Publication date:15 April 1999
Length of book:160 pages
PublisherRowman & Littlefield Publishers
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.
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.