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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.
Our family has an unofficial mascot—a little bendable Gumby doll. I have no idea where Gumby came from or how exactly we acquired him. He started out as a little game in which various family members move Gumby to different places around the house. When you find Gumby, you move him somewhere else where he awaits discovery by another family member. Over the years, we have adopted an unofficial motto that goes with our unofficial mascot: “Semper Gumby” (always flexible). As is true of numerous other healthcare professionals, flexibility is not my strong suit. I am really good at focus, goals, determination and persistence. Flexibility, not so much. So “Semper Gumby” is a motto for me as much as anyone else in the house. A reminder that flexibility is a necessary part of doing life with other people.
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” — 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, ESV
If religious organizations kowtow to tyrants at the peril of religious freedom, why should the nonreligious even care?
The American Journal of Psychiatry (AJP) printed a rare and important correction this month. A study claiming to be the “first total population study of transgender individuals with a gender incongruence diagnosis” was published in the October 2019 AJP titled “Reduction in mental health treatment utilization among transgender individuals after gender-affirming surgeries: a total population study.” Seven letters to the editor from 12 authors, myself included, resulted in a data reanalysis and subsequent correction statement that no improvement was demonstrated with surgical treatment. Now for the setting and major points of my team’s published letter.
With recent discussions about allocation of scarce resources with the COVID-19 pandemic, concern has been raised about ensuring justice across all ethnic and political lines in caring for our patients. If allocation is determined based on anticipated quality life years based on treatment, then an inherent bias is baked in against the elderly. If likelihood of good outcome is a major criterion, then patients with higher levels of pre-existing disease will lose out. An example of this would be that among certain ethnic/racial populations there is at baseline a higher proportion of people with underlying heart, lung, metabolic or environmental disease. The African American population, in general, has a lower life expectancy, based on these factors, so if one weighs the allocation models to provide support for healthier patients, they will disadvantage people of color in distribution of ventilators, ICU beds and hospital admissions. Similar claims are made regarding people from other minority groups based on religion, gender, socio-economic class, educational attainment, etc.
“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight”
(1 Corinthians 3:19a, NIV 1984).
We have seen the devastation, societal decay and moral rot caused by the perpetuation of human wisdom and reasoning. Many in the world call what is “evil, good” and what is “good, evil.” Such reasoning creates a propensity for lawlessness and disintegration. People reject the truth and divine guidance, while also truly casting off restraint (Proverbs 29:18). If such actions lead to decay, what then leads to life?
In Part 1 of this series , we looked at two common objections to a traditional Christian view of sexuality: “What about other Old Testament rules we don’t keep?” and “The New Testament teaching on sexuality was socially constructed and not intended for universal application.” In this second part, we will examine two more recent arguments that have become quite popular and, to some, deceptively persuasive.
What is the foundation of your moral principles?
If you consider that a simple question, you’ve never really thought about it much.
The gut reaction of most Protestants would be “Scripture”—certainly a fitting place to begin—but when one drills down into the details, things get complicated rather quickly. For decades, theological liberals have dismissed biblical teaching on sexuality because they dismiss the Bible. In more recent years, a newer contingent rejects traditional Christian teaching on sexuality arguing that “the Bible never taught it in the first place.”
Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA) has tackled race issues in healthcare proactively, gathering members together for prayer and fasting, webinars, public policy statements, articles, discussions, video presentations and more while pledging to “continue seeking to oppose racism in healthcare and society and pursuing justice in access to healthcare and equitable outcomes.”
Is reality subjective or objective?
A new hermeneutic of reality is arising: converting objective physical reality into subjective reality.
The rapid rise of the transgender movement and the denunciation of physical reality inherent in that movement has stunned countless conservatives and especially evangelical Christians. Transgender ideologues are not interested in prioritizing one aspect of physical reality over another. Instead, they want to subvert objective reality to a new subjective reality defined by the individual and the movement.
When this pandemic started, I, at least, had heard of Zoom. My husband Don, also a family physician, had no clue. We’re both in our 60s and feel simultaneously confused and outdated whenever a new form of technology emerges. Picture a donkey leaning back on the rope held by someone trying to drag it forward. You get the idea.
I love the opportunity to write for CMDA on a regular basis. I always sit down at the computer and words flow out of my heart and out of whatever I am experiencing at that point in time. It has been a new experience to struggle so much with my blog entry this month. I have written four or five entries—and every single one of them is depressing and discouraging, and also very similar to the one I wrote on my last assigned blog date. I keep trying, and I keep coming up pretty empty. It’s only after attempt number four or five that it occurred to me to think about the emptiness itself.