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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.
As a former federal government employee, I have observed firsthand how policies affecting our everyday lives are often crafted and administered by unelected federal bureaucrats. Coupled with presidential executive orders, this gives the executive branch a remarkable amount of power. Within the executive branch exists the regulatory framework, which is overseen by a little-known office under the purview of the White House called the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Proposed actions from this office are published in the “Unified Agenda” twice a year in the spring and fall, giving the public a glimpse into what future regulatory action is on the horizon. Most of us are unaware (some may say blissfully so) of the volume of regulatory and deregulatory actions under development and review in more than 60 federal departments, agencies and commissions across the government. To give some perspective, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) currently has more pending actions than any other cabinet level department, which underscores the sheer size and reach of this titan agency with a budget that surpasses the gross national product of several countries!
“I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one” (Ezekiel 22:30, NIV).
The phrase “standing in the gap” is often tossed around in Christian circles and, at least anecdotally, extended as an invitation to that gathered body of believers. Would one of us step up and answer God’s call to stand with Him for truth and grace and against sin? In the contexts I’ve encountered these words—calls to missions, to advocacy efforts or to local service—that which we are purporting to stand in the gap against was external to us. That is, we stand in the gap against false teachings, against complacency, against a world where people continue to live in darkness.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that chemical abortions represented 38.6 percent of all U.S. abortions in 2018, an increase of 120 percent from 2009. According to the Associated Press, abortion by pill rose to 54 percent of all abortions in America in 2020. The abortion industry has evidently found its path to circumventing the possible overturning of Roe v. Wade, and that avenue is the mailbox.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) continue to rise. However, according to last week’s press release from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it’s apparently got nothing to do with sex.
Pontius Pilate asked in John 18:38, “What is truth?” (NIV). More than 2,000 years later, we often find ourselves in the same position. It is hard to know what, or whom, to believe. Many of the people we would expect to be reasonably honest and transparent can no longer be trusted. The faith we place in major media outlets, large corporations, government officials and even churches may be at an all-time low.
A recent article by NBC News bemoaned the decreasing number of medical schools and residency programs that engage in abortion training. The author attempts to blame this reduction on the increasing number of states passing legislation restricting access to abortion. What is not acknowledged is the fundamental fact that aside from the state of Texas, where a very unusual law exists prohibiting abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, no other state currently limits abortion in the first or early second trimester of pregnancy. The reason is the present legal landscape dictated by Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. This raises the question as to the real reason abortion training options are diminishing, since abortion is legal after the detection of a fetal heartbeat in 49 states and the District of Columbia.
“Oh please, no more!” she cried. “You said I could go home, and now you’re saying I can’t. You’re a liar!”
She dropped her gaze, and fiddled with the bag, green with bile, that peaked from beneath her gown. She’d been in the hospital for three months, had seen few visitors and had been away from home for so long she couldn’t recall the state of her kitchen table. One day ago, my surgical team had assured her that her long, arduous course was finally ending and she could go home. Then, without warning, we’d rescinded our promise.
At times it can seem like wickedness is gaining the upper hand. The increasing wickedness is primarily driven by an abounding disregard of God’s Word, a blatant disregard of truth. Those participating in and contributing to the increasing wickedness (wrongdoing) that we are being affected by throughout our society is cloaked in what they depict in their minds as “right-doing.” They believe their actions are advancing compassion, justice and mercy. However, this is faulty thinking. James 3:16-17 tells us such thinking or “wisdom” will create “…disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere” (ESV).
Blankets and quilts are nice, but for cozy wonderfulness on a chilly winter night, give me a comforter every time. A comforter is an old word, but it refers to a particular piece of bedding. Big and puffy, comforters have soft fabric on both sides of a fluffy interior. In addition to warmth, comforters provide…well…comfort.
I had lunch with some dear friends today—Christian women physicians who have been my friends for almost 20 years. We talked about medicine—the woes of the current healthcare system. And we said we couldn’t imagine how things would continue, given the problems our healthcare system faces. We talked about parenting—the challenges of raising daughters. And we said we couldn’t imagine how kids could process social media and technology in a healthy way. We talked about our churches—the deep divisions between the maskers and non-maskers over the last couple of years. And we said we couldn’t imagine how the wounds could be healed. We talked about politics—the uncompromising partisan viewpoints on both sides of the aisle. And we said we couldn’t imagine how people could learn to work together given the depth of the divide.
Navigating the moral challenges that accompany a pandemic requires more than just knowledge; it requires wisdom. For Christians, Scripture describes a kind of wisdom that is both practical and gospel-centered, one that entails humility and a posture of listening to God.
Swiftly on the heels of his 2021 study showing sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) “strongly reduces suicidality” and that restrictions on SOCE may “deprive sexual minorities of an important resource for reducing suicidality, putting them at substantially increased suicide risk,”, Sociologist Paul Sullins’ new peer-reviewed analysis revealed, as per its title, an “Absence of Behavioral Harm Following Non-efficacious Sexual Orientation Change Efforts: A Retrospective Study of United States Sexual Minority Adults, 2016–2018.”
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