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  #1  
Old 03-22-2000, 11:15 AM
Revtim Revtim is offline
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Every so often you hear of a family who's child is suffering some disease, and they refuse to have a doctor treat the kid because of religious reasons.

What religions/sects/philsophies do these people belong to? "Christian Science" pops to mind, but I'm not sure.

Of course, a debate regarding this practice belongs in "Great Debates", and not here. I'm just curious which religions believe this.
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  #2  
Old 03-22-2000, 11:34 AM
Ursa Major Ursa Major is offline
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Mary Bakker Eddy was the one who started the whole "You only need to believe and you will be healed" nonsense. She "discovered" Christian Science bacl in the 1800s. Here's the church's official take on it:

Quote:
Christian Scientists usually go to doctors for child birth, physical examinations required by employers, schools, etc., and sometimes for the setting of bones or minor first aid needs in an emergency. All Christian Scientists are free to follow the dictates of their own conscience. If they desire to put themselves under medical care instead of relying on Christian Science treatment, they are free to do so. However, most students of Christian Science have found God to be the great Physician and the only help they need.

The Biblical precedence for relying on God for all healing is found in the life and works of Christ Jesus and his apostles. He said, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." (John 14:12) He also commanded his followers: "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils." (Matt. 10:8)
Although I respect their right to believe whatever they wish, I can't help but think that natural selection is really going to be working against these folks in years to come.

Great newspaper, though!
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  #3  
Old 03-22-2000, 11:42 AM
Alphagene Alphagene is offline
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AFAIK, Jehovas Witnesses will not accept blood trnasfusions, even if it is deemed necessary to keep them alive.

A story I read from one of those "True ER stories" books:

A man comes into the ER severely wounded and its bleeding out. A doc asks for blood but a nurse notices a card in the man's wallet saying he's a JW. The nurse, who is also a JW refuses to get the blood, knowing that a JW would rather die than live knowing they got a transfusion. Before the two can even begin to argue, the patient dies anyway.

Later they find out that the wallet didn't belong to the patient. He was a pickpocket.

Hell it sounds ULish now that I think of it.

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  #4  
Old 03-22-2000, 01:54 PM
Gilligan Gilligan is offline
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Here is a good source of information on this subject, listing several denominations:
http://www.religioustolerance.org/medical.htm
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  #5  
Old 03-22-2000, 02:00 PM
Beadalin Beadalin is offline
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Larry King did a fairly decent interview with the chairman of the board of directors of the Church of Christian Science, which you may or may not find interesting. I don't know if you're looking for facts about the religions that decline medical treatment or just for a list of 'em.
http://www.glinx.com/~tonym/christian_science.html

As for Christian Scientists being "responsible for a significant number of deaths," that's a really neat way of sounding both dire and vague in the same sentence. I am not interested in debating the merits of my religion, but howsabout citing a source, there, egkelly? Meanwhile I bet I could dig up some doozies about how many deaths doctors are responsible for. See what I mean?

By the way, the site Ursa Major quoted (www.endtime.org), all conjectures about "nonsense" aside, also has this to say:

Quote:
Are the Christian Science Endtime Center and Church of Transfiguration affiliated with The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston?

We are not affiliated in any way with the Boston organization. Our parent organization is the Church of Christ Jesus and Mary Baker Eddy, Christian Science, an independent church formed in Surfside, Florida, in 1989.
So check your sources. Some weird offshoot of a religion can't be said to fairly represent the denomination as a whole.
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  #6  
Old 03-22-2000, 03:08 PM
Ursa Major Ursa Major is offline
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Beadaline,

Maybe you can help me figure out how these different denominations differ in their views on modern medicine. Are the opinions I quoted from that site different than your's and other people who consider themselves followers of Eddy and Christian Science?
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  #7  
Old 03-22-2000, 03:59 PM
Beadalin Beadalin is offline
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Actually the part you quoted seems fine to me, I just wanted to make sure that it was clear that these people do not speak for the First Church of Christ, Scientist, to which my family belongs. I don't want anyone to come across that "endtime" site and think that is representative of the church.

As for how they differ, I haven't had a chance to dig around much through that site, and before today I had never heard of them. I'll take a better look when I can and let you know anything striking, if you'd like. For now all I can see is that they seem to have a particular interest in the apocolypse, which is definitely not a focus of christian science philosophy. But the medicinal aspect is something I would need to look into when I am on my own time :-)

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  #8  
Old 03-22-2000, 04:53 PM
dougie_monty dougie_monty is offline
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Quote:
She also knows of a case personally where a JW changed their mind about a transfusion after being told "you are going to die" if they didn't. The thought of spending eternity in paradise isn't quite that appealing when you think it's actually going to happen...
In other words, if a Jehovah's witness senses that he/she will die without a transfusion, they will go through with it. This amounts to no tenet at all. (No consistency!)
This doesn't jibe with my experience. In 1973 I had a finger nicked by the blade of a power mower--I accidentally poked the finger beneath the housing when adjusting the height of the mower body above the wheels. My mother, who never accepted my beliefs, later said to me, "You know that if you had to have a transfusion you would have gone through with it." Yeah, right! Beliefs only when they are convenient! (Matthew 10:34ff) Incidentally, the doctor who treated me--I did not discuss religion with him at all--commented to me that I seemed to have very little bleeding.
I know, incidentally, that Jesus said "Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."
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  #9  
Old 03-22-2000, 06:28 PM
billehunt billehunt is offline
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There's a strain of Christian Scientism in my family, although it's mostly faded out after my grandparents generation. I had two aunts who got sick, refused treatment, and died early. They were both in their 60s, so it wasn't tragically young, but early death is still early death.

Ironically, most of my family (especially in that CS vein) are long lived. My grandparents are still around, and they're in their late 80s. They live pretty clean, including no alchol. I'm not sure if that's a church tenent or not.

In the last decade, they've seen their church membership dwindle to the point where their local church was shut down. On the one hand, I think that's a good thing, but on the other, I have respect for my grandparents, and it's sad to see something that's important to them go away.

Ironically, the people who are CS in my family are by and large highly intelligent. They're very knowledgable about history and nature and science, etc. But they get uneasy when a nature or science topic veers into biology or medicine.
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  #10  
Old 03-22-2000, 06:36 PM
dougie_monty dougie_monty is offline
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Many years ago I found this ethnic joke:
At a public meeting, the audience has to wait unusually long for the speaker. Meanwhile a meek Jewish man on one side of the auditorium gets more and more uncomfortable. Finally he stands up and asks, "Is there a Christian Scientist here?"
A dignified woman on the other side of the room stands up and says, "I am a Christian Scientist."
The Jewish man calls out to her, "Would you mind trading places with me? I'm sitting in a draft." (from Race Riots (illustrated by Bill Hoest), 1965)
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  #11  
Old 03-23-2000, 12:01 AM
Shagrath Borgir Shagrath Borgir is offline
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Yeah, ever hear of those snake handling morons? Well, if get bit by the rattlesnakes they were harrasing, they believe god will heal them. However if they die, it was god's will and they deserved it. This sound at all to you like "throw her in the well, if she floats, she's a witch, if she sinks and drowns, she was innocent"?

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  #12  
Old 03-23-2000, 12:05 AM
Alphagene Alphagene is offline
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Just wanted to back up my memory here:

Jehovah's Witnesses do accept medical and surgical treatment, overall.

"Members of [the JWs] have deep religious convictions against accepting homologous or autologous whole blood, packed RBCs..., WBCs ..., or platelets. Many will allow the use of (non-blood-prime) heart-lung, dialysis, or similar equipment if the extracorporeal circulation is uninterrupted."

Jehovas Witnesses interpret Genesis 9:4 ("Jehovah made a covenant with Noah following the Flood, and included therein was this command: ‘Flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.’") as forbidding blood tranfusions.

Although The Watchtower Society currently seems to base their aversion to transfusions more heavily on the (IMO overinflated) risk of getting AIDS and hepatitis from transfusion.

Also: "Jehovah's Witnesses view organ transplant operations as a matter of individual conscience."

Here is a good site for more information.

The acceptance of vaccination is apparently still a debatable topic within the JW community.

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  #13  
Old 03-23-2000, 12:19 AM
Una Persson Una Persson is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Alphagene:
AFAIK, Jehovas Witnesses will not accept blood trnasfusions, even if it is deemed necessary to keep them alive.

A story I read from one of those "True ER stories" books:

A man comes into the ER severely wounded and its bleeding out. A doc asks for blood but a nurse notices a card in the man's wallet saying he's a JW. The nurse, who is also a JW refuses to get the blood, knowing that a JW would rather die than live knowing they got a transfusion. Before the two can even begin to argue, the patient dies anyway.

Later they find out that the wallet didn't belong to the patient. He was a pickpocket.

Hell it sounds ULish now that I think of it.
Alphagene: It may be a UL, as I have heard a couple different incarnations of it. My wife, who is an MD, claims that the "standard" unwritten procedure in an ER is that they would not even hesitate - they would give blood to an unconcious patient unless there were family members present who specifically and strenuously objected. The worst that can happen is you offend someone's religious beliefs. Not to downplay that, but relative to having a person die not knowing absolutely that that was their firm wish it is the lesser of two evils, as far as the hospital is concerned. She also knows of a case personally where a JW changed their mind about a transfusion after being told "you are going to die" if they didn't. The thought of spending eternity in paradise isn't quite that appealing when you think it's actually going to happen...

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The Prince: "Did you kill Jahamaraj Jah?"
Lady: "Yes."
The Prince: "My Gods! Why?"
Lady: "His existence offended me."
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  #14  
Old 03-23-2000, 12:24 AM
egkelly egkelly is offline
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Yes the Christain Scientists are responsible for a significant number of deaths.I read however, that they will go to dentists-seems odd here! Of course, the fundamental tenet of this system is that the material world is an illusion-so if you buy into that, you can pretty well accept anything.
This group is definitely in decline; I used to live next door to a HUGE CS church- and I hardly ever saw anyone (outside of a few old ladies) ever go in to it.
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  #15  
Old 03-23-2000, 06:58 AM
egkelly egkelly is offline
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Ok Beadalin: here's a cite you might be aware of: in Lexington, MA, in the 1980's, a young child (Robin Twitchell) died because his CS parents refused him medical treatment. The MD called as a witness in the trial testified that a simple operation would have saved the child-but since (in your belief) death is nonexistant, what does it matter anyway?
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  #16  
Old 03-23-2000, 08:14 AM
neutron star neutron star is offline
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Quote:
Meanwhile I bet I could dig up some doozies about how many deaths doctors are responsible for.
Oh, come on! There's a mighty big difference between a doctor making a slip-up and you callously and purposefully condemning your own child to death. Religious freedom is NOT an excuse for murder! And that's exactly what this is.
People who could do this to their kids need to be locked away forever.

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  #17  
Old 03-23-2000, 09:13 AM
Revtim Revtim is offline
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Just a little reminder; this isn't a Debate threat, just a request for a list of religions/philosophies/etc.

Thanks.
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  #18  
Old 03-23-2000, 02:40 PM
dougie_monty dougie_monty is offline
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Quote:
Oh, come on! There's a mighty big difference between a doctor making a slip-up and you callously and purposefully condemning your own child to death. Religious freedom is NOT an excuse for murder! And that's exactly what this is. People who could do this to their kids need to be locked away forever.
This reminds me of a line in the Foremen's song "You'll Be There": When intolerant people are guillotined immediately..."
If refusal to submit to a blood transfusion--or refusal to allow it for a child under your custody--is the law of God, neither you, Neutron Star, nor anybody else has the right to circumvent it. Remember my posting about certain things that are, believe it or not, more important than life itself. (Cf. Genesis 9:4, Leviticus 17:10, 11, the 15th chapter of Acts.)
Besides, what expertise do you have that prompts you to make a blanket accusation of parents that they are "callously and purposely" "having their children murdered"? Are you a physician, an attorney or a legislator?
200 years ago the medical procedure in vogue was bleeding. George Washington and Lord Byron died from this, for example. Who knows what will be the accepted procedure 200 years from now? The Bible has never had to be updated...
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  #19  
Old 03-24-2000, 03:16 AM
neutron star neutron star is offline
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Quote:
is the law of God,
Whether your god is real or imagined, this country simply does not operate under those laws.

Refusing medical treatment for your child is the same thing as allowing him to die in an unventilated car without helping him. "If God's will was for him to live, the car wouldn't have doors!"

Don't you think your god gave doctors the tools they have for a reason? If god REALLY meant for you to die, why wouldn't he just give you a totally incurable disease?

Refusing a blood transfusion is not the law of god. It's negligent homicide.

Sorry to turn this into a debate, but there's no reason to let a child die when his life could easily be saved. To hear someone advocate this makes my jaw drop.
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  #20  
Old 03-24-2000, 07:09 AM
David B David B is offline
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Neutron: Rather than make this a debate here, why not start one in GD before this whole thread gets tossed into there by Manny or Nickrz, thus rather annoying Revtim who didn't want a debate to begin with?
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  #21  
Old 03-24-2000, 03:08 PM
neutron star neutron star is offline
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I suppose you're right David. Any of you silly Christian Scientists or Jehovah's Witnesses who want to argue this may join me there if you wish.
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  #22  
Old 03-25-2000, 06:36 PM
jab1 jab1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by dougie_monty:
The Bible has never had to be updated...
I say that everything that was written after the Pentateuch is an update.

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  #23  
Old 03-25-2000, 11:58 PM
[WAR]Firesong *TCA* [WAR]Firesong *TCA* is offline
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Yo, I once heard that a JW refused to have her OWN blood pumped back into her body.
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  #24  
Old 03-27-2000, 01:42 PM
dougie_monty dougie_monty is offline
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Yo, I once heard that a JW refused to have her OWN blood pumped back into her body.
Yup. Blood is blood. Makes no difference.
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  #25  
Old 03-27-2000, 01:53 PM
dougie_monty dougie_monty is offline
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Quote:
quote:

"is the law of God,"
Whether your god is real or imagined, this country simply does not operate under those laws.
Refusing medical treatment for your child is the same thing as allowing him to die in an unventilated car without helping him. "If God's will was for him to live, the car wouldn't have doors!" Don't you think your god gave doctors the tools they have for a reason? If god REALLY meant for you to die, why wouldn't he just give you a totally incurable disease? Refusing a blood transfusion is not the law of god. It's negligent homicide. Sorry to turn this into a debate, but there's no reason to let a child die when his life could easily be saved. To hear someone advocate this makes my jaw drop.
A few points here:
I have made it clear in this thread that there are some things of more value than one's life--granted these are few.--Matthew 10:39.
The same medical profession that has the "tools" for transfusions these days had the "tools" in the eighteenth century for bloodletting--that's why I mentioned George Washington and Lord Byron. (The bloodletting killed both of them.)
Acts 5:29: "We must obey God as ruler rather than men." Compare this with the "free-exercise-of-religion" clause in the First Amendment. Notwithstanding the laws of the Roman Empire in the first century, the Christians understood that they had a commission from God to spread the Gospel, although obviously the imperial body of law opposed that. Similarly, today, the body of American law should not be allowed to make observance of the law of God "conditional" or "convenient." Don't you see it that way?
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