Wednesday, July 28, 2010

the full treatment

I don't have time to do either of these stories justice, but I call your attention to the cases of Julea Ward and Jennifer Keeton. Ward was dismissed from Eastern Michigan University for refusing to council homosexuals to the effect that their homosexuality was a positive thing, and Keeton was threatened dismissal from ASU unless she changes her belief that homosexuality is immoral. In Ward's case, a federal judge sided with the university that they can require her to violate her conscience.

Worse yet, I can't believe the amount of vitriolic hate heaped upon these two women, even by "Christians". Since when does a conscience not count? I read at
Doctors and mental health councilors are not expected, paid, or employed to act (or in this case, not act) on their religious beliefs. We pay them to perform the best medical care for our specific situation, whatever that medical care entails, and even if it does not align with whatever fantasy they happen to believe in.
to which I reply, what if the best medical care is what they believe in, not what the government or their employer mandates? What if the best counsel for homosexuality is not to endorse it but to find out why the person is that way and give them the opportunity to choose whether to try to change their behavior? To address the problems of high suicide rate, drug abuse, depression, sexually transmitted disease etc. not by talking to the person about how their lifestyle affects this.

Ultimately, all medical treatments are advised according to the beliefs of the doctor. Don't believe it? Go to four doctors with different beliefs about treating high cholesterol. One will tell you to change your diet and exercise, another will tell you to take lipitor, yet another will give you health supplements, and the fourth will tell you it's your body and there's nothing to do about it. You don't like what the doctor says, you find a different one.

Should we tell the doctor who believes in health supplements that he must prescribe lipitor or be barred from medical practice? Perhaps that's where we're headed. After all, the pharmaceutical industry has powerful lobbyists...


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