Biblical Reflections on Modern Medicine
Vol. 5, No. 2 (26)
Make Plans Now to Attend in 1995!
The Third Annual Winter Institute on Biblical Counseling and Medicine, "The Health Care Crisis: A Biblical Response," held in San Diego, February 24th-26th, 1994, is now part of the historical record. And -- what a history indeed!
Approximately half of the attendees (total of 64) were Reflections and/or Journal subscribers. It was like homecoming for me -- linking names from my computer files with real faces! In the 8 years that I have been promoting/writing for the Journal and my newsletters, this conference was the most encouraging experience that I have had.
I sit here in my office, pounding away at the keyboard. I send out tens of thousands of query letters each year. I lose most of the subscribers that I do get. I wonder what is happening "out there." Are my words falling on deaf ears? I have received wonderful letters (and they are greatly encouraging), but meeting you face-to-face and having you tell me of what you are doing was truly a "mountain-top" experience for me. Thank you!
You will receive information to order tapes from the conference shortly. You will want to review those titles carefully. Moreover, make plans to attend for 1995, probably the same week in San Diego as this year's conference.
Dr. Jay Adams led off the plenary speakers with "Counseling Medical Patients." He reviewed many of the fallacies of secular psychology that are perpetrated by Christian "professionals." He confronted physicians with the limitation of time available to them to counsel patients. He recommended a close working relationship with a pastor or full-time Biblical (nouthetic) counselor, because so many problems that physicians see are spiritual, rather than physical.
Dr. Harold O. J. Brown followed with "Public Policy in Medical Ethics: An Evangelical Challenge." He defined the Biblical roles of family, church, and civil government, and how the government has increasingly encroached with unbiblical warrant on the other God-ordained institutions. He suggested from John Calvin that the best government is "an aristocracy tempered by democracy, or democracy tempered by aristocracy." He then described the "Nature and Limit of Law" (Biblical law and civil law). From there, he discussed medical issues that have arisen out of these concepts.
Dr. George Grant presented "Effects of Abortion Law on Ethics in Medicine." He gave an interesting history of abortion in other cultures and other times. The Christians of the first century and later were the ones who most vigorously challenged abortion and infanticide, offering adoption and other alternatives to save these children. Eventually their influence impacted Western civilization such that abortion became illegal. We have now seen a complete reversal of that influence, as medicine increasingly becomes a means of death rather than a means to promote and save lives.
Unfortunately, I was not able to attend any workshops other than my own ("Medical and Moral Perspectives on the AIDS Epidemic" and "Alternative Choices in Supposed Charity Cases"). Other workshops were: "Biomedical Ethics and the Church" by Dr. Ben Mitchell, "Christian Ethics: Competing Guidelines? by Cmdr. (Ret.) Robert Needham, "Critical Review of Current Psychotherapies" by Dr. Andy Peterson, "The Epidemiology of Homosexuality" by Dr. William Playfair, "Counseling Basics" by Dr. George Scipione, "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" and "Premenstrual Syndrome" by Dr. Robert Smith, "Living by Bread Alone: Myths of Preventive Medicine" by Dr. Hilton Terrell, and "Ethics and Economics" by Dr. Thomas Ziegler.
(Not so tongue-in-cheek as is his usual style)
The hot story in the sheep industry is one of its conferences in Reno where a University of Texas professor, Margaret Maxey, said that "scientists" had told her that the earth's capacity was two billion people, and we should reduce it to that! On what meat and/or tenure are these profs fed that they can make such decisions without asking us or even openly discussing it? What form will it take? Is systematic depopulation (the theme of the French Revolution) a love crime, a hate crime, or part of managed and rationed health care?
What else are such scientists doing, and how much federal money are they getting for it? Are they helping with health-care programs?
The late Dixie Lee Ray, not noticeably a Christian, was one of our more eloquent spokespersons against junk science. Maybe another will emerge.
Jews have museums about "never again a holocaust." Farmers should have one about the cycles of famine being broken with the rise of the Industrial Revolution. The medical industry needs one too! "Never again a holocaust or plague which could be achieved by reversing current policies and a virus (HIV/AIDS) with civil rights."
P.S. Where did Hillary get her medical or health management training?
I have chosen not to examine the Clintons' health care plan in Reflections, because it is a further intrusion of the federal government into medicine, where it has neither Biblical nor constitutional warrant.
However, readers may be interested in the raw force of power behind this proposal. It uses the word "penalty" 59 times, "mandatory" 24 times, "prohibit" 51 times, "restrict" 54 times, "enforce" 87 times, "obligation" 56 times, and "limit" 269 times. (Phyllis Schlafly, February 15, 1994, reprinted in The Forecast, March 1, 1994)
A new entry, "Religious or Spiritual Problems," will appear in this year's edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders under the section, "Other Conditions That May Be a Focus of Clinical Attention." The addition is intended "to encourage mental health professionals to view patients' religious experience more seriously.
The entry reads:
"This category can be used when the focus of clinical attention is a religious or spiritual problem. Examples include distressing experiences that involve loss or questioning of faith, problems associated with conversion to a new faith, or questioning of other spiritual values which may be related to an organized church or religious institution."
One psychiatric "official" commented, "The new entry on religion (is) a sign of the profession's growing sensitivity not only to religion but also to cultural diversity generally." Other comments were made by Buddhists and people with "near-death experiences." (The New York Times, February 10, 1994, p. A9)
Commentary: "You shall have no other Gods before Me" (Exodus 20:3), says the Lord of Hosts. He does not want crumbs from psychiatry. He wants them to bow their knees before Him.
Any person, Christian or pagan, who desires less is worshiping another god. There are Christians doing research to establish that prayer is effective, that "religion" is a positive factor in people's lives, and that abortion should be proscribed because of its harmful effects on women.
My beloved readers, the battle is philosophical (spiritual), not empirical (experimental). Christians must not be satisfied that "science" shows that the Biblical life is healthy. Christians must challenge that only the Biblical life is healthy. Science (good or bad) is easily discarded with its weak assumptions of experimental design. While a philosophical challenge may also be easily discarded, the opposition at least comes face to face with "our faith" against "their faith." It is their religion (in this case psychiatry disguised as science) against ours (God and His Word).
"The Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Convention will oppose any health-care reform legislation, no matter how good, if it includes abortion coverage, representatives told a January 26 House subcommittee examining various reform proposals." (National and International Religion Report, February 7, 1994, p. 1)
Commentary: At first glance these Christian challenges to health-care reform seem laudatory. After all, the Clintons have done everything that they could to facilitate as many abortions as possible since their tenure began. However, this position limited to abortion alone is a representative example of a narrow, but prevalent, pro-life view.
We have the so-called "health-care crisis" today because of the intrusion of government. Yes, we must fight abortion, but there are other killers in proposed government action. Sexual immorality is sanctioned. Medical research will be more and more restricted to a political agenda. Medical practice will become more and more "orthodox," limiting alternative approaches that are now acceptable.
A complete pro-life view would have government out of medicine entirely. The state has not Biblical warrant to govern medicine. I will not belabor the point because I have made it often in the last few months. However, "pro-life" is far broader and deeper than the abortion issue. Biblical Christians will want their worldview to be more comprehensive.
Thank you for your efforts to bring a Biblical perspective to modern medicine, medical care and even health care. My own teaching, professional lectures, and spiritual presentations have been profoundly challenged because of your writings. I just wanted to encourage you in your efforts. I don't know if I can accept everything you say yet, but you really cause me to reflect on my beliefs and observations.
My letter is prompted by your January commentary on schizophrenia. Specifically, my concern is your acceptance of a biochemical etiology for the disease. I know conventional wisdom supports this view. I believe that to be true because people "see what they believe" -- even scientists. This diagnosis, as you emphasize in your commentary as "The Answer - The Explanation," helps us remove responsibility from the patient and the family.
I'm in the process of reading Toxic Psychiatry by Thomas Breggin, M.D. (probably not a believer, but I don't know), who refutes the biological explanation for the disease and suggests it is only a "psycho-spiritual" problem. I have not read the two books you mentioned yet. My questions are, "Could the biochemical (organic) be a result of the spiritual problem and thus if we accept it, we end up focusing on this explanation rather than the spiritual issues? Can we maintain a balance in our understanding of the disease and its effects if we treat the disease wrongly (e.g., drugs, etc.)?"
In my oversimplified approach to my Christian life I have made the observation that "the effective Christian life is a balanced life and the curse of humanity is the extreme. It is clear to me that the problem in medical care is the extreme. We treat when we should watch and wait, we postpone death when we should let go, etc. "Mental illness" (Ed's quotes) may now suffer from the same extreme in our drug therapy approach to all of life's cares and woes. I sensed your explanation was a balanced one, but will people hold out hope for the "cure in medicine" when we finally understand the organic rather than get on with their spiritual awakening?
I am sorry for the incompleteness of these thoughts. My ultimate goal is to try to clarify my own perspective on the role of drugs in the care process. How much research on new drugs is needed? Are drugs too expensive? Is there a magic bullet out there to cure cancer, dementia, etc. or because of sin will we die anyway? All we seem to do is waste money and create false hope by the prospect of a miracle drug. Isn't God the only source of miracles, not medical care?
These questions have only started with me as I started reading your writings. Thank you for causing me to challenge my own thinking. Your efforts have certainly benefited this pharmacy professor. As president of Christian Pharmacists Fellowship, International. I am trying to challenge our members too. Thus, you have disciples who are influencing others.
Fred Eckel, Pharm. D.
Professor, University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC
This letter ranks near the top of the more encouraging letters that I have ever received. Dr. Eckel is a thinker and scholar of some stature and stands in position to influence many others. His letter is both a blessing of encouragement and a burden of responsibility.
While Dr. Eckel can't "accept everything [I] say," my own thinking is still evolving in many areas. His letter and challenges from others spur me to think further, sometimes refining or changing my own views.
I have not read Dr. Breggin's book, so I can't speak to his ideas. However, what I did not say in my article on schizophrenia is that I have come from thinking that no disorders of thinking and behavior were organic to some probably having that origin. Very simply, what is the difference between taking an aspirin for a headache and taking some other chemical to make one function better? The brain, after all, is an organ of the body that is subject to disease as any other.
I am not sure that the issue of which-came-first, the spiritual or the organic problem, matters for the present. A patient's headache may have been caused by worry, but the etiology does not mean that he may not morally (spiritually) take medication that will ease symptoms and hasten the healing process.
What must be said here is that the faithful nouthetic (Biblical) counselor will forcefully address the spiritual changes needed in the person's life regardless of whether medication is also needed. That attention to the spiritual life is what the large majority of physicians and psychologists ignore in their use of medication. The medication is merely a splint on broken cells/tissues to assist a person's spiritual walk. The competent counselor will never allow either a diagnosis or a drug to be seen as The Answer - The Explanation.
This area is a challenge that nouthetic (Biblical counselors) have not adequately addressed, but they must if they are to have a complete defense of their approach.
Dr. Eckel's concerns about drugs is my concern also. Perhaps many, if not most, drugs could be eliminated or decreased where Biblical counseling is applied to medical situations. In this way, the medical practice of a Biblical physician will be as different from the pagan physician as the nouthetic counselor's approach is from the pagan psychologist.
There is much to be done. The greatest battle is to establish nouthetic (Biblical) counseling as the norm in the evangelical world. Only when we are able to conduct empirical studies with competent Biblical counselors and physicians will we have the answers to Dr. Eckel's and my concerns. I look forward to that day and pray that God will bring it to be.
Note: Coincidentally, a summary article on schizophrenia appeared in the current issue (March 10, 1994) of The New England Journal of Medicine (pp. 681-690). It is an excellent resource for those who want to look at the latest information on this complex subject.
I have read your book, Biblical Healing for Modern Medicine. Some parts seem as though I wrote them, because I, too, see that the direction medical care has taken does not produce life as Christ brings life. As news comes on TV, reporters talk about crime and law enforcement, but they never get close to the "heart" of the matter. I have sometimes stated, "When responsibility is taken away from people, people become irresponsible."
I am a registered nurse and see the deterioration of nursing. At the same time, I see deterioration in medicine. A few doctors put forth effort to help their patients take responsibility for their lives, while others take advantage of procedures which rake in money. "Government, when it takes control, loses the essence of health and life."
I'm glad you make the distinction between health care and medical care. As our culture puts more and more into "crisis intervention," there will be less and less prevention.
I have had colon cancer and have a colostomy. My physicians wanted to do radiation therapy on me, but I said no. Today, I am very thankful for my decision. It has been nearly 12 years now. Prior to the surgery, I wasn't feeling very well, but now I am much better. I work 12-hour shifts in a medical/surgical unit. Other than an upper respiratory infection, I have not been to see a physician for 5 or more years.
I have a recurring dislocation of my left shoulder, also. I have been to the doctor and hospital for that, but not in the last 10 years. I found an easy, effective, and virtually painless method of replacing it so that I continue with whatever I am doing. When doctors have replaced it, the procedure is difficult and painful.
Two weeks ago, our daughter gave birth to her first child, a little girl of 8 pounds and 14 ounces, at home under the care of a midwife. Her pregnancy, labor, and delivery went very well. My wife was skeptical of the choice, but I approved.
When Calvin Dooley, a Senator, was here promoting government intervention in "health care," the following stories were told. In our emergency room, patients have come in, and finding it crowded, went home, called the ambulance, and returned via the ambulance so they did not have to wait. Also, many patients come to the emergency room just to get a bottle of acetaminophen.
The ambulance service told the story of a woman who was shaving her legs, nicked herself, and called the ambulance to be seen by the emergency doctor. We have many people in the hospital who go home, having had "free care" and don't want to pay one cent for ongoing medication. Interns have been overheard bragging about how much money they were going to make.
In the church where I attend, many members own dairies. When I said that they milk cows to provide milk for human needs, some expressed that they owned dairies to make money. Christians in our churches know little about helping one another. Money has become more important than serving.
We need Christians to get their priorities straight. We need to learn to serve. Serving may be classified into three groups. The first group teaches knowledge, understanding, and a spiritual dimension. The second group produces services and goods that are useful and beneficial to others. (There is too much emphasis on material wealth.) The third group finds people with needs and helps them receive the right teaching, obtain important physical necessities, and then grow spiritually themselves so that they may help teach or help others, also. The church, as God's people, is failing to teach truth and provide needs. As I understand your book, physicians need to make more house calls. Nurses and other Christians should be making those calls, as well.
Therefore, I would like to start an educational organization for adults under the authority of the church, where Christian laymen will teach in the areas of communication, relationships, economics, and health. I am in the process of writing a book on these subjects.
Gary De Boer, R.N.
Mr. De Boer provides some excellent insights and observations. Several years ago, I began to see that virtually all public policies assume either that people are intrinsically good or bad. Our founding fathers assumed, consistent with our Reformation heritage, that people are intrinsically bad. Thus, the three branches of government act as "checks and balances" on each other.
However, too many policies today assume that given choices virtually all people will choose what is right. Thus, Mr. De Boer's accounts of visits to the Emergency Room. If you want to see chaos, multiply his episodes severalfold and you will see what "free" medical care will be like. While everyone is not "bad" in the sense that I have described, any system must have something intrinsic that will make those who are bad think twice before they violate proper standards.
There can never be enough bureaucrats or police to prevent such abuses without intrinsic penalties or hurdles to limit abuses. We have all heard accounts of the thriving black markets in Russia and other totalitarian countries in spite of the threat of death. I am not incriminating black markets, but only using them as an example that state governments ultimately cannot control people. Individual character, strict institutional guidelines, and penalties are necessary.
Mr. De Boer also provides a good example of taking responsibility for one's own medical and health care. Anyone with a recurrent problem or disability ought to learn as much as possible about his condition. Often, my best source of information about treating a particular patient is what they have found to work in the past. Every person is unique, and it is beyond the knowledge and skill of any physician to find the best management for every patient.
As to home deliveries, I know that statistics strongly support their safety. However, having seen a few obstetric disasters that can occur within seconds, I still cringe at the thought. Hospital delivery has been one example of modern medicine in my training about which it has been difficult for me to accept alternatives.
I want to temper Mr. De Boer's comments about "making money." The profit motive is the most common motivation to right behavior among both Christians and non-Christians. The business that does not do good work will not continue making a profit. Over and over again, successful executives have been found to have better balanced lives with their families, social activities, and recreation than those who work under them.
The Bible never condemns the profit motive. On the contrary, Jesus' parables strongly endorse making profits. It is not wrong for a physician to want to make money. What we don't have much of any more in American medicine is the controlling influence of free market forces centered in individuals and families. Individuals and families must decide how much they are willing to pay for any aspect of medical care. Physicians, then, can get "rich" only if the patient is freely willing to pay (directly or indirectly through legitimate insurance programs).
Lest readers think me unspiritual, I must address the place to which I give the motive to "serve the Lord." I give it the highest position of all for some Christians. In my experience (all Christians considered), few are more motivated in soul-denying service than in making a profit. Profit may not be money. It may be numbers: converts, buildings, subscribers, or books sold. Quite often, I wish it were not true in my own life. I want hundreds, even thousands, of readers. I want to be known as a great authority in medical ethics. But, in six years, I have never made a profit. And, I remain relatively obscure among medical ethicists, both secular and Christian.
The profit motive causes many people to pursue good things because in general, "good things" are what others want and need. It may be God's greatest motivation among His gifts of "common grace." It is often the greatest motivation under "special grace." Even the individual believer may have difficulty knowing his own higher motivation.
Of course, medicine is not a free market system due to licensure, which makes medicine a monopoly of the state. Patients are not necessarily "willing to pay" what we charge -- they have no choice when competitors can be imprisoned by the state.
Also, we must be careful to find a middle ground on the reasons for owning dairies or any other enterprise. If we build on the old maxim, "Find a need and fill it," we would likely be on target. If we use the revised version, "Create a need and fill it," we would be apt to be merely self-serving. The old version serves both self, monetarily, and others by means of a legitimate product. Too much of current medical care has become "Create a need...," such as screening for diseases of remote possibility.
Finally, the greatest need in the church today is systematic Biblical knowledge. There is too much piece meal knowledge that is not meshed with a whole. There are too many fragments without a system. There are too many inconsistencies. There is too little discernment of humanism from Biblical theology. I know my system -- do you know yours? Can you fit every part into a whole? If not, you have work to do.
My sister-in-law, not a Christian, is in the process of ruining her life. She began visiting psychiatrists about 3 years ago for depression. They have had her taking one drug after another. Now, their only solution is shock treatment.
My question is, "Have you ever written anything touching on this aspect of medicine?" If so, could you send me those back issues or perhaps point me toward a book that I could read that would help me lead her out of this drugged state and back to a situation where she can at least listen to a Biblical answer?
Name withheld at Ed's discretion
My heart breaks whenever I hear such a story - a frequent occurrence. My observation of similar cases is even more frequent.
What follows may sound harsh to many readers. Those who have been with me for some time (or have my cumulative volume) will recognize the ongoing debate between Biblical love and humanistic compassion. I struggle with my experience and realism against the hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have seen few "saved" out of such situations, although I would quickly affirm God's plenitude of power to do so at any time.
There is also a struggle here (in our minds) between God's mercy and His Sovereignty. He is not under our control. Specifically, God does whatsoever He pleases (Ephesians 1:11). For many, myself included, this attribute of God is the most difficult to worship.
We want well-described formulas that are always effective. We want our personal, deep compassion (for a relative or someone else close to us) to motivate God to act. And -- we want Him to act predictably according to our timetable.
But, He doesn't. Yes, we are to pray believing and persistently (Luke 18:1-8; James 5:16,). However, many loved ones continue their wild ways. Worse, many die in their sins. In that sense, our prayers go unanswered. Still, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes forever" (Hebrews 13:8, NASB). God in His mercy not only allows us to intercede for others, He commands that we do so. Yet, He always reserves the final decision for action unto Himself.
In our frustration, God becomes inadequate for us. We seek medical answers. We seek psychological answers. We think, "God is Sovereign and omnipotent, but... maybe He will work through these agencies."
Perhaps, this frustration with God's Sovereignty is a major reason that psychology and medicine are worshiped by so many evangelical Christians today. God's Sovereignty is more difficult than we want to admit openly. We cite Romans 8:28 but hope that the "good" will be that which we hope for.
By "saved," I mean two levels. First, some who have these life-dominating problems make a profession of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. And, they begin to "grow in Christ," that is to increase in their knowledge and experience of the Christian faith, including Bible study, church involvement, personal devotions, etc.
However, most fail at the second level, which is to escape their dependence upon a medical/psychological (psychiatric) model of their problem (which may be depression, anxiety, or any number of other psychological diagnoses. See my previous newsletter about "schizophrenia.")
I don't know how many times it has to be said, but psychological explanations for behavior is a religious substitute for Biblical analysis. Psychology is another religion that has a powerful grasp on its victims ("clients" of psychologists or "patients" of psychiatrists), and few are ever freed from its grasp.
I counseled under the auspices of my church for ten years until I began devoting all my "spare" time to writing. Interestingly, almost all counselees fell into three distinct categories. First, there were Christians who readily acknowledged their problems and sins, repented, and made quick, decisive turnarounds. A second group was more reluctant, but slowly came around to where they should be.
The third group had severe, repetitive problems. Most, if not all (my memory fails here), had had extensive psychological (psychiatric) counseling and/or drug treatment. The people of this group were predictable in their failures. They could make changes for a few weeks, but always fell back into their sin or back into a psychiatric hospital. I do not recall a single one who ever escaped life-dominating sin and/or the psychological/medical management/explanation of it.
Because I did not see it, I am not saying that God does not deliver people from these quagmires. I have heard and read testimonies of God's miraculous and powerful intervention into such lives. However, these interventions are the exception and not the rule.
The only hope that I can give to this letter-writer about her sister-in-law is God's severe Sovereignty. With few exceptions, her only hope is God's miraculous and powerful intervention into her sister-in-law's life. There is nothing otherwise that psychology or medicine can do that is more than a temporary fix. And -- it is not God's predictable pattern to intervene.
However, that hope is the wonder and worship, even though severe, of God Himself. To call Him Lord and mean it is to accept Him "according to the counsel of His own will." Many Bible-believing Christians struggle with this severe Lordship within themselves, not admitting it openly for fear of challenge by other Christians.
I submit that challenge to them and to myself. Probably, I have not chosen the best way to say these things. More probably, I have not made the challenge with proper humility. Nevertheless, if we are to worship God as God, we must bow our minds as well as our knees to His Sovereignty.
And, this challenge is quite relevant to psychology and medicine. Both, apart from an applied and consistent Biblical faith, are but temporary, and often detrimental, applications of man's hubris. As Christians, we pursue these trivial, temporal poultices with almost the same vigor as the convinced atheist and vocal agnostic.
Our own lives and those of our families (both natural and supernatural) are only harmed thereby. However, there is the greatest harm -- God is not worshiped as He deserves. And that lack of worship is a greater harm to ourselves than the direct results of the wrongly applied remedies of man.
"Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God alone who is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen." I Timothy 1:17
Vol. 8, No. 2 (51) March 1994
A recent Christian publication, noted for its conservatism, recently reported more than a 100 percent increase in AIDS cases in large cities and in select populations of the United States. They did not mention that the CDC expanded its definition on January 1, 1993. Virtually the entire increase in numbers over the year previous that they reported is due to the expanded definition. The report concluded that the rate of AIDS cases is increasing.
If anything, the numbers of AIDS cases is decreasing! (Reflections, January 1994) Because I have reported on this new definition several times over the past year, I will not repeat that information here. Simply, I want to warn readers that both Christian and secular periodicals often fail to account for increases in AIDS cases based on this expanded definition alone. Be careful with such distortions, intended or accidental. Probably in the next edition I will be reporting on AIDS statistics for all of 1993. I will give much more information then.
Support for Duesberg?
Eight health-care workers who had percutaneous exposure (7 with needle-stick and 1 with embedded glass) to HIV from AIDS patients were studied for 64 weeks. None developed antibodies to HIV, but 6 developed "potent HIV-specific T-helper cell activity." In laymen's terms, their bodies showed evidence of having fought and prevented active infection with HIV without the production of antibodies. (Journal of the American Medical Association, January 5, 1994, pp. 42-46)
Commentary: This study has many far-reaching implications. Dr. Peter Duesberg has argued for several years that HIV infection alone is insufficient to account for AIDS, a late-stage result of HIV infection. Either AIDS is caused by something other than HIV (e.g., toxic drugs, whether illegal or prescribed, or severe infections by other agents) or HIV with other co-factors (again, drugs or other infections are likely).
I am not ready to endorse Dr. Duesberg's theories, but I have read much of his work. I agree with many of his criticisms of distortions by our "officials" in their approach to the AIDS epidemic. I hope to read more and come to a conclusion about his theory about HIV/AIDS in the next several months.
The problem with this study is its limited numbers (8 exposures). We can hope, however, that it will lead to larger studies that more carefully look at what actually happens to HIV after infection in new hosts, especially those who are in good health at the time of their infection.
A recent study at the Medical Research Institute of San Francisco "analyzed a large national survey to determine the sexual behavior of American adults." "Ninety-eight percent of the sample reported that they were heterosexual." "The vast majority reported having only one sexual partner during the previous 30 days (98.8%), 12 months (96.3%), and 5 years (93.6%)." (American Journal of Public Health, 83:1400-1406, 1993, reported in The Family in America News Research, January 1994, pp. 1-2)
Commentary: This study shows that the promiscuous are indeed promiscuous and the faithful are indeed faithful. The myth of 10 percent homosexuals is destroyed (again). HIV/AIDS is not a direct threat to approximately 95 percent of the American population.
The AIDS scare promulgated by our "officials" is an affront to the American people. Not only have we been wrongly frightened, our money has been spent primarily on the natural consequences of illegal and immoral (sinful) behaviors.
A recent Journal of the American Medical Association reported that HIV infection was the second leading cause of death in males aged 25-44 years and sixth in females of the same ages. What the article did not do was sort proceed to sort out HIV death associated with homosexuality and IV drug abuse!
The total numbers of deaths from AIDS in 1990 among those in this age group were 18,797 males and 2,323 females. However, there were actually 101 deaths in non-IV-drug-abusing males who acquired HIV heterosexually and 195 deaths in non-IV-drug-abusing females who acquired HIV heterosexually. (Rethinking AIDS, July 1993, pp. 1, 3)
Commentary: This contrast in numbers reflects how the whole AIDS statistics have been distorted for propaganda purposes. The problem of deaths in young adults is not HIV/AIDS per se, but homosexuality and IV-drug abuse. When these behaviors are eliminated, deaths in young adults from HIV is miniscule. That is not to make light of death from any cause, but HIV/AIDS is rare among young adults who acquire it through heterosexual means.
If we had a cure for HIV/AIDS today, most of these people would still die as young adults of complications of their homosexuality or IV-drug abuse. Thus, HIV/AIDS is a secondary problem in this population. Their primary and overwhelming problem is their chosen lifestyle of immorality and abuse.
O, LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth! Psalm 8:1
"The Three Faces of Eve"
"The Three Faces of Eve" was a movie, starring Joanne Woodward, that recounted the life of "Eve" the first and most famous case of multiple personalities. I read the Reader's Digest version as a teenager. Later, an entire book (and then, the movie) was written about her.
Her psychiatrist, Dr. Robert Thigpen, saw her in his private office, located across the street from the Medical College of Georgia. As the medical college expanded, it bought his office along with others along that street. Now, with the shuffling that has taken place with my own Department of Family Medicine, I now have an office in the Thigpen building!
So, Dr. Ed Payne who is a destroyer of the myths of psychiatry (psychology) has occupied one of the outposts where a trail was blazed by "modern" psychiatry. There must be a major spiritual battle going on in this building!
One of my frustrations is the extensive data base that we have accumulated over the years in our tapes. The tapes need to be transcribed, edited, and published. Can you help!
We need one or more people to transcribe these tapes and would contribute their time as part of our ministry. There would be no pressure, no time table, and you could select the tape(s) of your choice to transcribe. We will do the editing and publishing.
If you can help, call me at 1 (800) 766-7042 (7:00 P.M.-10:00 P.M. ET).
Ed's Note: Newer readers may be interested in the history of our periodicals and my other efforts in medical ethics. Each new year causes me to reflect on where we have been and where we need to go.
In 1985, Mott Media published my first book, Biblical/Medical Ethics. In 1987, the first edition of the Journal of Biblical Ethics in Medicine was printed, founded by three family physicians: Andy White, Hilton Terrell, and myself. Later that year, I launched Monthly AIDS Update. Two years later, it became the bimonthly AIDS: Issues and Answers.
In 1990, I started Biblical Reflections on Modern Medicine. In July 1993, the AIDS newsletter was incorporated into a one-page supplement to Reflections.
Other books that I wrote and were published along the way were: Making Biblical Decisions (reproductive and genetic issues, 1989), What Every Christian Should Know About the AIDS Epidemic (1991), and Biblical Healing for Modern Medicine (1993).
We sponsored conferences in 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, and 1992, and then, jointly with the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation in 1992, 1993, and 1994 (see front page, this edition). We have some 85 tapes of 1 hour each on various subjects, few of which duplicate material.
Through the above efforts, we have been and remain the only ministry in the world devoted to a consistent and thorough-going Biblical ethic for medicine. While that claim may sound presumptuous, we would love to be proven wrong.
The work has been hard, but not without fruit. Our materials have reached thousands, and hundreds have continued with us. A few are charter subscribers. To them, we give special thanks.
The biggest frustration is simply a lack of Biblical knowledge among American evangelicals. They claim to be Bible-believers, but they really know little of what a consistent, congruent Biblical worldview consists.
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