Alternative Medicine and the Christian Responsibility

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Alternative Medicine and the Christian Responsibility Acupuncture, ayurveda, chiropractice, homeopathy, meditation, osteopathy, and yoga are just a few of the many types of medicine practiced all over the world. According to the western establishment, all these forms of medicine are called alternative medicines. However, some of the aforementioned techniques have been in continuous use for over six thousand years, predating western medicine by over four thousand years. Yet, still many M.D.'s reject alternative forms of medicine. One of the buzzwords in medicine in recent years has been "holistic medicine". Physicians are becoming more aware of the need to treat the whole patient rather than just certain symptoms. Due to this realization, a small percentage of doctors are turning to ancient forms of medicine as a guide to alternative treatments. As alternative forms of medicine emerge in the western world, Christian scientists need to determine the moral, religious, and scientific validity of such techniques in order to gain a more holistic approach to medicine. Moral Issues According to the Hippocratic Oath, which every physician must take, each physician is expected to deliver the form of care which she considers most beneficial to a patient's health. There are a few minor stipulations guiding treatment by a physician, but for the most part, doctors have much liberty in choosing a regimen for a particular patient. If we look only at the Hippocratic Oath as the governing body of a physician's actions, then we must admit that no doctor is obligated to broaden his views and seed treatments with which he is not already familiar. However, every year doctors are required to fulfill certain requirements in continuing educatio... ... middle of paper ... an open mind about many of the forms of alternative medicine may reveal new forms of beneficial treatment that can save money and even lives. Each Christian scientist has the responsibility to seek morally, religiously, and scientifically sound forms of alternative medicine as a supplement to the western medicine in our society today. Works Cited Collinge, William. 1996. The American holistic health association complete guide to alternative medicine. New York: Warner Books. Inglis, Brian and Ruth West. 1983. The alternative health guide. New York: Dorling Kindersley Limited. Maciocia, Giovanni. 1989. The foundations of Chinese medicine. New York: Churchill Livingstone. Marti, James E. 1995. Alternative health medicine encyclopedia. Detroit: Visible Ink Press. Plotkin, Mark J. 1993. Tales of a shaman's apprentice. New York: Penguin Books Ltd.

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