“Christian Science and Community Medicine”
Massachusetts Department of Public Health, The. “Christian Science and Community Medicine.” The New England Journal of Medicine 290, no. 7 (Feb 14, 1974): 401–402.
Note: This document is a historical record of 1974 and does not reflect current views of the medical board.
A notice by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) in the 14 February 1974 New England Journal of Medicine entitled “Christian Science and Community Medicine” is a call for tolerance of the practice of Christian Science by public health officials steeped in the conventional medical industry. It states the MDPH has “a unique opportunity to learn from a group of people who are satisfied with their health-care system.” It notes “…the Church has drawn a careful distinction between what an individual may be forced to do against his own beliefs and what society may expect him to do for the general good.” Massachusetts recognizes “the right of citizens to rely on God and to provide Christian Science care and treatment, even for minors, as long as the Department of Public Health is satisfied that the child is not neglected or lacking in proper physical care” (402). The practice of healing is differentiated by the Church from the practice of diagnostic and therapeutic medicine, a distinction recognized in the state’s Medical Practices Act. The Report lists accommodations made by the Church to comply with state law in medical areas.
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