“‘God is my First Aid Kit’: The Negotiation of Health Care Choices Among Christian Scientists”
Steckler, Rebecca. “‘God is my First Aid Kit’: The Negotiation of Health Care Choices Among Christian Scientists.” MA Thesis, University of Texas at San Antonio, 2013.
Steckler’s interest in the challenges associated with health care choices for Christian Scientists stems from her own upbringing in Christian Science and her casual conversations among peers who, like her, left the religious practice of their families. She understands and remains interested in the conflict between their families’ religion and the larger mainstream medical community. From the results of her study through this Master’s thesis, she hopes to provide a more comprehensive understanding of Christian Science health care aside from the child welfare conflicts it evokes. Steckler notes, for example, that “those who are socialized in the Christian Science community are usually socialized in institutions that support the medical health care model as well, indicating that their decision to avoid medical care may often be an informed one” (2). Her interviewees acknowledged three main factors involved in their health care choices: guidance from God, their own metaphysical competency as a healer, and the medicalized norms and laws pertaining to their lives. She concludes that “while the health-related tenants [sic] of Christian Science are distinctive and even strict, the practice of health care among adherents is considerably more fluid and flexible than commonly believed” (v).