Faith-based medical practices

Faith-based medical practices

The Washington Post profiles a pro-NFP, Catholic-friendly medical practice in DC, as part of a wider trend nationwide.

The practice combines “the best of modern medicine with the healing presence of Jesus Christ,” a brochure at the reception desk announces. An image of the Madonna greets every patient. Doctors, nurses and staff gather to pray each day before the first appointments.

The center is one of a small but growing number of practices around the country that tailor the care they provide to the religious beliefs of their doctors, shunning birth-control and morning-after pills, IUDs and other contraceptive devices, sterilizations, and abortions, as well as in vitro fertilization. Instead, doctors offer “natural family planning”—teaching couples to monitor a woman’s temperature and other bodily signals to time intercourse.

Of course, the standard liberal voices must be heard complaining that all the immoral medical practices must be offered to all regardless of the practitioners’ or patients’ wishes.

Critics, however, worry that the practices are segregating medicine along religious lines and may be providing inadequate care by failing to fully inform patients about their options. The critics are especially alarmed about the consequences in poor or rural areas with few alternatives.

“Welcome to the era of balkanized medicine,” said R. Alta Charo, a bioethicist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. “We’ve had this for years with religious hospitals. What’s happening now is it’s drifting down to the level of individual practitioners and small group practices. It essentially creates a parallel world of medicine.”

How dare anyone operate according to religious principles. The only acceptable motivation must be secular humanist relativist social engineering. I don’t hear the same critics worrying that Planned Parenthood abortion clinics don’t “fully inform patients about their options.” Likewise, I don’t hear them complaining about Catholic obstetricians, gynecologists, and pharmacists ostracized from their practices by colleagues who are upset that they fail to prescribe (or full prescriptions) for lucrative yet immoral birth control and abortifacient procedures and pills.

Feeling judged

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  • “In frustration I leaned towards him and said, “I’m MARRIED and I’m CATHOLIC!” And in what he thought was a moment of supreme wit, he replied, “Oh—so you practice Vatican Roulette.“ Grrrr. “

    Though Catholics are rightly insensitive to slights such as these, I wonder how many could have complained and put pressure on such doctors for their unprofessionalism.

  • You know what’s worse these days . . . considering that we Catholics (or should I say “Catholics”?) contracept and abort at the same rates as the general population, it’s no wonder those of us who are serious have to beat on our doctors’ heads a little to have them take our concerns seriously.

    I mentioned this in the last post on my blog – we were at the ob/gyn last week for initial fertility treatment and I emphasized to the dr that I’M CATHOLIC and no matter what happens (after morally acceptable treatment), if I get pregnant, I’LL HAVE THE BABY. She got the point and seemed relieved that she didn’t have to go into the whole risks-of-treatment/possibility-of-abortion talk. That must be depressing, to work so hard to get women pregnant, only to have them abort the baby because it “might” have problems . . .

  • What a coincidence.  My wife is currently a patient of Dr.Bruchalskis and we can attest to the high quality of medical care and the GENUINE fidelity to the Church at his medical practice.
    As a matter of fact my 5th child is celebrating his 7th birthday today thanks to Dr. Bruchalski and his practice.  My wife was having some difficulties conceiving and after some interviews (for lack of a better word) and experiences with other Ob/Gyns we finally ended up at Tepeyac.  9 months later my son was born and we named him in honor of St. Raymond Nonnatus whose feast day is today.

  • “In Kansas City, there are no OBGYNs that are NFP-only, and only one Family Practitioner (though there are several NFP-only midwives).”

    Would you like to know what it’s like looking for a doctor in Canada?

    Answer: No, you wouldn’t. I’m an American who’s lived with both systems. Up here, it’s good enough to just get to see an OB/GYN – for example, your GP is expected to do your Pap smears and other routine gyn things. And this is in Alberta, where we have a decent number of doctors. Oy.

    Sorry, I don’t mean to complain. What I do is pray for the best available dr and look up specialties, and then tell my GP who I’d like a referral to – usually I can get in (after, of course, a good wait). There are directories for NFP-only drs but I think there are only a couple in Canada – I think it would be “discriminatory” for a doctor to practice medicine that way up here (not my opinion, but in a legal sense), though I could be wrong.

  • As long as what you want to do is legal, go right ahead and find a doctor who will prescribe a Pill or whatever.

    This isn’t just about the moral teachings of the Catholic Church, but about what is moral. Period. Morality is absolute, not relative. It’s based on the natural law and it applies to all, not just baptized Catholics.

    I would guess you’d disagree with that statement, but you have to realize how Catholics see the world.

  • neither do I believe that a microscopic morula is endowed with a right to achieve existence independent of the woman in whose body it was conceived,if she should wish otherwise

    So at what arbitratry point of development do you think a baby achieves the right to exist?

  • As to the Church’s desire that in effect nobody ever have an orgasm without its permission…it’s that fanaticism that makes people take seriously the polar opposite “morals” of the same-sex-marriage crowd.

    And it’s the straw-man argument accusing the Church of something she doesn’t say that constitutes the fanatcism of those disputing Church teaching.