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Сommentary from session # 95 “Portrait of an Orthodox patient”

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Archpriest Sergey Filimonov, Chairman of the Saint Petersburg Orthodox Doctors Society, Dr. Sci. (Med), Professor. (St. Petersburg)

Ecclesiastical and psychological portrait of an Orthodox patient

The commentary is divided into two parts: the first part of the commentary examines the ecclesiastical and psychological portrait of an Orthodox patient. According to the examination of this portrait, the Orthodox patient is one of the most difficult typological categories, which causes a lot of difficulties for doctors during the clinical process. In particular, Orthodox patients tend to trust blessings and different kinds of pseudo-spiritual advice more than medical schemes and medical instructions. This leads to various conflict situations in outpatient and inpatient polyclinic practice.

Quite often Orthodox patients try to double-check their physicians or create various difficult situations, when in order to perform certain prayers and services, they leave a medical institution or violate discipline and internal regulations of a medical institution, hiding behind various Orthodox or other religious views. Therefore, one of the difficulties of Orthodox patients is a lack of understanding of the Holy Father’s teaching about obedience to the church, including obedience within the walls of the institution where patients stay for treatment.

Approaches to special categories of Orthodox patients.

The second part of the commentary is connected to the peculiarities of the ecclesiastical and psychological portrait of monastics suffering from various diseases: their attitude towards medicines, the preferences and peculiarities of the doctor’s communication with the monastics, understanding of their mentality, respectful attitude towards their mentality and the implementation of treatment in accordance with religious views and depth of theses religious views of a particular person. 

The commentary provides recommendations on the correct understanding of monastics and the separation of religious views from mental disorders, it also explains the approaches to special categories of Orthodox patients.

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