For over 15 years, Dana and I have relied on WORLD magazine for news we wouldn’t readily see elsewhere. We’ve found it to be consistent in overlaying a biblical, kingdom perspective to events around the world.
This week’s issue (07.27.13) has a short article entitled, “Questionable Care.” It seems that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is concerned that young LGTBQ patients receive judgment-neutral care or “non-judgmental” care when seeing their doctors. They have written new policy to this effect in their June trade journal Pediatrics. The policy warns doctors against “internalized homophobia and heterosexism in the office setting.” The phrase “homophobia” has been thrown around for quite some time, but “heterosexism”? According to the policy , it is “the societal expectation that heterosexuality is the expected norm and that, somehow, LGBTQ individuals are abnormal.”
The idea is that doctors should be careful not to intimate in any way that there is a historically traditional lifestyle choice. It is recommended that doctors display a rainbow decal in their offices and ask gender-neutral questions (“Tell me about your partner”).
Of course nothing but kindness and professionalism would be recommended in this space, but as Michelle Cretella, Vice President of the American College of Pediatricians (ACP), the alternative association to the AAP, has said, the idea that “all non-heterosexual attractions are normal and unchangeable” is disputed. This echoes what I have worried about in our age of blind acceptance. What may well be a normal, lingering teenage curiosity, mixed with unfamiliar hormones, will be too easily embraced at this vulnerable age, an age which lacks both perspective and trusted voices to help sort through their confusion. Meanwhile, popular media will continue its social engineering and with the latest Supreme Court ruling (06.26.13), public schools will likely contribute to this confusion as well, making it harder for pre-teen, teen and young men and women to sort through the messages they are receiving. It seems inevitable that reading and literature, as well as history, health, and science curricula will highlight only the positive aspects of the LGBTQ lifestyles. And what will our dear brothers and sisters of faith and conscience do then?
Despite the emotional and spiritual costs that a life of embracing any sin brings, for the sake of political correctness, the AAP is calling medical doctors to turn a blind eye to the health risks of a homosexual lifestyle. These risks are enumerated in a Family Research Council article which is supported extensively by a well-documented bibliography. The growing, not diminishing, practice of unprotected sex as well as large-scale homosexual promiscuity (despite the monogamous public face) continue to contribute to the contraction of numerous sexually transmitted diseases (HIV, HPV, Hepatitis C, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Chlamydia, Gay Bowel Syndrome, Genital Ulcer Disease, Anal Cancer, etc.). Elevated violence among gay partners, compulsive behaviors (regarding alcohol, drugs, food, money, etc.), elevated suicide attempts, and a notably reduced life expectancy (in one demographic, 8 – 20 years less than the general population), are all good reasons for a medical doctor to advocate for the traditional and historically mainstream lifestyle to their patients who exhibit and articulate genuine confusion.
We expect our doctors to warn us against destructive behaviors like smoking, over eating, or stress, but in these muddled days when up is down, in is out, and right is wrong, as long as a patient feels good about themselves, optimum health is not to be a medical doctor’s priority. We know, though, that it is not loving to watch another pursue a self-destructive course without a word of caution or clarity. Many, I fear, will receive only acceptance when a caring challenge might save these young people from a life of emotional, spiritual, and yes, physical suffering.
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)