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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.
Sacrificing Science on the Altar of Transgenderism: How a Respected Scientific Source Betrayed its Core Values
As far back as data exists, the universal experience has been that transgenderism was an extraordinarily rare occurrence, especially among females.
The last decade, however, witnessed an unprecedented increase in the numbers of young people identifying as transgender and seeking to transition. The surge was particularly striking among young adolescent females who were heavy users of social media but had no prior history of gender dysphoria. Something seemed amiss.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23, NIV).
“Many trains arrive at your station; treat them good whether they stay or leave!” ― Mehmet Murat ildan, Contemporary Turkish playwright
In several states this year, and most recently in Texas, bills have been introduced and passed to protect the unborn from abortion, particularly once a heartbeat is detected. “The Right to See and Know Act” was passed in Arkansas, which gives a pregnant woman the right to view the ultrasound of her unborn child before choosing an abortion. This is so she may see exactly what it is she is having aborted. (Women are frequently told that what they are aborting is just a “clump of cells.” However, all the major organs have begun to form in the unborn child by eight weeks, as well as external structures, sex organs and a regular heartbeat rhythm.) In Florida, FL SB 1664 and FL HB 1221 were introduced to ban “disability abortions.” In these bills, disability is defined as any disease, defect or disorder that is genetically inherited, including (but not limited to) a physical, mental, or intellectual disability, Down syndrome, Scoliosis, dwarfism, etc. Pennsylvania introduced The Down Syndrome Protection Act, which would forbid abortion solely due to a prenatal diagnosis that the unborn child may have Down syndrome. We hope this bill becomes law.
Last week, a friend asked me, as a family physician knowledgeable about COVID-19, to speak to a group she belongs to of community leaders, here in northeast Louisiana. I spoke about the current status of COVID infections in our area and the need for vaccination. The vaccination rate is low in our area—currently only 37 percent are fully vaccinated in our parish.
My kids have attended a classical, Christian school for many years. While we love the school for several reasons, its academic rigor set it apart from the several other schools we considered when making the decision to move our kids there 16 years ago. Other schools offered personal attention, others had great mission statements, others had in-depth biblical teaching. But it was all of these things, combined with high academic expectations, that sold us in the end, since the primary purpose of school is to educate kids academically. In the grammar school grades at our school, the students are taught to always do an “Excellence Check,” that is, to look back over their test or assignment and double-check for any errors prior to turning it in. The concept of the Excellence Check resonated with me when my kids were that age because it served as a regular reminder to them that they should be giving their best to each assignment. It was never a “Perfection Check” or a “Compare to Your Neighbor’s Performance Check.” It was a reminder for each student to do his or her best at all times. One student’s best might be a perfect score, while another student’s best might be much lower, but the expectation to do one’s best was clear. We might think of excellence as being at the top of the class or someone who stands out in his field, but that isn’t the way our school defined it, nor the way I am defining it here.
In the spring 2021 edition of CMDA Today, CMDA published an article that examined the ethical basis for taking a COVID-19 vaccine. The goal of the article was to reassure CMDA members of the good reasons to utilize the COVID-19 vaccines produced in the last year. Since the article’s publication, several members have written with ongoing questions and concerns about the ethical status of the vaccines due to their association with abortion-derived fetal cell lines. The purpose of this blog post is to address those concerns. An update on the safety and efficacy of the vaccines will be addressed in the future.
In a weekly column on Sunday, August 29, Evangelical attorney David French declared “It’s Time to Stop Rationalizing and Enabling Evangelical Vaccine Rejection.”
Is that really a thing, you may ask?
There certainly is some evidence for that. Among those who have already been vaccinated against COVID-19, white Evangelicals trail the national average by 10 percent. A significant difference, but not a dramatic difference. In fact, the majority are vaccinated, according to this tweet displayed in the article.
Legislation to ban so-called “conversion” therapy or practices for people with undesired same-sex attraction, gender dysphoria and other sexual minority issues is being put forward across the globe.
Some systems have treated healthcare professionals with clinical skill loss in an almost punitive manner. Aside from careless incompetence, abandonment of patients or grossly unprofessional behavior, this is inappropriate, damaging to the professionals and harmful to society.
My recent contributions to this blog have explored some of the issues I have wrestled with throughout the turmoil of the last year and a half—namely, how faith has impacted the church’s response to issues, and where we have strayed from biblical truths in our responses. I have wrestled with faith and politics, faith and freedom and faith and fear. But the overarching issue, I think, in Christians’ response to recent—and, in fact, any—world events is love. There are only two things that Scripture tells us explicitly identify the Christ-follower: their fruit and their love. Jesus Himself said that all men would know we are His followers if we have love for one another (John 13:35). In fact, He repeatedly commanded that we love one another (John 13:34, John 15:12, John 15:17). And the rest of the New Testament tells us more than 20 times to love one another.
“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).