NCSR 2008 - Urban Diversity and Religious Traditions
13-15 August 2008, Åbo Akademi University

Religious diversity and front-line healthcare services in Québec

Josiane Le Gall

The adaptation of health services to religious diversity is an integral part of Quebec provincial legislation. Indeed, according to the Act respecting health services and social services, the function of institutions is to ensure the provision of safe, continuous and accessible quality health or social services which respect the rights and spiritual needs of individuals and which aim at reducing or solving health and welfare problems and responding to the needs of the various population groups. However, adapting health services to religious diversity often involves dilemmas and challenges. Drawing upon clinical cases from an ongoing research on religion’s place in some front-line healthcare establishments situated in multiethnic Montreal districts, this paper will examine how health care professionals take into account the beliefs and religious practices of their customers. Key underlying questions to be considered are : What are the kind of issues related to religion encountered in clinical care? What are the proposed solutions? What constraints and limits are taken into account in adapting services?