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The purpose of this blog is to stimulate thought and discussion about important issues in healthcare. Opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily express the views of CMDA. We encourage you to join the conversation on our website and share your experience, insight and expertise. CMDA has a rigorous and representative process in formulating official positions, which are largely limited to bioethical areas.
The Washington Post recently published my commentary below in response to an article (“‘I’m still a zero’: Vaccine-resistant Republicans warn that their skepticism is worsening”) that examined the vaccine hesitancy of conservatives.
Some would say it started earlier this year in January when the 2021 legislative session began in most states. Some would say it started with our increasingly more “live and let live” culture. However, the iniquity started before any of us were born.
A new study authored by a socio-politically diverse team of psychologists evaluated a religiously diverse population sample of varied sexual identification and found that sexual minority people who reject LGB identification have positive outcomes that contradict the expectations of both minority stress and sexual identity development theories.
In last Saturday’s New York Times, Christian columnist Ross Douthat asks, “Can the Meritocracy Find God?”
“The secularization of America probably won’t reverse unless the intelligentsia gets religion,” writes Douthat. Nor is he sanguine for the prospects of that occurring. Douthat postulates two primary obstacles. First, “a moral vision that regards emancipated, self-directed choice as essential to human freedom and the good life.” Second, an entrenched anti-supernaturalism: “The average Ivy League professor, management consultant or Google engineer is not necessarily a strict materialist, but they have all been trained in a kind of scientism, which regards strong religious belief as fundamentally anti-rational, miracles as superstition, the idea of a personal God as so much wishful thinking.”
In a previous blog, I recommended John Stonestreet, president of the Colson Center, and BreakPoint, his daily blog. The Colson Center has several formats for outreach including the Colson Fellow program, weekly podcasts, daily email briefings and Wilberforce Weekend. The Colson Center takes on many of the most pressing issues of the day and thoughtfully discusses ways in which we as Christians can engage our culture. As I said in that earlier blog, if you stop reading this right now and explore the Colson Center options, I will have succeeded in pointing you to a good path for improving your Christian walk.
The Washington Examiner recently published my op-ed on the radical Equality Act. This ideologically coercive and discriminatory bill, which has already passed the House and now is on the Senate calendar, will radically impact your professional career and your ability to live out your faith.
The commentary is below, followed by excerpts of a CMDA letter to U.S. Senators and of written testimony submitted by several CMDA members.
I’ve read novels ever since my youth, and I’ve had an enduring fascination with the side character of the rich elderly female relative who “took to bed” decades earlier. Even before I was a doctor I wondered, “What illness caused her to ‘take to bed’?” There are seldom enough clues to unlock the mystery of which exact medical diagnosis she had that kept her in her bedroom. Writers of novels one to two centuries ago didn’t focus on those clues. She was, after all, a side character.
Freedom. It’s an important word to us in the United States—arguably the most important word to the founding of our country.
While COVID-19 has consumed the attention and energies of the world for the last year, other bioethical and scientific challenges have not gone away and are set to burst back to the forefront this year. Significant advances were made in 2020 to move away from the antiquated science using human fetal tissue from abortion and toward development of modern techniques and biological models that do not use fetal tissue. However, a resurgence of research using trafficked aborted fetal body parts is likely with the new White House Administration. Calls have already been made to gut the current ethical regulations on federal funding of fetal tissue research. The drumbeat for taxpayer dollars to pay for experiments using fetal organs and tissues from abortion continues, trying to make use of the crisis to justify unethical research, e.g., making humanized “lung-only mice” to investigate COVID-19. In the meantime, adult stem cells have made “mini-lungs” in the lab that faithfully model normal lungs, and they are already being used to study COVID-19 infections and therapies.
CMDA members Drs. Greg and Ali Tsai live and practice medicine in Manhattan, the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis when the pandemic initially broke out in the United States. Greg is an ENT physician, while Ali is an OB/Gyn who works part-time with a homeless shelter.
The U.S. Congress has taken one step closer to ending religious protections—and medical judgment for health professionals—on gender issues, by passing the Equality Act by a largely partisan vote in the House of 224 – 206.
A multitude of states, counties and cities have banned “conversion therapy,” usually for minors only, with efforts underway to issue a national ban for all through the so-called “Equality Act” (HR 5). Yet, “conversion therapy” is a misrepresentative, maligning and summarily ill-defined term employed as a jamming tactic to capitalize on an allusion to implicitly forced religious conversion while stigmatizing and intimidating any therapist who would engage in change-allowing therapy. It implies coercion and suffering, neither of which are true of modern change-allowing therapy (aka SOCE for sexual orientation change efforts). Modern SOCE therapists uniformly view old aversive techniques (think shaming, electric shocks, etc.) as unethical and ineffective. Tellingly, no state or municipality enacting a therapy prohibition has yet to ban aversive practices, only counseling that allows clients to explore their potential for change of SOGI (sexual orientation, gender identity). Why not ban aversive measures too, if abuse is really the issue?