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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.
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death” (Proverbs 14:12, ESV).
If deception counts on anything for its success, it is a mind that has a willful blindness to the truth. A mind created by God who thinks they can be their own god. But how does the created presume to know more than its Creator? Such a mind relies on its own understanding and denies any semblance of truth to justify its decisions. Unfortunately, such thinking is blinded and uninstructed, leading to destructive ends as indicated in Proverbs 14:12.
I have a soft spot for public health. True, I’ve been a family physician for 32 years, and have touched many people’s lives, but decisions made by public health practitioners have an outsized impact on health.
In keeping with their history of producing eye-opening documentaries taking highly controversial societal trends head on, The Center for Bioethics and Culture (CBC) recently released a film on gender affirming therapy titled Trans Mission: What’s the Rush to Reassign Gender? Running just under 52 minutes, the feature presents activists, healthcare professionals, educators, parents and the patients themselves—among others—regarding “the medical and surgical transitioning of children.” The guests exhibit varied points of view, and they include members of both CMDA and the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds).
As we expected, the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) issued its revised guidelines on stem cells and embryo experiments at the end of May 2021, and as expected, the ISSCR recommendations are rife with proposed experiments on young human beings. The new guidelines discard the 14-day limit on human embryo experiments in favor of no limits whatsoever, and they allow virtually unrestricted manufacture of human-animal chimeras of any type, as well as creation of genetically altered human embryos and lab constructed human embryo “models.” Very little is left in the category of “currently not permitted.”
The battle in Congress over human-animal chimera experiments highlights the gulf between communists and Democrats and Republicans on the distinctions and boundaries between humans, animals and God.
A Chinese-led research team injected human stem cells into monkey embryos and let the chimeric creature grow for 19 days before killing it. As avowed atheists, Chinese Communists do not believe that God created each of us human beings in His image, with inestimable worth incomparable to the animals He created, each “after their kind.”
What if another study came to print asserting that sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) constituted harmful stressors to sexual minorities? What if a published letter to the editor in the same journal exposed gaping holes in the assessment? What if a reanalysis of the original study “in the strongest representative sample to date of sexual minority persons” revealed polar opposite findings: 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.” Now that would be something! And these things happened!
How do you ascertain God’s will for your life?
This is one of the greatest existential questions asked by followers of Christ, the young in particular. It is also one of the most profoundly misunderstood.
We may be taught that there is a divine roadmap for our lives, known to God yet unknown to us. We desire to know it for two reasons. First, we seek to please God and be good stewards. Second, we believe following his divine plan will maximize our earthly joy and blessing, but He offers no objective way of knowing it. What then, does that say about God? He created a divine master plan for us to follow, but we have to pry it out of Him? What sort of God would do that, and why? What if we make the wrong decision?
As Christian healthcare professionals, God has granted us the high privilege and responsibility of serving others through healthcare. Part of this responsibility is that of maintaining clinical knowledge and skill in order to provide high quality care to our patients. If we lose some of our skills due to trauma, physical or mental illness, or due to normal aging, this may not always be optimally possible.
WND recently published my op-ed designed to highlight the benefits of trusted doctors and faith-based organizations communicating on public health issues. I also noted what I considered to be several significant failures of government public health messaging.
When John Donne wrote “No Man Is an Island,” he was lying on his sickbed, thinking, perhaps, it would be his deathbed. When he heard the church bells tolling for a person recently deceased, it got him thinking. His life—everyone’s life—was diminished by the death of that unknown person. We are all connected.
During a recent urgent care shift, a young welder presented with a metal foreign body in his eye. If you work in emergency medicine, urgent care or ophthalmology, or if you weld yourself, you are already aware of this occupational hazard. I was not aware of it prior to starting work in urgent care, but I must admit that it makes any dreams I may have had of learning to weld, thereby empowering myself to do more of my own home repairs, much less attractive. Tiny hot flecks of metal landing on the human cornea quickly embed themselves and become difficult to remove. Left there for a few days, they begin to rust, leaving a small rust ring on the cornea after the metal itself is removed—a rust ring which then has to be removed with a tiny drill called an eye burr.
Well, that didn’t take long. As predicted, the parade of challenges to human dignity and human life discussed not long ago has already started to come to pass.