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Patient choice in medicine taking: religious sensitivities must be respected
  1. A R Gatrad1,
  2. G Mynors2,
  3. P Hunt3,
  4. A Sheikh4
  1. 1Manor Hospital and Birmingham University, UK
  2. 2Medicines Partnership, London, UK
  3. 3National Patient Safety Agency, London, UK
  4. 4Division of Community Health Sciences: GP Section, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr A R Gatrad
    Manor Hospital, Moat Road, Walsall WS2 9PS, UK;

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Children often do not have choice in medicine taking, as it is typically their parents who agree, on their behalf, to receive prescribed treatments. Exploring parents’ (and wherever possible also children’s) beliefs about choice of medication is however important,1 particularly so when strong religious beliefs about contents of medications may be present, as a failure to do so may result in unintended harm and negatively impact on compliance.

In a multicultural context, it is essential that prescribers have a minimal level of awareness of parent’s religious sensitiveness so that these can be considered when prescribing …

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  • Competing interests: ARG and AS have (voluntary) positions with the Research and Documentation Committee of Muslim Council of Britain. They, together with GM, were involved in the production of Informed choice in medicine taking: drugs of porcine origin and clinical alternatives which was supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Sanofi-Synthelabo. Lord Hunt is Chairman of the National Patient Safety Agency.