 percent of all of the doctors surveyed said they approved of it, only 27 percent of Catholic doctors approved.

Doctors of all religions overwhelmingly approved research of non-embryonic sources of stem cells, such as cord blood and placental blood, as well as from tissue of living humans.

The survey was conducted by HCD Research and the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion April 21-23. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 per cent with a confidence level of 95 per cent. It was conducted among 1,536 U.S. physicians.

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