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.
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