A guest post written by Charles Lindahl
Personal responsibility is considered a strong virtue. Unfortunately, Western medicine encourages individuals to hand over the responsibility for their health to others the way we surrender our car to a mechanic to get it fixed.
Christian Scientists are exceptions because they understand that physical well-being is a result of how we identify ourselves. They are learning that what is most important is what God knows about us. That identification process, through regular study and prayer, is a responsibility that can be carried out only by oneself.
There is growing recognition among physicians that there is much more to us than a material body. Cultivating a deep faith in God’s tender love for us has a profound impact on our health, which spills over into other aspects of our lives. That this is well known is shown by surveys revealing that prayer is by far the most widely used complementary and alternative health care and is relied on in some form by almost half of the US population.
In view of this, it is puzzling that the federal health care reform law does not recognize the form of health care that is based most heavily on taking personal responsibility for health, is least intrusive, has a proven track record, and is most cost effective. Over a year after adoption of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, there is still neither an exemption nor an accommodation that meets the needs of Christian Scientists and others who rely on spiritual care.
Promising signs that public consciousness is open to new approaches and possibilities are encouraging. There is a greater interest in examining proven methods that have not yet gained wide acceptance. Over 120 years of documented evidence demonstrates that prayer heals, a record of effective healing that continues to grow daily.
Those who wish to continue assuming personal responsibility for their health are not seeking any special privileges. They want only to either be exempt from the requirement to buy health insurance they do not expect to use or given assurance that any insurance they are required to buy will help pay for care provided by a Christian Science nurse or Christian Science nursing facility.