September 18, 2007

The Medical Right: Remaking Medicine in Their Image

Have you ever heard of the "Medical Right" ?? This term is used "to show the connection of religiously influenced medical organizations to the 'Religious Right,' a political force primarily comprising fundamentalists in the Protestant and Roman Catholic traditions."

A report written by Marjorie Brahms Signer, the communications and policy director of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, spends countless pages showing the interconnectedness of organizations and coalitions like The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity, Americans United for Life, The Christian Medical and Dental Association, Family Research Council, Do No Harm, etc. I'm left asking, so what? I know you're curious now, read the whole report here.

This report is fundamentally a list of unsubstantiated assertions about what Christian prolife conservatives think about human life and dignity and what they (supposedly) don't understand about science.

From the Foreword:
As we researched the organizations and individuals in this religion-politics-medicine network, a pattern became clear: science and medicine are being purposely used to provide a convincing rationale for political activities that appeal to Religious Right constituencies.
The charge of politicizing the issue does nothing more than fuel ignorance on their own side because until the lives of every person at every stage are safe from experimentation and extermination, this is and should be political. Of course, it need not be a Democrat vs. Republican debate, but pick a side and be a liberal or a conservative. But I do find the above quote curious in that networking is a very smart thing to do, and if science and medicine were on your side, wouldn't you also "purposely use it?" What is unstated in the above quote, of course, is the belief that science and medicine are not on the side of the Medical or Religious Right. This becomes all too clear as Signer's position in the remainder of the report.

More soon: The Executive Summary

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