Friday, September 3, 2010

Why You Need to Know Your Faith

This in particular is about Hannah going yesterday for a checkup and being given a lecture by a young lady doctor about What Catholics Believe And Why It Is Wrong about contraception and other related teachings.

Hannah was able to say, "No" ..."Wrong." ... "The priest that said that was wrong." ... "Those deacons were wrong too." And so forth, without being yanked into this doctor's stream of misinformation.

In particular, if you are a doctor I am sure that ladies of any religious persuasion would appreciate you understanding what you are talking about if you decide to undertake a lecture upon what their faith teaches. If not, then please just keep it to the basics.

To do otherwise conveys not only your own lack of education but also gives the unflattering impression that you believe your patient lives with a sack over her head and has just removed it to step into your office. If you do this in a condescending tone, then you also are making yourself obnoxious to your patient who is at your mercy at that point. Is this really what you took the Hippocratic oath to do?

The "if you have any questions or change your mind about that then let me know ... " speech has never gone amiss.

If you are the patient, then "buyer beware."

If you know your faith then you can sort through what you are told "everyone knows" as well as avoiding being led into error by well intentioned doctors. Or indeed by anyone. (Yes, we are going to say "well-intentioned" because we are practicing charity in not attempting to read any obnoxious doctors' minds.)

For those interested, the basic answers about the issues upon which Hannah was being "instructed" are in the Catechism.


  1. Julie,

    I can tell you that based on my own training as a doctor, there is very little consideration or support among the medical community for religious beliefs that do not embrace all forms of contraception. There is also very little support for sexual abstinence for women in their early twenties. Unfortunately, I have found female physicians are the worst about this because so many of them have bought into the secular feminist idea of sexual liberation. There is also a very pointed disdain for the Catholic Church. I have had to suffer through this when taking my own daughter for medical care.

    I must highly recommend the new book, Women, Sex, and the Church: A Case for Catholic Teaching. This is the book I wished someone had given me when I was in my twenties. Each chapter covers a different Church teaching that is often accused of being contrary to women's best interests. The various authors do a phenomenal job of refuting such assertions and show how Church teachings are actually very beneficial to women. The discussion of the all male priesthood is one of the best expositions of this teaching I have ever seen.

  2. I have heard many a bitter comment from Catholic friends about their searches for doctors who will not give them flak, much less support them in living their faith in reference to contraception, etc.

    I am going to look for that book ... it sounds simply wonderful. Thank you!

  3. Thank you!

    My Happy Catholic Aggie Daughter has been blessed with a good home (ahem!) and especially a GOOD MOTHER, and the Happy Aggie Catholic Daughter definitely flies the Papal flag in these matters.

  4. Julie, I have been in the exact same position as Hannah, and I want to thank you for phrasing everything I felt when I went to the doctor's office so well.

  5. Well, I've been educating my doctors on this subject matter for years. My take: You can't always find a Catholic or Christian physician, but you can find those that will at least respect your views. Even if your physician does not agree with you, make sure you give a good witness to living the life worthy of your calling. It might make a difference in some doctor's life.

  6. I have been very fortunate that my OB/GYN "gets it." He's not Catholic, and supports my practice of NFP. He has been a great doctor.

  7. Maybe we should start screaming "Sexual harassment!" when people start in with this. Parents of many kids could also utilize this technique.... :)

    I'm fortunate never to have gotten any of this treatment, except from the one Mean Gynecologist Lady who refused to believe my medical history. (I think she'd been watching too much House.) I started going to somebody else, who turned out to be a lot more skilled doctor as well as more personable.

  8. When I was in medical school, I did my OB/GYN rotation at a Catholic hospital specifically to avoid any confrontation with the attending physicians and residents who would be supervising me. I remember a particular incident when one of the attendings mentioned nonchalantly that they were frequently prescribing contraception "until that new bishop came into town a few years ago" and prohibited it. I immediately wrote to that "new bishop" (Archbishop Daniel Buechlein, O.S.B, of Indianapolis) to thank him for keeping a Catholic hospital Catholic.

  9. God bless you, Hannah, and praise the Lord!