belief and medical treatment

Recent religious news items – loose women cause earthquakes, women seeing male medical practitioners reduces intimacy with husband (like it’s cheating or something) and of course, all the child sex abuse scandals and the CC trying to make it about them and how sorry they are – and from the document trail – sorry that they got exposed.

Now, in much earlier times, before we understood weather, disasters, crop growing – the world was a bit scary and probably seemed pretty arbitrary. So the idea took hold that these things were caused by temperamental gods.

When we understood that weather, disasters, crops and so forth had natural explanations, there was far less need for gods – especially since, there was a need to keep young females of breeding age around instead of being tossed into volcanoes.

Religions have only reluctantly retreated from trying to explain natural events and mostly focus on spiritual and moral control of the masses.

I think it’s passed time for religion to make a good faith gesture to society and  stop embarrassing themselves. They should stick with the supernatural stuff, stop claiming that they are any sort of moral authority and withdraw from trying to caulk the knowledge gaps with their spackle-god.

But, I guess old habits die hard and recently some religions have been getting in the middle of medical treatment – and not even the end stage euthanasia stuff – but getting any medical treatment at all.

Several religions insist that women can’t see male medical practitioners because it’s immodest and impacts the intimacy between a husband and wife.

No word on men seeing male proctologists; you’d think they’d worry that that would make them gay.

Now, what’s disturbing about the women not seeing male medical professions is that these same religions often oppose women working – and certainly not working in professions where the women have any potential for authority over men.

This catch 22 is a more sophisticated version of using prayer instead of medical care and allowing children to die of preventable and treatable maladies.

Modern western medicine – especially dentistry – has made our lives longer and maintained health for a longer portion of those lives.

The reason we have so much dementia and non-environmental cancers is that these are mostly elderly diseases, because we’ve pretty much wiped out the small pox, polio and TB that used to be the leading causes of death and killed you young.

That believers fight so hard against medical treatments – basically fighting to shorten their own lives – isn’t that technically passive suicide?

Aren’t they the ones in the catch 22 – they want to rely on prayer and being in the deities good graces or not interfere with “the plan” – but at the same time, suicide is going to land you in the bad afterlife – so isn’t ignoring that there is life saving medical treatment essentially suicide?

3 thoughts on “belief and medical treatment

  1. If the women can’t see male doctors, and women can’t become doctors because doctoring is men’s work, it is the women who will be doing without meaningful health care.

    The male believers will be able to see male doctors, and then live longer. It is the women believers who will die young. Then the old male believers can get new young firm wives to look after them in their old age….

    Of course in a culture as backward as this, there’s a reasonable probability the medical practice will be backward too. So if, say, the doctors believe in time honored treatments like “bleeding” with luck the male believers will be packing it in early too.

  2. remember the Emilio Gonzales case?

    http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/04/25/baby.emilio/index.html

    He was born with a severe genetic disorder that meant he was on a ventilator and feeding tube with a ravaged nervous system.

    The mother insisted he get that treatment and after 17 months and a lot of money (state money, not her money), the hospital told her that they were stopping treatment.

    She went to court, but ultimately lost and he died after 19 months of being on tubes and machine breathing.

    Without the machine and ICU, he would have died with 24 or so hours of birth.

    I am still astonished at his mother’s claim “I just want my son to die as god intended”

    Because if that were true, then there wouldn’t have been any machines.

    It is a very sad thing for a parent to lose a child, but why extend the pain and make the loss worse?

    While I do think that the families should be directing the medical decisions, there is a point at which they either don’t understand the condition, refuse to understand and really aren’t capable of making decisions anymore.

    And this is why review panels of doctors need to evaluate the prognosis.

    If there is really no hope or hope so small as to be none – then the treatment is really just torture – it causes harm to the patient, to the family – and it causes harm to the medical staff.

    I read about the rescue dogs used in search and rescue in earthquakes – the dogs sniff out when there’s people trapped – if the dog finds too many dead people in a row , they get depressed and don’t want to continue – so a human member of the search team goes ahead and hides themselves in the rubble so the dog can find a live one.

  3. Wow! Call me emphatic but I agree with every letter and space. I really believe two fundamental truths: first, that religion should stay out of government, bedrooms, hospitals and all public places because second, we all have free agency. No one HAS to be anything, do anything, choose any one thing. If we make our best choices, that’s as good as it gets. We’re flawed, so we may blow it, but that’s on us as individuals. It’s nobody else’s business. Anybody who tells me what doctor I can see due to gender is getting hit with sticks, dude. Carolynn

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