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Praying for a Cure: When Medical and Religious Practices Conflict

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Overview

When the children of Christian Scientists die from a treatable illness, are their parents guilty of murder for withholding that treatment? How should the rights of children, the authority of the medical community, and religious freedom be balanced? Is it possible for those adhering to a medical model of health and disease and for those adhering to the Christian Science model to enter into a meaningful dialogue, or are the two models incommensurable? DesAutels, Battin, and May engage in a lucid and candid debate of the issues of who is ultimately responsible for deciding these questions and how to accommodate (and, in some cases, constrain) Christian Science views and practices within a pluralistic society.

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Editorial Reviews

Bulletin of Medical Ethics
The right to turn one's chosen source is now well established in both law and ethics, but where children are unable to choose for themselves the situation is fraught with moral difficulties. This book highlights some of these difficulties and gives an insight into the doctrines and beliefs of Christian Scientists. There are no easy answers, although the insights offered by this book help to inform the debate.
Booknews
Approaches the ethical debate over conflicting religious and medical practices by examining the specific case of health-related choices made by and for Christian Scientists. Discusses recent trends such as increased support of patient's rights to make their own health-and death-related choices, as well as increasing awareness of alternative treatments, including religious ones, and how these conflict with the concurrent recent trend of increasing legal protectionism of vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly, and the disabled, from the religion-based health choices of their guardians. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR booknew.com
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Peggy DesAutels is assistant professor of philosophy and associate director of the Ethics Center at the University of South Florida. Margaret P. Battin is professor of philosophy and adjunct professor of internal medicine at the University of Utah and the author of numerous books, including Ethics in the Sanctuary: Examining the Practicesof Organized Religion (Yale) and The Least Worst Death: Essays in Bioethics on the End of Life (Rowman & Littlefield). Larry May is professor of philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis and has authored numerous books, including The Socially Responsive Self (Chicago). He is also the co-editor of Rethinking Masculinity (Rowman & Littlefield).

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Table of Contents

Part 1 Acknowledgments Part 2 Introduction Chapter 3 1 High-Risk Religion: Christian Science and the Violation of Informed Consent Margaret P. Battin Chapter 4 2 Rational Choice and Alternative Worldviews: A Defense of Christian Science Peggy DesAutels Chapter 5 3 Put Up or Shut Up? Countering the Defense of Christian Science Margaret P. Battin Chapter 6 4 Putting Up Peggy DesAutels Chapter 7 5 Challenging Medical Authority Larry May Chapter 8 6 Challenging Medical Metaphysics Peggy DesAutels Chapter 9 7 Respecting Medical Science and Christian Science Larry May Chapter 10 8 Protecting Christian Science from Medical Science Peggy DesAutels Part 11 Conclusion: Agreeing to Disagree? Margaret P. Battin Part 12 Index Part 13 About the Authors

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