Spirituality and religion in the care of surgical oncology patients with life-threatening or advanced illnesses

Monica L. Woll, Daniel B. Hinshaw, Timothy M. Pawlik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Spiritual and religious concerns often become of central importance in the care of surgical oncology patients confronted with their mortality. Unfortunately, surgeons are often ill prepared or reluctant to address the spiritual and religious needs of their patients. In this article, working definitions of spirituality versus religiosity will be developed in the context of the three largest monotheistic religions in America: Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Disease, dying, and death will be explored with respect to these faiths and examples of how to address religious beliefs in practical clinical settings will be given. Finally, specific suggestions will be made for surgeons to better understand, empathize with, and address the needs of their seriously ill patients in a holistic manner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3048-3057
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of Surgical Oncology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology

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