Clinical studies are beginning to clarify how spirituality and religion can contribute to the coping strategies of many patients with severe, chronic, and terminal conditions. The ethical aspects of physician attention to the spiritual and religious dimensions of patients' experiences of illness require review and discussion. Should the physician discuss spiritual issues with his or her patients? What are the boundaries between the physician and patient regarding these issues? What are the professional boundaries between the physician and the chaplain? This article examines the physician-patient relationship and medical ethics at a time when researchers are beginning to appreciate the spiritual aspects of coping with illness.