Confusion between Theological Beliefs and Ethical Principles in Christianity

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Christian faith considers the use of contraceptives for prevention of pregnancy as a form of sin. The act is considered as subverting the will of God, the giver and taker of life. The followers of this religious system are taught through the scriptures that their participation in these practices would deny them the chance to enjoy the benefits of adherence to the doctrines of the faith, especially those in the after-life. While the religious doctrine is not unique to Christians, as Muslims and Jews share the same belief, the actions of health care practitioners from the faith regarding their responsibility to their patients has created unresolvable legal and ethical dilemmas. Physicians affiliated to Christianity are renowned for their repudiating their patients birth control services because they contend that they are within their constitutional rights to do so as required by their theological beliefs since the freedom of association and expression is an alienable right of every American. Interestingly, when one examines the refusal of healthcare workers to provide their patients the services that they are expected to improve their quality of life from an ethical standpoint, it would be seen that such practices are unethical in the context of the duties and responsibilities of these practitioners to people and society.

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The confusion between theological beliefs and ethical principles should not exist or be discussed because of the different nature of the religious systems. Regardless of the claim by Christian health workers that their decision to rebuff contraceptive services to their patients is consistent with their religious beliefs, these practices are unethical when viewed from the dimension that their actions are a denial of patients’ rights to life-saving health care services. When consideration is given to the number of court cases at the Supreme Court regarding the refusal of these medical professional to provide emergency contraception services to their patients, then an examination of the issue from the ethical viewpoint is necessary to determine the legitimacy or otherwise of these actions. Also, it is imperative to note that theological beliefs are debatable because of there a variety of them that people can subscribe thereby making the imposition of one religious belief system on the people unethical and against the principles of ethical reasoning (Walker, 2009).

Furthermore, the argument against the refusal of Christian medical practitioners to deny their patients emergency contraception and other birth control and assisted conception services can be analyzed through the application of the fundamental of ethical reasoning. In this instance, the first consideration would be how does the purpose of the thoughts of this religious belief system results in implications and consequences that benefit everyone. Therefore, the claim by these clinical professionals that their action is consistent with their conscience is a violation of the ethical principles contained in the constitutional provisions of the United States, which promotes common good through the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion to the patients (Lynch, 2010). Also, the assumptions of Christians that people that seek reproductive health services are disruption the natural order of things are based on theological theories and concepts that are contradictory when compared to those shared by other religious sects.

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In conclusion, the fundamentals of ethical reasoning have shown that the theological beliefs that promote the denial of the basic human rights of the people are unethical practices that should be discouraged in the interest of the promotion of the virtues and values that are designed by the common rules of societies including their laws and constitutions. Finally, while the doctrines of most religious belief systems are debatable, the rights of people to access health care services that would promote their well-being is not and should not be subjected to the unethical behavior of Christians.

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  1. Lynch, H. F. (2010). Conflicts of conscience in health care: An institutional compromise. MIT Press, MA: Boston
  2. Walker, K. (2009). Conscience clashes: Christian health workers just want to follow their religious beliefs. Christian Today.
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