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Durham University

Department of Theology and Religion

Profiles

Publication details for Professor Christopher C. H. Cook

Pool, R. & Cook, C. C. H. (2011). Praying with a patient constitutes a breach of professional boundaries in psychiatric practice. The British Journal of Psychiatry 199(2): 94-98.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

The extent to which religion and spirituality are integrated into routine psychiatric practice has been a source of increasing controversy over recent years. While taking a patient’s spiritual needs into account when planning their care may be less contentious, disclosure to the patient by the psychiatrist of their own religious beliefs or consulting clergy in the context of treatment are seen by some as potentially harmful and in breach of General Medical Council guidance. Here, Professor Rob Poole and Professor Christopher Cook debate whether praying with a patient constitutes a breach of professional boundaries in psychiatric practice.