The Christian Family Crisis in the United States and Its Implications for Medical Decision Making

Christian Bioethics 17 (3):299-314 (2011)
The failure to maintain a canonical Christian understanding of the family as a microcosm of the church oriented toward deification instead of a microcosm of society aimed at social ends has opened Christians up to an uncritical adoption of non-Christian approaches in medical decision making. This article begins by identifying the Christian family crisis not as a liberal versus conservative debate centered on the form and function of the family, but more fundamentally as an ecclesial versus sociological understanding of the Christian family. The article presents a historical sketch of the circumstances that have led to this contemporary crisis in the Western Christian family, followed by an analysis that provides a canonical account of the Christian family as exemplified in the thought of Gregory the Theologian. This article concludes by looking at the specific issue of labor and delivery in the United States, and the implications for a canonical Christian understanding of labor and delivery in light of contemporary medical practices
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DOI 10.1093/cb/cbr026
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