Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA) and Freedom2Care (our center for freedom of faith, conscience and speech) recently submitted official comments on three federal regulations that significantly impact faith-based organizations and conscience-guided health professionals. We also have engaged in court cases, described below, related to two of these regulations.

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Gene Editing to Make Better Human Beings? September 14, 2017

Dr. Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte is trained in pharmacy and biochemistry and is a professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, in the Gene Expression Laboratories. He has been at the Salk Institute since 1993. He also held a position in Spain during 10 of those years. He helped found the Barcelona Regenerative Medicine Center (CMRB), a stem cell research institution, in 2004. He left the CMRB director’s post in 2014, citing lack of funding and support from the government. Of the center’s 21 projects, he took 18 with him, for they were his intellectual property.

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New Chinese Study Opens Ethical Can of Worms October 19, 2017

Scientists are often viewed as highly ethical, curious seekers of truth. In many cases, this is true. Unfortunately, in pursuit of “truth” some researchers cross important ethical lines, possibly rationalizing their crimes, in a utilitarian manner, as a means to better healthcare for the greater populace.

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Conscience Freedoms Protect Against Ideological Agendas April 5, 2018

Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA) member and OB/Gyn physician Dr. Regina Frost appears to be a modern-day Queen Esther, taking a courageous stand for the faith as did the Biblical heroine. Dr. Frost is the face of Christian doctors in a high-stakes federal lawsuit to protect the new federal conscience protection rule from legal assault.

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Words are important. The words I use to describe my patients, even if I am only thinking those words and not speaking them, affect how I feel about them and how I treat them. I’ve known this for a long time, so I work hard to guard both my thinking and my speech as I care for patients. I don’t consider myself prone to making snap judgments about people based on their appearance—that is, I don’t see myself as biased.

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Why Do You Follow Jesus? July 24, 2018

In this week’s blog post, Dr. Autumn Dawn Galbreath shares about visiting Poland, what she does to prepare for a trip to another country and how what happened in Auschwitz pushes her to think about suffering for Christ and her desire to pursue Christ above everything else.

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Scapegoating the Church for LGBT Suicide and Stigma

Health statistics for people who identify as GLBTQ+ are recognized as poor compared to the general population. Finding causation for those negative statistics in stigma and the religious groups that allegedly promote it is the ideological zeitgeist. California Assemblyman Evan Low just introduced non-binding resolution ACR-99 Civil rights: lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender people, which states, “The stigma associated with being LGBT often created by groups in society, including therapists and religious groups, has caused disproportionately high rates of suicide, attempted suicide, depression, rejection, and isolation amongst LGBT and questioning individuals;” and it isn’t the only time “religious groups,” “pastors” or “religious leaders” are mentioned in the text condemning “conversion therapy.” It’s conceptual and factual error and ultimately hurts sexual minorities. Blame shifting does that.

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In Favor of Organ Donation? June 20, 2019

The Department of Health & Social Care of GOV.UK recently notified its email subscribers of a new law regarding organ donation in England. Beginning in 2020, “Everyone in England over the age of 18 will be considered to be in favour of donating their organs and tissues after death unless: They have said they don’t want to donate their organs (they have ‘opted out’). They have appointed a representative to decide for them after their death. They are in one of the excluded groups – under the age of 18, ordinarily resident in England for less than 12 months before their death, or lack mental capacity for a significant period before their death.”

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Trust in Patient Relationships June 13, 2019

Any third year medical student knows that the basic principles of medical ethics are autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence and justice. At least, that is, according to Beauchamp and Childress’s Principles of Medical Ethics, first published in 1985. For many people these are the only specific guidelines we should employ in sorting through clinical ethics conundrums. In western medicine, Autonomy (with a capital A) seems to be the primary, major consideration. The customer is always right.

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Autonomy Quickly Translates to Tyranny November 2, 2017

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a final rule that implements 25 federal conscience laws and strongly protects the exercise of conscience freedom by health professionals and health entities in HHS funded programs. HHS had issued a proposed conscience rule in January 2018 and finalized the rule May 2 after reviewing some 242,000 public comments, including from the Christian Medical Association (CMA) and Freedom2Care, which strongly support the rule.

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Conscience Rights: Does Your Medical Association Support Them? June 3, 2019

Where leading medical institutions stand on the right of conscience and religious freedom can sway court decisions and influence federal legislation. Therefore, it is important to know where prominent groups, such as the American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the World Health Organization, stand on these issues. Each of these groups represents a vast number of medical professionals, and yet their policies do not always accurately express their members’ diverse views, nor do they defend their members’ first amendment rights.

In some cases, the stances of medical organizations stand in direct opposition to the principles in federal law and regulations, which are outlined at the end of this essay.

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Unmasking Medical Marijuana May 23, 2019

At age 60, I can pretty much say I will never recommend marijuana to any of my patients. I have far too clear memories of my teenage years, when I knew many friends and family who smoked pot, to their detriment. In high school it wasn’t hard to tell who was using regularly because it interfered with their learning. They seemed slightly disoriented and less aware of what was going on around them.

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Finding Rest May 16, 2019

How often do you rest? If you’re anything like me, your answer is, “Not often enough!” Most of us are overwhelmed with things that can be outside of our direct control—a busy practice, a crashing patient, an EMR that requires 1,000 clicks per chart, a healthcare system that increases the RVU requirement every year or two, a prodigal child, a distant spouse. Of course, we have input into the things which we allow to fill our time. But very often, we don’t have control over them. Other people’s requirements and expectations place demands on us that are difficult to simply discard or ignore. And, as healthcare professionals, we are doing good. Our work benefits people. We minister to others in their times of greatest need. Good busyness is the hardest kind to fight because it’s easy to justify.

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Gene Editing to Make Better Human Beings? September 14, 2017

The promises of biotechnology are legion. Many excellent opportunities do exist to develop lifesaving therapies. Many more provide a tempting siren song of “cures!” And if you’re in the healthcare field, at some point you will be asked about your position on some of these wonderful new cures on the horizon. Here’s a short list of some of the recent melodies being sung regarding medical miracles, as well as some truth regarding these apparent wonders.

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Intersex: What It Is And Is Not May 2, 2019

Intersex is a colloquialism for what is more formally titled Disorders of Sex Development (DSD). Per psychiatrist Karl Benzio in an article published in Today’s Christian Doctor in 2015: “Intersex – People who have anatomy that is not considered typically male or female or have anatomy not matching their genetic sex of XX or XY. Most come to medical attention because healthcare professionals or parents notice something unusual about their bodies or puberty or fertility isn’t normal, but some are not known until death/autopsy.”

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Photo credit: MDGovpics on VisualHunt / CC BY

“We started it,” Dr. Atul Gawande told Vox interviewer Sarah Kliff in 2017 when he was asked about the opioid epidemic. Dr. Gawande, a surgeon and author, was referring to the role healthcare professionals played in producing the staggering number of opioid overdose deaths in the United States.

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Mandatory Re-Testing? April 11, 2019

Driver’s license renewal age standards vary from state to state. In Arizona, drivers over the age of 65 have a shorter license renewal cycle. In Hawaii, the renewal cycle drops from every eight years to every two years for persons over 72. In Illinois, the renewal cycle drops from four years to two after the age of 81, and then it drops to a yearly renewal cycle after 87 years.

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New Chinese Study Opens Ethical Can of Worms October 19, 2017

Adult stem cells are the successful gold standard of stem cells, especially when it comes to patients and therapies. Adult stem cells are in fact the only type of stem cell to have shown validated, published results of therapeutic benefit to patients. A recent published review of stem cell research documents the significant efficacy gap between embryonic and adult stem cells.

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Overcoming Isolation March 26, 2019

Drunk, rowdy, and foul smelling, he came into a busy clinic last night. He was roomed immediately to get the disruption out of the waiting room, but his volume penetrated the walls and disrupted multiple other clinic rooms. He had no ID, wouldn’t tell us his name and had no chief complaint.

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Transgender Athletics: A Justice Issue March 14, 2019

Nobody who knows me would call me an athlete. If I wasn’t picked last for team sports at school, then it was next to last. Every time. Because of this pathetic natural ability, I have never been one who availed myself of all the sports opportunities I was given.

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Autonomy Quickly Translates to Tyranny November 2, 2017

As noted in previous essays, a New England Journal of Medicine opinion piece entitled, “Physicians, Not Conscripts — Conscientious Objection in Health Care,” by Affordable Care Act architect Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel and University of Pennsylvania professor Ronit Stahl, advocates for limiting the exercise of conscience objections.

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Disappointment, Rejection and Betrayal, and Reasonable Expectations February 28, 2019

My senior pastor instructs that successful Christian living—I would add “or any successful life”—requires being prepared for the inevitability of disappointment, rejection and betrayal. Expectation is not fixation but preparation. The aim is not to sour you on life, but to bullet proof you a bit from its down side and to recognize the prize God provides through it.

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No Politics in the Exam Room? February 21, 2019

One of the many reasons I entered the medical field was because I innocently thought medicine was apolitical. It did not take very long to see—even as a medical student—how very wrong-headed that idea was! So it was with some surprise that I read recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) the article about Leana Wen, MD, entitled, “New Planned Parenthood President: No Politics in the Exam Room.”

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Civility February 14, 2019

A few years ago, at the height of the embryonic stem cell research controversy and public debate, I was asked to be one of four presenters for a Friday medical school forum discussing this topic. There were three other presenters: a semi-retired professor whose area of work was in rehabilitation and advocating for accommodations for persons with disabilities, a social science professor and Dr. X, an MD/PhD whose main area of study was stem cell research. I was the lone conservative.

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The Future Today July 2, 2018

In a New England Journal of Medicine opinion piece entitled, “Physicians, Not Conscripts — Conscientious Objection in Health Care,” Obamacare architect Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel and University of Pennsylvania professor Ronit Stahl advocate ridding healthcare of conscience protections.

Eliminating conscience protections effectively would rid healthcare of doctors, nurses and other health professionals who rely upon those protections. Polling indicates that ethically driven physicians will leave medicine altogether, avoid the OB/Gyn specialty or restrict their practices rather than compromise their consciences.

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A Plug for Written Prayers January 31, 2019

When I was a young Christian, I thought written prayers were stale, while my own prayers were spontaneous and alive. Now I think the opposite. Left to my own devices, my prayers sound remarkably similar to one another. And by similar, I mean dull. Heartfelt, but dull.

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Dr. David Stevens explores the topic of religious practices and how they can make a difference in your child’s health. He shares about a recent study that shows how a religious upbringing is a very large protective factor on adolescents.

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Photo: Pixabay

In this week’s blog post, Dr. Autumn Dawn Galbreath shares about a recent talk she listened to on ethics and sexuality, as well as how that impacts her daily practice of healthcare.

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Better Science Without the Ideology of Fetal Tissue January 10, 2019

The debate about use of aborted fetal tissue for research continues, usually characterized as pitting science against ideology. Dr. David Prentice explains how the characterization is accurate, but the stereotypes of who fits in the categories are not.

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Merry Christmas: A Physician’s Take December 27, 2018

Luke’s gospel gives the most complete and careful detailing of the setting, annunciation, gestation and birth of Christ, as one would expect from a person of medicine. In this week’s blog post, Dr. Andre Van Mol explores the gospel account of Christ’s birth.

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A Wrong Turn on the Right Path? December 20, 2018

An international outcry occurred after Chinese scientist He Jiankui announced that he and his team had edited human embryos in an attempt to produce children who are resistant to HIV, cholera and smallpox. In this week’s blog post, Dr. Joy Riley explores this topic from an ethical perspective.

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Nonconsensual Intimate Physical Examinations: Time to Stop December 13, 2018

Recently, a law professor I was breakfasting with asked an interesting question, “Is it ethical to perform pelvic exams on patients who are under anesthesia without their permission?” My immediate response was a quick, “No!” and then, “That is something that was done in the distant past, but the question was settled long ago. Without permission, this would be battery, essentially rape.”

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The Future Today July 2, 2018

Vice President for Government Relations Jonathan Imbody discusses the lawsuit CMDA has been involved in regarding the transgender mandate, and how a new rule from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is expected soon.

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Trusting Vaccines November 29, 2018

Worldwide, only clean water has saved more lives than vaccines. Wild smallpox has been eliminated, and polio nearly so. Twelve other major diseases that were the scourge of mankind have been controlled. So why would anyone not want to control disease? Dr. Amy Givler delves into this question in this week’s blog post on The Point.

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Standing Against Physician-Assisted Suicide in Family Medicine November 28, 2018

The American Academy of Family Physicians’ (AAFP) Congress of Delegates recently voted during their annual meeting to change their Hippocratic position on assisted suicide to a position of “engaged neutrality.” In this week’s blog post, Dr. David Stevens discusses how dangerous this decision is, and what you can do to get involved.

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The Lure of Money November 15, 2018

In this week’s blog post, Dr. Autumn Dawn Galbreath discusses the topic of money and how easy it is to compare ourselves to others and how much more money they have than we do. How does God call us to view our possessions?

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Techno-Babies: Some Assembly Required? November 10, 2016

In this week’s blog post, Dr. David Prentice discusses how emerging technologies offer opportunities for development of useful therapeutic interventions, but they can also offer temptations to rush ahead with risky, scientifically unproven and ethically questionable applications.

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Conscience Freedoms Protect Against Ideological Agendas April 5, 2018

The contentious confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh mirrored a less outwardly raucous, though equally intense, conflict in the scientific and research community. Our country, our culture and the scientific community appear at a crossroads. We are determining the extent to which objectivity, evidence and reason—as opposed to bias, ideology and emotion—will shape our conclusions and our policies.

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The Future Today July 2, 2018

Early this year Dr. Andre Van Mol found himself transitioning from 23 years of solo family practice to employment by a big company, which is enough change for any season. Then came the request to help small teams fight big bills in his state capital of Sacramento, California.

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10/17/2018 POINT BLOG

In this week’s blog post, Dr. Joy Riley discusses how verbiage makes a big difference in how physician-assisted suicide is promoted and transformed to make it more palatable to the general population.

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New Chinese Study Opens Ethical Can of Worms October 19, 2017

Cloning is an extremely lucrative business that has become more efficient. In today’s blog post, Dr. David Stevens explores this topic and shares what the Bible says about cloning, as well as the moral and ethical implications of this rising business.

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Gene Editing to Make Better Human Beings? September 14, 2017

Manufacturing industries routinely do quality control on their products, testing them to be certain the items being produced meet certain specifications. Any flawed products, those that do not meet the required specifications, are discarded. But what if that same mindset were applied to human beings?

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Titlex

In this week’s blog post, Jonathan Imbody shares how several federal grants awarded under a recent Title X funding opportunity illustrator the current White House Administration’s determination to ensure that faith-based and pro-life clinics, hospitals, pregnancy centers and sexual risk avoidance programs get a fair and legal chance to compete for federal funding.

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Pills tumbling from bottle into open hand

In this week’s blog post, Dr. Amy Givler shares the story of how opioids became a problem in every community in America, including yours. And it is the story of how opioid addiction has overwhelmed and devastated some communities, maybe yours.

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Genome Editing: Social and Ethical Issues August 16, 2018

On July 17, 2018, the Nuffield Council released its report on “Genome Editing and Human Reproduction: Social and Ethical Issues.” The report lists several situations in which genome editing would be desired in order to have a genetically related child who did not have a given condition. Dr. Joy Riley discusses the ethical concerns raised by this report.

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Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing

In medicine, patients and families want to know diagnoses, therapies, risks, benefits and side effects of proposed treatment options. At times the thing they most want to know is what is likely to happen to themselves or their loved ones based on possible interventions. This, however, may be the most difficult answer to give people.

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Marijuana: Profits, Politics and Popularity Over People August 1, 2018

When it comes to medical marijuana, many people prefer profits, politics and popularity over people. And physicians are not exempt. In this special blog post, Dr. James Avery explores the current movement of medical marijuana and how physicians need to actively confront the view held by so many that marijuana is a safe, natural and weak hallucinogenic.

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Family vs. Physician July 19, 2018 by Autumn Dawn Galbreath, MD, MBA

How do you feel when you have a patient who is also a physician? Or a patient whose close family member is a physician? I have been pondering this idea as I explained some medical information to several family members. In what ways can I be helpful to the situation, and where do I want to avoid making more work for the doctor caring for my family?

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New Chinese Study Opens Ethical Can of Worms October 19, 2017

Some recent stories illustrate the continuing obsession, by some in the scientific community, with trying to make embryos in a way that “gets around” the ethical and legal barriers erected to protect young human life. Dr. David Prentice explores these recent attempts.

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Photo: Visual Hunt

A few landmines are lurking in the field of our state’s educational laws. California Education Code 51931 “definitions” section details that only “medically accurate” information can be taught. Seemingly fair enough. Also, Code 51933 states: “(4) Instruction and materials shall not reflect or promote bias against any person on the basis of any category protected by Section 220.

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New Chinese Study Opens Ethical Can of Worms October 19, 2017

Dr. Joy Riley raises several ethical questions introduced by the production of “blastoids,” embryo-like structures from stem cells in a recent study.

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Cjea

Compassion & Choices uses every trick in the book to get physician-assisted suicide legalized in individual states, and they never give up. They fund polling with leading questions in the vein of, “Would you like to die in terrible pain hooked up to a machine by doctors who won’t let you die or should physicians aid you in dying?” They then tout the results as overwhelming support for the legalization of physician-assisted suicide to the media and anyone else who will listen.

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In the realm of sexual reproduction, the idea of in vitro fertilization, a technological (and for many an ethical) impossibility years ago, is now commonplace. And, as foreseen in the futuristic movie Gattaca, it may someday become the standard method of reproduction.

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Photo credit: DonkeyHotey on Foter.com / CC BY

There are three bills pending in the California Assembly that beg your attention and action. They clearly seem intended to stand as national models. Dr. Andre Van Mol provides a brief on these bills, followed by talking points regarding their problems and where to lodge your protests.

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Photo credit: American Life League on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC

This excerpt is the sixth in a series of essays on conscience in healthcare, by Jonathan Imbody, Vice President for Government Relations of the Christian Medical Association and Director of Freedom2Care. The essays respond to “Physicians, Not Conscripts — Conscientious Objection in Health Care,” Ronit Y. Stahl, Ph.D. and Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD, PhD, New England Journal of Medicine 376;14, April 6, 2017.

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Photo credit: nerdcoregirl on Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

by Andre Van Mol, MD

A 2016 article in the journal Demography asserted that health outcomes for children raised in either same-sex or different-sex married homes were about the same. Sociologist D.P. Sullins published a 2017 article in the same journal noting inadvertent but crushing mistakes in the measures for the 2016 paper, namely that the data taken from the National Health Interview Survey, administered by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), misclassified 42 percent of the sample’s same-sex married partners as opposite-sex.

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Photo: Pixabay

The title of the article might lead a reader to believe the authors support a physician’s right of conscience, but they do just the opposite. They strongly assert the will of the patient over the conscience of the physician. They write, “Making the patient paramount means offering and providing accepted medical interventions in accordance with patients’ reasoned decision,” and “Health care professionals who are unwilling to accept these limits [putting aside their own conscience to support patient autonomy] have two choices: select an area of medicine, such as radiology that will not put them in situations that conflict with their personal morality, or if there is no such areas, leave the profession.” While this quote would seem to apply to a broad variety of issues, in the context of the article the authors are referring to abortion.

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Conscience Freedoms Protect Against Ideological Agendas April 5, 2018

This excerpt is the fifth in a series of essays on conscience in healthcare, by Jonathan Imbody, Vice President for Government Relations of the Christian Medical Association and Director of Freedom2Care. The essays respond to “Physicians, Not Conscripts — Conscientious Objection in Health Care,” Ronit Y. Stahl, Ph.D. and Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD, PhD, New England Journal of Medicine 376;14, April 6, 2017.

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Reporting on IVF Incidents December 21, 2017

In the United Kingdom, patients pay for 60 percent of the 76,000 annual in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments rendered. Britain’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), the regulatory body overseeing both fertility treatment and embryo research, released in December its State of the Fertility Sector: 2016-17, a report detailing the health of the fertility sector in the UK.

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Medical Ethics: Bedrock Oaths Versus Zeitgeist Barometers December 16, 2017

On the heels of World War II, with medical ethics in the spotlight following unconscionable Nazi atrocities, the World Medical Association (WMA) decided the Hippocratic Oath, which had guided medicine since around 500 BC, needed to be replaced. So the WMA developed a new oath that contained some of the principles of the ancient oath but opened the door to continual modernizing.

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The Five Solas, Then & Now December 14, 2017

October 31, 1517 is often identified as the birthdate of the Protestant Reformation. On this date Martin Luther purportedly nailed his “95 Theses” to the cathedral door in Wittenberg, Germany. Actually, as Eric Metaxas tells us in Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World…

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Pills tumbling from bottle into open hand

I had a tooth pulled last month. I wasn’t expecting much post-op pain because the tooth already had a root canal, years earlier. Yet with my mouth clamped on a large cotton wad after the procedure, I heard my oral surgeon say to his assistant, “Print out a script for Norco 7.5’s – 30 of them.”

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Marijuana: Profits, Politics and Popularity Over People August 1, 2018

What happens when marijuana is legalized for either medical or recreational use with little regulation and almost no enforcement? Unfortunately, we know by looking at what has happened in Colorado over the last few years, as Ben Cort relates in his excellent book Weed, Inc.

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An article crossed both my inbox and my Facebook feed this week entitled “Here’s Why Women Doctors Need Time Together.” It certainly wasn’t an academic study, but, as a woman physician, I was intrigued by the title. One sentence summarizes the author’s major premise: “There is an amazing power in gathering, shared experiences and decreasing isolation.” And I agree. When I watch my kids play sports or perform, I gather with other parents who share that experience—and we cheer as loudly as we can. When my marriage needs refreshment, my husband and I gather with other couples who share the experiences, both joyful and difficult, of marriage—and the isolation of our challenges is decreased.

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Genome Editing: Social and Ethical Issues August 16, 2018

Some scientists have said one reason they don’t consult bioethicists or think about the ethical implications of their research is because ethicists usually say “no” to new technologies, or that ethics is arbitrary. But what they are really avoiding is the necessity of setting rational limits on science, thinking they can thereby avoid any limits on their work. Limits that protect all human beings, even nascent human life, are not arbitrary and actually say “yes” to some exciting—and ethical—applications of new technologies.

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Photo credit: Kurdistan Photo كوردستان on Visualhunt / CC BY-SA

It’s one thing to expect physicians to do everything possible to advance healing for patients. It’s quite another to insist that whatever the patient wants, the patient gets—so the physician must provide it at risk of his or her career. Whenever one group gets its way regardless of the impact on others, that is not autonomy; that is tyranny.

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Mistaken Identity: There is No Straight or Gay October 26, 2017

Satan attacks identity, striving to separate us from who we are made to be. Mistaken identity is costly. In this week’s The Point blog, Dr. Andre Van Mol explores the concept of mistaken identity, the false identity of GLBT, and how it makes a difference in both medicine and science.

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New Chinese Study Opens Ethical Can of Worms October 19, 2017

A recent report of a “serious blood disorder” corrected by “chemical surgery” sounds like a dream come true. Ian Sample’s article in The Guardian also made the process sound efficient and clean, even sterile. However, a look behind the headline reveals some important facts to consider. Dr. Joy Riley explores the ethical issues in this week’s blog.

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Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing

The top 10 causes of death in the U.S., after heart disease and cancer, are Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), accidents, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, chronic renal disease and suicide. Some of these conditions are not preventable, so a more pertinent question is, what are the addressable risk factors for morbidity and premature death in general? And how do we focus on them with our patients?

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Sustaining Our Joy in Practice, September 21, 2017

Are you as a healthcare professional too harried, too rushed, too focused and too overworked to find true joy in your chosen profession? Not just happiness or contentment, but true joy. Dr. Autumn Dawn Galbreath discusses this topic in this week’s blog post for The Point.

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Photo: Pixabay

Gene editing has potential for great benefit but also for great evil. In the medical realm, great advances are possible, but this dual-use technology also could be used to design children, weaponize biological agents or even alter or dehumanize our concept of humanity. Dr. David Prentice explores how gene editing can be dangerous for healthcare professionals and their patients in this week’s blog post.

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Photo: Pixabay

Opponents of therapy for minors—and ultimately anyone—wanting to overcome undesired same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria have feverishly worked to enact bans against what is pejoratively labeled “conversion therapy.” Change therapy—be it called reparative therapy, sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) or the more recent nomenclature of SAFE-T (Sexual Attraction Fluidity Exploration in Therapy)—has been in the cross-hairs for years, as I wrote about here, and the false claims against it have registered with the public and legislatures alike.

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In our technological world, it’s easier sometimes easier to have conversations with computers than with people. Dr. David Stevens just spent 35-minutes having a conversation about end of life options with Emily, an artificial intelligence robot. He shares how this is bad for you, as both a healthcare professional and as a patient.

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I am very much a can-do person—attacking the tasks in front of me with an astonishing willpower. We’re all like that, right? We wouldn’t have made it through medical school and residency otherwise! But when push comes to shove, I am not necessarily grateful or optimistic. I can tend toward the negative if left to my own human nature. In contrast, I know some people who just seem to have been born genetically positive and optimistic. They are resilient in the face of difficulty, always expect the best from every person or situation, and seem to have an easier time trusting God in their daily lives than I do. Maybe it’s just the outside appearance, but those positive people seem to enjoy life more than I often do.

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There continue to be reports of new attempts to create life, sometimes labeled “synthetic” or “artificial” because the entity is not created the old-fashioned way, i.e., by fertilization of an egg with a sperm. The most recent report involved combining two different types of stem cells to form an embryo-like structure that was labeled “artificial.”

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Conducting research on embryos beyond 14 days’ gestation is against the law in 12 countries, including the United Kingdom; the U.S. has only “guidelines” recommending the 14-day limit. Now researchers and others are pushing against that limit. They find it too confining. Where did this rule/guideline originate?

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Photo: Pixabay

Conducting research on embryos beyond 14 days’ gestation is against the law in 12 countries, including the United Kingdom; the U.S. has only “guidelines” recommending the 14-day limit. Now researchers and others are pushing against that limit. They find it too confining. Where did this rule/guideline originate?

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Photo: Pixabay

Sometimes what seems like science fiction can actually be science fact, and sometimes new technologies can have the potential for both good and bad uses. So-called “dual-use technology” is most often thought of in connection with potential military as well as civilian use, e.g., weaponized forms of viruses or bacteria vs. using such altered pathogens for vaccine development.

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Christianity versus science is a popular false dichotomy promoted to the aggravation of believers as well as non-believers with an eye on history. Add to that the assertion that the church provided the Dark Ages? There were no Dark Ages. It’s a myth.

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Federal Policy Top Priorities in 2017 January 4, 2017

The Washington Office of CMDA focuses on the fundamental issues of the right to life and freedom of faith, conscience and speech, which serve as the foundation for all other rights and freedoms. Here are some of the top priorities for the new year.

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A study in last month’s Social Science & Medicine reported not being able to replicate the results of Columbia University study showing a shorter life expectancy for LGBT individuals who face prejudice. In this week’s blog, Dr. Andrè Van Mol says it’s another case of non-reproducible results broadcast globally to ideological ends.

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