Position & Public Policy Statements

CMDA Transparent Background 2

Ethics statements deal with ethical issues. They are drafted by the Ethics Committee of the Board and the final version has to be approved first by the Board of Trustees and then by the House of Representatives representing the CMDA membership. These statements can be based on biblical, scientific, moral and social principles. They are not binding on CMDA members but are the official policies of CMDA and are represented to the media, church and government authorities.

Policy statements primarily deal with either public policy or scientific issues though those issues may have ethical implications. They are drafted by a policy ad-hoc committee of experts appointed by the President of CMDA. The board has the final authority to approve policy statements, which also become the official policies of the organization.

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Individual Position Statement Abstracts with Full Statement Downloads:

Abortion

ABSTRACT:

The active termination of pregnancy has existed since 1550 BCE, with the first documented abortion occurring in Egypt. The School of Hippocrates included the following prohibition against abortion in the oath named for him in approximately 400 BCE: “I will not give to a woman a pessary to cause abortion.” The attitude toward abortion throughout its 3500-year history has varied from general acceptance to criminalization of the act, including the death penalty in certain circumstances. That range of perspective, except for the death penalty, remains today with the overall trend worldwide toward increasing cultural acceptance of abortion. The Christian Church from its earliest recorded Patristic writings outside of the New Testament condemned abortion as murder. CMDA affirms the historical prohibition against abortion, as supported by the statement found below.

Abuse of Human Life

ABSTRACT:

Christians believe in the divine inspiration, integrity, and final authority of the Bible as the Word of God. This is our starting point for Christian medical and dental ethics. In affirming the authority of Scripture, we follow the command and example of the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom all authority in heaven and earth is vested. Further elaboration is found in the statement below.

Advance Directives

ABSTRACT:

Whereas modern medicine has made available technologies that can prolong life, medical science alone cannot answer questions of whether life-sustaining technologies should be used in particular circumstances or whether such technologies are consistent with patients’ goals of care, values, and beliefs about health, life, and death. Therefore, patients should have the opportunity, while they have capacity, to indicate their desires about the use or nonuse of specific treatment modalities and to designate a surrogate (sometimes called healthcare proxy or agent) to make decisions on their behalf if they become incapacitated. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Allocation of Medical Resources

ABSTRACT:

As Christian physicians and dentists we recognize that increasing treatment capabilities and increasing treatment costs, as well as societal priorities for the allocation of dollars, make it difficult to provide all people with all services which they might need (or perceive they need). Therefore, as individual practitioners, as a profession and as a society, we are often faced with difficult allocation decisions.

The scriptural principle of justice requires us to treat patients without favoritism or discrimination. The scriptural principle of stewardship makes us, individually and corporately, accountable for our decisions about the provision of medical and dental care. The scriptural principles of love and compassion require that we place the interests of our patients and of society before our own selfish interests. Recognition of the finitude of human life, along with the higher calling of eternal life with Jesus, should help Christian healthcare professionals resist the disproportionate expenditure of funds and resources in an effort to postpone inevitable death. Christian healthcare professionals, however, must never intentionally hasten the moment of natural death, which is under the control of a sovereign God. (see Ethics Statement*)

Christian doctors have a responsibility in helping to decide who will receive available health care resources. To refuse that responsibility will not prevent allocation decisions, but will instead leave those choices to institutions and individuals with purely utilitarian or materialistic motives. If this happens, allocations may generally shift toward people who have wealth or other forms of privilege, which is not the biblical way to value human life. Further concerns are elaborated in the statement file below.

Alternative/Complimentary Therapy

ABSTRACT:

Alternative / complementary therapies have gained national prominence.  We recognize the growing use of and request for these modalities by our patients.  While some have been shown to be beneficial in certain clinical situations, we as Christian physicians and dentists have scientific, moral, and spiritual concerns about some of these therapies. These concerns are elaborated in the statement file below.

Anti-Progestational Agents (RU-486)

ABSTRACT:

RU-486 and other anti-progestational agents were developed as abortifacients. Additionally, they may have other potential applications which remain to be demonstrated.

While abortion is currently legal, it remains an issue of intense moral and ethical debate. We believe it violates the biblical principle of the sanctity of human life. RU-486, when used as an abortifacient, is thus morally unacceptable. The result of both surgical abortion and RU-486 is the destruction of a defenseless life. The apparent ease and simplicity of pharmacological abortion further trivializes the value of life.

Some suggest that potential applications of RU-486 exist which justify further clinical investigation. Because its investigation for other uses will further threaten the unborn, we oppose such introduction of RU- 486 and all similar abortifacients into the U.S. We do not oppose its development for non-abortifacient uses in jurisdictions where the rights of the unborn are protected.

If additional data suggest that there is a significant therapeutic benefit for these agents in life-threatening disease, we would support their compassionate use as restricted investigational agents. If they are demonstrated to have a unique therapeutic benefit for treatment of life-threatening disease, we would reconsider our position on their introduction into the U.S. We would, however, insist that there be strict control of distribution.

We believe that introduction of RU-486 into the U.S. at this time is not justified because our society has not yet exercised its moral capacity to protect the unborn.

Approved by the CMDA House of Delegates.
Passed unanimously
May 3, 1991. Chicago, Illinois.

Artificially-Administered Nutrition and Hydration

ABSTRACT:

A frequent ethical dilemma in contemporary medical practice is whether or not to employ artificial means to provide nutrition or hydration1 in certain clinical situations. Legal precedents on this question do not always resolve the ethical dilemma or accord with Christian ethics. CMDA offers the following ethical guidelines to assist Christians in these difficult and often emotionally laden decisions. The following domains are considered in the statement file below.

Assisted Reproductive Technology

ABSTRACT:

The Bible affirms that God is the Lord and giver of all life.  Human beings are uniquely made in God’s image, and each individual human being is infinitely precious to God and made for an eternal destiny.  The Christian attitude toward human life is thus one of reverence from the moment of fertilization to death. This position is elaborated further in the statements below.

Baby Doe

ABSTRACT:

This resolution was adopted following the decision of the Indiana Supreme Court in the case of a Down's Syndrome neonate in Bloomington, Indiana:

RESOLVED that the Christian Medical Society strongly opposes the decision allowing for the death of "Baby Doe" and urges that this Court decision not be seen as either legal or moral precedent for the future. The right of privacy does not allow for parents to decide the death of such infants.

Approved by the CMDA House of Delegates.
Passed with a vote of 41 for and 12 opposed.
May 7, 1982. Dallas, Texas.

Beginning of Human Life

ABSTRACT:

The Bible affirms that God is the Lord and giver of all life. Human beings are uniquely made in God’s image, and each individual human being is infinitely precious to God and made for an eternal destiny. The Christian attitude toward human life is thus one of reverence from the moment of fertilization to death.

Definition of Human Life

  1. A living human being is a self-directed, integrated organism that possesses the genetic endowment of the species Homo sapiens who has the inherent active biological disposition (active capacity and potency) for ordered growth and development in a continuous and seamless maturation process, with the potential to express secondary characteristics such as rationality, self-awareness, communication, and relationship with God, other human beings, and the environment.
  2. Thus, a human being, despite the expression of different and more mature secondary characteristics, has genetic and ontological identity and continuity throughout all stages of development from fertilization until death.
  3. A human embryo is not a potential human being, but a human being with potential.

Biological Basis for the Beginning of Human Life

  1. The life of a human being begins at the moment of fertilization (fusion of sperm and egg). “Conception” is a term used for the beginning of biological human life and has been variously defined in the medical and scientific literature as the moment of fertilization (union or fusion of sperm and egg), syngamy (the last crossing-over of the maternal and paternal chromosomes at the end of fertilization), full embryonic gene expression between the fourth and eighth cellular division, implantation, or development of the primitive streak. Scientifically and biblically, conception is most appropriately defined as fertilization. The activation of an egg by the penetration of a sperm triggers the transition to active organismal existence.
  2. It is artificial and arbitrary to use other proposed biological “markers” (such as implantation, development of a primitive streak, absence of potential for twinning, brain activity, heartbeat, quickening, viability, or birth and beyond) to define the beginning of human life.
Beginning of Human Life: Addendum I: Conception and Fertilization

ABSTRACT:

The Bible affirms that God is the Lord and giver of all life.  Human beings are uniquely made in God’s image, and each individual human being is infinitely precious to God and made for an eternal destiny.  The Christian attitude toward human life is thus one of reverence from the moment of fertilization to death. This position is elaborated further in the statements below.

Biblical Model for Medical Ethics

ABSTRACT:

Christians believe in the divine inspiration, integrity, and final authority of the Bible as the Word of God. This is our starting point for Christian medical and dental ethics. In affirming the authority of Scripture, we follow the command and example of the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom all authority in heaven and earth is vested. Further elaboration is found in the statement below.

Christian Dentist's Oath

ABSTRACT:

The Christian Dentist’s Oath is contained in the statement below.

Christian Physician's Oath

ABSTRACT:

The Christian Physician’s Oath is contained in the statement below.

Christian Response To Adverse Outcomes Arising From Medical Error

ABSTRACT:

CMDA recognizes that adverse outcomes arising from medical errors occur. Our response to adverse outcomes requires compassion, a prompt sympathetic response that expresses regret, our wish that it had not happened, and provision of appropriate medical care. With any adverse outcome, the patient should be assured of an expeditious and thorough evaluation and an honest explanation upon its completion.  As Christian healthcare professionals we desire to respond to our mistakes in a manner that is just and that honors God.  We may recognize error when a patient is injured by our care, although many injuries are not due to error and, thankfully, many errors do not lead to injury. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Conflicts of Interest

ABSTRACT:

As Christian physicians and dentists, we seek to glorify God in our profession by serving our patients. The practice of medicine and dentistry necessarily poses situations in which clinicians' personal interests, financial and otherwise, may conflict with those of their patients. The existence of these conflicts of interest is not inherently wrong. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Death

ABSTRACT:

The Bible speaks of both physical and spiritual death. Physical death is the irreversible cessation of bodily functions. Spiritual death is a lack of responsiveness to God as a result of mankind’s natural alienation from and hostility to God due to sin. Both physical death and spiritual death are the consequences of and penalty for sin. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Disabled Persons

ABSTRACT:

We hold all human life to be sacred as created in God's image. This includes persons who might be regarded as disabled or handicapped. The importance of a person does not reside in the functioning of the body or mind or in the person's ability to contribute to society, but rather in his or her intrinsic value as God's creation. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Doctor & Pharmaceutical/Medical Device Industry Relationships

ABSTRACT:

Doctors appreciate the contribution that the pharmaceutical and medical device industries make to the practice of medicine.  Without the discoveries made by industry, many of the medical advances and products of recent decades would never have been possible.  However, there must be appropriate boundaries between practicing doctors and industry.  Industry viability understandably requires fiscal integrity and a margin of profit.  Doctors’ primary motive should be to promote the welfare of their patients.   The resultant conflict of interest requires that a doctor deliberately evaluate the ethics of receiving gifts from industry.  There are many published standards for appropriate relationships between industry and doctors. Many academic medical institutions and the US Government have adopted policies on these issues. CMDA, in an effort to give guidance to its members, addresses the question, “What is the appropriate responsibility of a doctor when offered incentives from industry?” Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Double Effect

ABSTRACT:

All medical treatments have the potential for adverse secondary effects, some anticipated and others not. The medical acceptability of such adverse secondary effects is judged on a risk-benefit basis. This involves assessing the likelihood of their occurrence, their severity, and the ability to treat them.

Some secondary effects have moral implications. An assessment of the moral acceptability of adverse secondary effects requires consideration of principles, motives, consequences, and implications. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Eugenics and Enhancement

ABSTRACT:

Eugenics has historically been the effort to improve the inheritable qualities of a race or species.  Traditionally eugenics has been practiced through the use of selective breeding, but it is now moving toward direct manipulation of the genome.  Advances in molecular genetics that make this possible are also leading to a resurgence of the eugenics movement. This is emerging as the science of directly treating or eliminating undesirable inheritable characteristics and as the quest for individual human enhancement. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Euthanasia

ABSTRACT:

We, as Christian physicians and dentists, believe that human life is a gift from God and is sacred because it bears His image. The role of the physician is to affirm human life, relieve suffering, and give compassionate, competent care as long as the patient lives. The physician as well as the patient will be held accountable by God, the giver and taker of life. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Fetal Tissue for Experimentation and Transplantation

ABSTRACT:

We affirm that human life warrants protection from the time of conception because it bears the image of God. Medical interventions that involve the unborn child should be permitted only with the intent of providing diagnostic information or fetal therapy, and only when the potential benefits clearly outweigh the potential risks to both child and mother. The use of fetal tissue for experimentation and transplantation introduces the opportunity for the gross abuse of human life, such as conception and abortion for the sole purpose of obtaining fetal tissue. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Genetic Information and Manipulation Technologies

ABSTRACT:

As genetic knowledge increases and technologies to manipulate genes become more powerful, our need for wisdom in application intensifies. In regard to human genetics in particular, the conditions that allow for hubris call for an even greater measure of humility. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Healthcare Delivery

ABSTRACT:

As Christian physicians and dentists, we believe God commands Christians to attend to health care needs of people. Jesus taught, and His life demonstrated, that caring for people includes providing for their spiritual, emotional, and physical needs. Values inherent in God’s Word and Jesus’ teaching include kindness, compassion, responsibility, impartiality, stewardship, and the sanctity of life. Therefore, Christians should work toward a system of health care delivery consistent with these values. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Healthcare Education and the Christian Faith

ABSTRACT:

Education in the healthcare professions presents particular challenges in combining education, the profession, and the care of the patient. Christians in healthcare education should look to their faith for support and guidance in addressing these issues. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Healthcare Right of Conscience

ABSTRACT:

Respect for conscientiously held beliefs of individuals and for individual differences is an essential part of our free society.  The right of choice is foundational in our healthcare process, and it applies to both healthcare professionals and patients alike.  Issues of conscience arise when some aspect of medical care is in conflict with the personal beliefs and values of the patient or the healthcare professional. Further elaboration is contained in the full statement below.

Homosexuality

ABSTRACT:

CMDA affirms that all human beings are created in the image of, and beloved by, God. All human beings are our neighbors and are to be loved by us as we love ourselves. As such, every human being possesses intrinsic dignity and is worthy of equal respect and concern from healthcare professionals. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Human Cloning

ABSTRACT:

As Christian physicians and dentists, we believe that human life is sacred because each individual is made by God in His own image. God’s design is that each individual is formed by the union of genetic material from a husband and wife. We further believe that the family is the basic social unit designed by God to receive and nurture new human life. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Human Enhancement

ABSTRACT:

Humans have created and continue to create technologies that modify living substrate, manipulating existing functional performance or behavior. Many of these technologies are welcomed for their therapeutic potential to bring healing and restoration. However, such technologies have also been directed to the re-engineering of human life, which some refer to as "enhancement." They include, but are not limited to, genetic technologies, synthetic biology, nanotechnologies, pharmacology, and neurotechnologies. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Human Hybrids and Chimeras

ABSTRACT:

Science has developed the capability to create novel organisms by combining cells or tissues (chimeras) or genetic information (hybrids) from different species. The creation of novel organisms that combine human and animal living cells or human and animal genetic material raises moral concerns not only regarding individual patients but also the whole of humanity and the human future. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Human Life: Its Moral Worth

ABSTRACT:

The moral worth of human beings is absolute and eternal.  God has created humans in his image; therefore human life has intrinsic moral worth.  The following concepts are essential to our understanding of a human being’s moral worth. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Human Organ Transplantation

ABSTRACT:

Overview on Human Organ Transplantation

CMDA affirms the ethical use of human organs for transplantation. Organ transplantation offers the opportunity for selfless, altruistic acts of service to our fellow humans. Since clinical demand exceeds the supply of available transplantable organs, well-reasoned policies and responsible stewardship are needed to realize the good of human organ transplantation while avoiding the harms of donor exploitation or unjust recipient distribution. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Human Research Ethics

ABSTRACT:

CMDA recognizes the mandate God gave to be wise stewards over our world (Gen 1:28). We also delight in responding to God’s call to alleviate suffering. Research on human subjects is often an appropriate way to accomplish these ends. Research on humans should never intend to harm the subject and any harm caused to the patient must only be allowed with the expectation or the achievement of a greater benefit for the patient. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Human Stem Cell Research and Use

ABSTRACT:

The field of stem cell research offers great promise for the advancement of medical science.  Adult stem cells are presently being used to treat a variety of illnesses.  However, the isolation of human embryonic stem cells in 1998 and resultant research have raised moral concerns because current methods of procuring embryonic stem cells require the destruction of human life. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Human Trafficking

ABSTRACT:

As Christian healthcare professionals, we affirm that all humans have inestimable worth, having been created in God's image, and should not be trafficked by others.  Accordingly, we grieve for victims of human trafficking and are compelled to oppose this evil. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Imminent Death Organ Donation

ABSTRACT:

CMDA affirms the sacredness of every human life, recognizing that life is a gift from God and has intrinsic value because all human beings are made in His image and likeness. For persons with illness that threatens life or health, organ transplantation may offer hope of a longer, healthier life. CMDA affirms ethical organ donation, meaning organ donation that is not coerced, in which organs are not purchased or sold, and through which vulnerable persons are not exploited or killed by vital organ procurement. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Limits to Parental Authority in Medical Decision Making

ABSTRACT:

Children are a gift from God to the family. Parents are entrusted with the responsibility to love, nurture, protect, and train for their children. In our society, when parents fail to carry out their fundamental responsibilities, the state is empowered to intervene to protect vulnerable children. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Malpractice

ABSTRACT:

We are committed to providing excellent care to our patients and we hold ourselves to the highest possible standard. We recognize that neither medicine nor dentistry is an exact science, and that all clinicians are subject to error. We further recognize that it is likely that we have all

unintentionally practiced below the standard of care* at some time. We believe that the excellent practice of medicine and dentistry requires a willingness to recognize and learn from our professional mistakes and mal-occurrences. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Medical Futility

ABSTRACT:

As Christian physicians and dentists, we recognize the limitations of our art and

science. We realize that not all medical interventions will offer a reasonable expectation of recovery or achieve the therapeutic goals agreed upon by the physician and the patient or the patient's surrogate. We believe that it is our duty to acknowledge the limits of medicine to our patients and their families. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Miraculous Healing

ABSTRACT:

In the Old and New Testaments God intervened in the course of human events with acts of miraculous healing. This is illustrated by a favorable medical outcome not fully explained in medical terms, attributable to the direct intervention of God. In the time of Jesus and the early church this was an essential part of ministry. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Moral Complicity with Evil

ABSTRACT:

Moral complicity with evil is culpable association with or participation in wrongful acts. Evil is defined as anything immoral or wrong based on Biblical principles. Questions about moral complicity with evil can arise in regard to an individual’s relationship to or involvement with past, present or future evil. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Opioids and Treatment of Pain

ABSTRACT:

The goals of medicine are to restore health, prolong life, relieve pain, and ameliorate suffering. Among the medications available to relieve pain are opioids, which in the United States are controlled substances, that act on opioid receptors in the central and peripheral nervous system to produce a morphine-like analgesic effect. Opioids are addictive, and dose escalation or transition to potent illicit opioids such as heroin, or non-prescription fentanyl, can result in fatal overdose due to their suppression of respiration. Excessive prescribing of opioids with the intent to relieve or avoid undertreatment of pain, unlawful diversion of opioid prescriptions, direct-to-consumer marketing, and illicit recreational use for its euphoric or dissociative effects have contributed to a grave crisis of opioid abuse. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Organ Donation After Circulatory Death (DCD)

ABSTRACT:

Donation after Circulatory Death (DCD) criteria have the goal of increasing the supply of available organs for transplantation. Various DCD protocols have been implemented, for example, for potential donors with devastating brain injuries who have no reasonable prognosis for neurologic recovery yet who do not meet the conditions for determination of death by whole brain criteria. CMDA supports the ethical practice of DCD to enable the altruistic act of organ donation for transplantation for the purposes of saving and prolonging life, treating disease, and relieving pain and suffering (see CMDA statement on Organ Transplantation). However, CMDA has grave concerns about the implementation of DCD protocols in actual practice. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Organ Transplantation after Assisted Suicide or State Execution

ABSTRACT:

CMDA affirms the sanctity of every human life, recognizing that life is a gift from God.  For individuals with life-threatening disorders, organ transplantation may offer hope of a longer and healthier life. CMDA affirms ethical organ procurement (organ procurement that is not coerced, in which the organs are not purchased or sold, and through which vulnerable persons are not exploited). Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Pain Management

ABSTRACT:

Historically, physicians have sought to alleviate pain and suffering. With the scientific and technological advances that have occurred in recent decades, clinicians have increasingly focused on the control or cure of disease. As a result, the traditional compassion of medical care has often been diluted or neglected. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Parental Consent for Minors Seeking Abortion

ABSTRACT:

Authority in the family, as established by God, rests with the parents* for the protection and benefit of the children.  Current law acknowledges and generally supports parental authority in medical decision-making, but makes a notable exception in the case of pregnant minors.  State laws that allow pregnant minors to seek abortion* without parental consent undermine God’s design for the family and are ultimately detrimental to society. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Parental Rights

ABSTRACT:

CMDA affirms that children at all stages of development are precious human beings bearing the image of God. Children are loved by God, belong to their families, and share in their communities. The family is the normal environment wherein children are to be cherished, protected, and prepared to take on adult responsibilities. Families are prior to the state, which has the obligation to protect children and the family structure. As the family is foundational to a well-functioning society, mothers and fathers both have the responsibility to rear their children. Parental rights are an extension of parental responsibility. Parents' claim to authority over their children, while basic, is not unlimited. The state also has a legitimate, though limited, interest in the welfare of minor children as well as in public health, for which reason laws and policies have been established to balance these interests with parental rights. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Patient Refusal of Therapy

ABSTRACT:

As Christians, we believe that human life is a gift from God and that all individuals are accountable before God for their lives. This accountability includes decisions to accept or refuse therapy. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Persons with Acquired Cognitive Impairment

ABSTRACT:

CMDA affirms the value of all persons with cognitive impairment and recognizes their inherent dignity. Within a Christian worldview, all people have worth and meaning regardless of their cognitive abilities and deserve our utmost respect. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Physician-Assisted Suicide

ABSTRACT:

We, as Christian physicians and dentists, believe that human life is a gift from God and is sacred because it bears God's image. Human life has worth because Christ died to redeem it, and it has meaning because God has an eternal purpose for it. We oppose active intervention with the intent to produce death for the relief of pain, suffering, or economic considerations, or for the convenience of patient, family, or society. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Pornography and Interactive Sexual Devices

ABSTRACT:

Pornography is any medium that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to entice sexual imagination. Pornography has no beneficial use but damages human relationships. Mass communication technologies such as the Internet have expanded its reach to an unprecedented degree. Video and virtual reality have intensified its content. The introduction of sex robots that imitate human speech and sexual behaviors and are designed to perform sexual acts with humans are an extreme elaboration of pornography. All of these have dangerous psychological, social, and spiritual consequences. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Principles of Christian Excellence in Medical & Dental Practice

ABSTRACT:

Because we follow the example of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who came to earth "not to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give His life," we are dedicated to the service of all persons regardless of the state of their economic resources or the nature of their illness. The principles are contained in the statement below.

Professionalism

ABSTRACT:

Medical professionals avow publicly that they are competent and willing to care for the sick and that they will make this endeavor their way of life. All independent healthcare professionals (henceforth referred to inclusively as "doctors," and with appreciation that the ethos of professionalism extends to the entire healthcare team) affirm a commitment to moral goodness and to subordinating their self-interest to the patient's good. Professionalism in healthcare consists of inseparable technical and ethical aspects. For the Christian there is also a third imperative, which reinforces and enriches the meaning of the first two. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Sharing Faith in Practice

ABSTRACT:

As Christians we should share the good news of Jesus Christ. Christ has explicitly called us to make disciples.  As Christian physicians and dentists we seek the well-being of our patients in our covenantal relationship with them. Clinical studies have demonstrated the importance of spiritual health in physical well-being. It is concern for the well-being of our patients that leads us to take a spiritual history from and share our faith with our patients. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Suffering

ABSTRACT:

Suffering occurs when we perceive or actually experience a threat to or loss of our wholeness. Wholeness includes an individual's cognitive, emotional, spiritual, and physical conditions, which are inherently interrelated.  While pain is an important component of suffering, it may sometimes protect us. Suffering may even provide an opportunity to experience God's grace. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Suicide

ABSTRACT:

We, as Christian physicians and dentists, believe that human life is a gift from God and is sacred because it bears God's image. One of the ramifications of societal acceptance of suicide is further devaluation of the biblical view of human life. The role of the physician is to affirm life, to relieve suffering and pain, and to give compassionate, competent care as long as the patient lives. The physician as well as the patient will be held accountable by God, the giver and taker of life. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

The Beginning of Human Life

ABSTRACT:

The Bible affirms that God is the Lord and giver of all life. Human beings are uniquely made in God’s image, and each individual human being is infinitely precious to God and made for an eternal destiny. The Christian attitude toward human life is thus one of reverence. from the moment of fertilization to death. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

The Non-Traditional Family and Adoption

ABSTRACT:

In spite of proliferating alternative definitions of the family, CMDA supports the Biblical model of the traditional family—an exclusive, committed, lifelong union of a man and woman living in an integral loving relationship with or without biological or adopted children. Most current scientific studies affirm that the Biblical model provides the optimal environment for the health of children, family, and society. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Three Parent Human Embryos

ABSTRACT:

CMDA affirms that all children—including those who are biologically flawed—are gifts from God, a heritage of their mother and father to be cherished, nurtured, and guided. Parents’ obligation to protect their children’s health extends also to healthcare professionals. 

Reproductive biotechnologies have introduced novel methods for correcting certain harmful genotypes by intervening near the time of conception. One of these methods involves starting with maternal egg and paternal sperm and transferring to the developing embryo genetic or cellular components from a third progenitorial donor with the aim of producing a healthy child. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Transgender Identification

ABSTRACT:

A novel way of thinking about one’s body has entered into popular culture. “Transgender” individuals refer to their “gender” as a sexual identity that may be male or female, something in between, or neither. This self-identification differs from, and takes priority over, their biological sex as recognized in their chromosomal DNA and innate physical sexual characteristics. The naming of gender as a category set apart from sex is an idea foreign to the holistic view of the person as understood within Christianity. Christians affirm the biblical understanding of humankind as having been created male and female, with the two sexes having equal dignity and a complementary relationship to each other. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Unionization

ABSTRACT:

The Patient – Doctor relationship today is subjected to unprecedented pressures.  These include economic strategies by third-party payers and employers, increasing regulation by governmental agencies, and the bureaucratization of medicine itself.  Unions are proposed by some as a mechanism to provide doctors with a unified voice for expression of concerns and grievances, with a more powerful vehicle for self-representation, and for increased leverage in negotiations to improve patient care. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Vaccines and Immunizations

ABSTRACT:

Immunizations benefit the health of both individuals and the broader community. Individuals are helped because immunizations prevent infectious diseases. Fewer infectious diseases then circulate through communities, decreasing the rates of illness and death. Regrettably, many persons remain unimmunized or under-immunized. In most parts of the world, under-immunization is due to lack of access. In more affluent countries, under-immunization most often results from a lack of comprehension of, or disagreement about, the protection that vaccines provide and how much they are at risk. This leads to either a failure to obtain vaccines on the recommended schedule, or to an outright refusal to vaccinate. Ethical issues regarding vaccines include: the tension between individual rights and community benefit, methods of vaccine development, and vaccine distribution in the event of vaccine scarcity. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Valid Consent in Shared Decision-Making

ABSTRACT:

Good communication is a necessary part of the practice of medicine and dentistry.  The honesty and integrity that independent healthcare professionals (IHP) exemplify in their daily practice is, for Christians, an expression of the command that we love God and that we love our neighbor as ourselves (Matt 22:37-40). Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Vegetative State

ABSTRACT:

As Christian physicians, we seek to practice our profession in accordance with the Word of God, and the leading of the Holy Spirit.  Medical science and technology have made it possible to keep patients alive when they are in a vegetative state.  Even among Christians there is considerable controversy over the status and treatment of these patients. Biblical teaching does not provide explicit guidance to patients, their surrogates, and their physicians for making treatment decisions in these challenging situations. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Scientific Statements with Abstracts and Full Statement Downloads

HPV Vaccine

ABSTRACT:

The Christian Medical & Dental Associations support the development and

administration of vaccines intended to lessen the incidence and consequences of sexually transmitted diseases. Further elaboration on the HPV vaccine is contained below.

Possible Post-conceptional Effects of Hormonal Birth Control

ABSTRACT:

Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA) holds firmly that God is the Creator of life, that life begins at conception, and that all human life is of infinite value.  We support measures to protect life from its earliest beginnings.  CMDA recognizes that there are differing viewpoints among Christians regarding the broad issue of birth control and the use of contraceptives which are elaborated in the scientific statement below.   

The Association of Abortion and Breast Cancer

ABSTRACT:

Despite groups that claim or deny that abortion is causative (or a risk factor for) in breast cancer, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations do not find sufficient scientific evidence to draw either conclusion. Studies supporting the different opinions are plagued by imperfect study design. That liability, linked with the potential for author bias, prohibits resolving the question based on the currently available science.  Further conclusions are contained in the link below.

Public Policy Statements with Abstracts and Full Statement Downloads

Duties of Christian Health Care Professionals in the Face of Pandemic Infection

ABSTRACT:

Humanity has endured the devastating effects of outbreaks of infectious diseases for millennia. Innumerable lives have been lost, families ravaged, and precious resources consumed. These occurrences have included both localized epidemics and world-wide pandemics where the infection was spread through close proximity and inadvertent transmission. Further elaboration is contained in the statements below.

(Executive Summary) Duties of Christian Health Care Professionals in Pandemic Infection

ABSTRACT:

Humanity has endured the devastating effects of outbreaks of infectious diseases for millennia. Innumerable lives have been lost, families ravaged, and precious resources consumed. These occurrences have included both localized epidemics and world-wide pandemics where the infection was spread through close proximity and inadvertent transmission. Further elaboration is contained in the statements below.

Marriage

ABSTRACT:

Marriage is a virtually universal institution, part of God’s original design for humankind. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Medical Marijuana

ABSTRACT:

The Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA) has developed this policy on “medical marijuana” with both an inherent belief that the Bible is the Word of God--that it speaks into our time and culture and that God gave us his creation to use to its fullest potential—and with the incorporation of scientific evidence which provides a window into the truths about God’s creation. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

2018 Racial Public Policy

ABSTRACT:

CMDA condemns racism in any form, including discriminatory practices utilizing segregation or bias based on race, ethnicity or social status. CMDA affirms that there is one creator, the God of the universe and all humanity. Through Christ, He has given us a mandate to love others as we love ourselves and to love all people regardless of ethnicity, status, gender, genetics, beliefs or practices. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

2020 Racial Public Policy Update

ABSTRACT:

The Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA) recognize Scripture as our authority regarding racial justice.  Throughout its history, America has wrestled with racism. From slavery to civil rights to economic disenfranchisement, there has been a perpetual struggle for the soul of this country. While all races and ethnic groups face some degree of discrimination, minority groups suffer at a disproportionately higher rate. Too often, these injustices occur within the arena of healthcare. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Racial Justice in Healthcare

ABSTRACT:

The Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA) recognize Scripture as our authority regarding racial justice.  Throughout its history, America has wrestled with racism. From slavery to civil rights to economic disenfranchisement, there has been a perpetual struggle for the soul of this country. While all races and ethnic groups face some degree of discrimination, minority groups suffer at a disproportionately higher rate. Too often, these injustices occur within the arena of healthcare. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Recreational Marijuana

ABSTRACT:

The Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA) has developed this policy on “recreational marijuana” with both an inherent belief that the Bible is the Word of God—that it speaks into our time and culture and that God gave us His creation to use to its fullest potential—and with the incorporation of scientific evidence which provides a window into the truths about God’s creation. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Same-Sex Marriage

ABSTRACT:

Marriage is a consensual, exclusive and lifelong commitment between one man and one woman, expressed in a physical union uniquely designed to produce and nurture children. The universal recognition of conjugal marriage by virtually every civilization throughout history, arrived at from both secular and theistic perspectives, testifies to the natural evidence for marriage, its objective structure and its significant contribution to human flourishing and societal stability. Further elaboration is contained in the statement below.

Triage and Resource Allocation

ABSTRACT:

The purpose of CMDA’s position statements is not only to provide practical guidance on ethical issues, but also to provide a biblical and theological foundation for that guidance. Ethics in general is an exercise in justifying our moral decisions based on our most basic presuppositions and worldviews.

For more information, contact CMDA and request to speak with someone in Public Policy.