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Well, here’s a slap in America’s face. The American Medical Association (AMA) has recently released a document with guidance to help physicians in their conversations with patients. They are recommending the use of “equity-focused, first-person language.” The document proposes that commonly used language ought to be replaced using words inspired by “critical race theory, gender studies, disability studies, and social medicine.
What? What in the world is the AMA doing even venturing into that arena? What legitimate medical purpose could this possibly serve?
The AMA is traditionally America’s premier medical organization whose purpose has always focused on promoting information to help doctors make sick people well. Now it seems that they have discovered a new purpose – one designed to promote a political and ideological message.
The guidance in this 54 page document, titled Advancing Health Equity: A Guide to Language, Narrative, and Concepts, explicitly targets “narratives that uncritically center meritocracy and individualism” because they believe those kinds of narratives are “non-inclusive.” So just what does that mean? What it means is that language that promotes the idea that doctoring based merit, and that accepts the idea that individuals are responsible for their own behavior, is bad and needs to be eliminated.
This document first attempts to redefine medical terms in non-medical ways. They propose to do away with terms such as: common ailments, symptoms, conditions, and treatments.
Then it proposes that politically correct terminology be used exclusively. For instance, the term “able-bodied is problematic because it implies that all people with disabilities lack ‘able bodies.’ This is supposedly a problem because there are people who have some kind of disability who “do not identify” as having a disability. So, their “personal identification” is supposed to overrule the actual condition that exists. Other examples include using “social injustice” instead of “social problem,” “oppressed” instead of “vulnerable,” “enslaved person” instead of “slave,” “white” instead of “Caucasian,” and “Black instead of black.”
Another focus of the document is to insert the political jargon of the Left using terms such as: anti-racism, cisgenderism, class conflict, coming out, Critical Race Theory, discrimination, Discovery of the Americas, environmental justice, intersectionality, Latinx, microagression, patriarchy, political power, post-racial society, public narrative, racial justice, stigmatizing language, structural violence, and White Fragility.
Finally, it refers to the idea of allowing individual responsibility for one’s behavior as a “social problem.” Thus, if a doctor sees someone who they believe to be doing something that is not good for their health care, they should treat them “as part of a structural system” – in other words, consider them to be acting in ways that do damage to the societal collective who should be subject to some kind of sanction.
At this point, the AMA’s guidance is being presented as “recommended terminology.” But that’s the way these kinds of things always begin. For example, COVID vaccines started out as recommended. But when this kind of totalitarian based ideology takes hold, it is more common than not that what has been “recommended” soon becomes “mandatary” – see the transformation that has taken place with COVID vaccines.
While people who hold naturalistic worldview beliefs will view my comments here as political (because their ideological beliefs don’t have a “non-political” category), in fact, my motivation has nothing to do with politics. Naturalism’s default approach to dealing with any societal issue is collectivism. They don’t see people as individuals, but as members of a group. Individuals are able to make decisions for themselves, but groups can’t do that. Groups have to be managed. And to manage groups, there has to be some authority in charge to do the managing. With that as a starting point, individuals are not entitled to personal beliefs concerning morality. Those in charge of society are responsible to determine moral standards for the collective, and everyone is expected to fall in line – or else.
That kind of thinking is based purely on atheistic relativism and is diametrically opposed to biblical beliefs where individuals are responsible for their own actions. And while this kind of thinking may start with demands for people to engage in particular actions, it does not end there. All actions are the ultimate result of a particular way of thinking. Thus, what begins with demands for particular actions eventually morphs into demands for a certain kind of thinking. And the moment Christian beliefs are deemed to fall into the category of “wrong thinking,” persecution has begun. Personally, I’m not good with that kind of totalitarianism. I think I will stick with biblical beliefs.
Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication, and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah.
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