Alternative / complementary therapies have gained national prominence. We recognize the growing use of and request for these modalities by our patients. While some have been shown to be beneficial in certain clinical situations, we as Christian physicians and dentists have scientific, moral, and spiritual concerns about some of these therapies.
Some of these therapies raise concerns because they are not based on sound scientific principles and/or may not have been tested adequately for safety and efficacy.
Some of these therapies raise moral concerns because they may result in a harmful delay of diagnosis or treatment and may waste the limited resources available for medical care.* In the extreme, some therapies are outright fraud and quackery and are therefore morally reprehensible.
Some of these therapies raise spiritual concerns. Any therapy based on principles contrary to the teaching of Scripture is spiritually dangerous and should be condemned.
We recognize that general wide-sweeping statements regarding the appropriate use of alternative medicine are difficult. Each therapy should be investigated thoroughly with careful attention to the scientific evidence, moral implications, and spiritual beliefs underlying them. ** ***
* See statement on “Allocation of Medical Resources” in Standards for Life from the Christian Medical & Dental Associations.
** See Basic Questions on Alternative Medicine: What is Good and What is Not?, GP Stewart, WR Cutrer, TJ Demy, et al, (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1998). This booklet was the primary resource for the substance of this statement.
*** For more information and a comprehensive look at various therapies, reference Alternative Medicine: The Christian Handbook, Donal O’Mathuna, Ph.D., and Walt Larimore, M.D., (Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2001)
Passed by the House of Delegates
June 13,2001. San Antonio, Texas