The Phoenix Affirmations: A New Vision for the Future of Christianity

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Here indeed is the kind of Christian faith thinking, compassionate persons can embrace and find healing, liberating, and transforming.


Exclude from home page Opinion BNG staff. Curated Exclude from home page Curated Content. What does a progressive Christian statement of faith look like? Maybe you should think again Opinion Jim Y. Trammell Southern Baptist megachurch to downsize its campus by 90 percent News Bob Allen Myanmar drops lawsuit against Baptist leader who met with Trump News Bob Allen Churches should be more like grand juries — except for the judging part Opinion Brett Younger Four decades ago we sponsored two Vietnamese refugees.

Background The Bible speaks of both physical and spiritual death. Physical death is the irreversible cessation of bodily functions. Both physical death and spiritual death are the consequences of and penalty for sin. They are the universal lot of all mankind because all have sinned. All believers still experience physical death. Definition God created human beings as ensouled bodies or embodied souls. Together the physical and spiritual aspects of human beings bear the single image of God and constitute the single essential nature of human life.

Human physical death can be defined as fundamentally a biological phenomenon whereby the human organism as a whole ceases to function. The Bible clearly demarcates physical life and death; death is not a process, nor is there a transitional physical state between life and death. Death can therefore be defined as the point in time when the critical functions of the organism as a whole permanently and irreversibly cease.

These critical functions include all of the following: 1 The vital functions of spontaneous breathing and autonomic control of the circulation; 2 the integrating functions that assure homeostasis of the organism; 3 the neurological function of consciousness. Criterion Based on the above definition of death, the necessary and sufficient criterion of death is the irreversible cessation of all clinical functions of the entire brain whole-brain concept. Although both a higher brain cortical and brain stem criteria are necessary for death, neither alone is sufficient for death.

Christian Affirmations: "Confidence and Strength through JESUS"

Patients in permanent vegetative state or irreversible coma, and anencephalic infants do not meet the necessary criterion for this definition of death and are therefore to be considered and treated as living human beings. Testing Tests of the above criterion will be dependent on the current state of medical knowledge and technology.

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These tests should be valid and reliable, accurately determining death by neurologic criteria, and should have an extremely low incidence of false-positive results high specificity. Tests should be readily applicable at the bedside, focusing on neurological examination: apnea, profound coma and unresponsiveness, and the absence of brain stem function in the absence of reversible causes or pathology.

In some situations, additional tests may be indicated. The traditional bedside tests of death, which include examination for the presence or absence of breathing, responsiveness and pupillary reaction to light, are all measurements of brain function. Heartbeat is an indirect measurement since heartbeat stops shortly after the cessation of breathing.

The whole-brain definition and criterion of death is consistent with both the traditional concept of death and the Biblical definition of physical death. Because the bodies of all men and women have once displayed the image of God, however marred by sin, they deserve to be treated with loving care, dignity, decorum and respect. Post-mortem procedures such as dissection except in the case of legally sanctioned autopsies , organ retrieval, and medical procedures should not be done without respecting the wishes and views of the patient as in an advance directive , family or guardians.

Approved by the House of Representatives June 11, 2 abstentions. Death Ethics Statement. We hold all human life to be sacred as created in God's image. This includes persons who might be regarded as disabled or handicapped. The importance of a person does not reside in the functioning of the body or mind or in the person's ability to contribute to society, but rather in his or her intrinsic value as God's creation.

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We believe the Bible teaches our mutual interdependence. All people, including disabled persons, are responsible to realize their potential insofar as possible. The family holds the primary responsibility for the additional support needed by the disabled person. The family's resources should be supplemented by those of the church and community. The role of the physician and dentist is to provide appropriate medical care as needed.

In all cases, our response should be characterized by an attitude of compassion, free of condescension and marked by action. In the case of extreme disabilities, legitimate questions may be raised regarding the appropriateness of various levels of treatment. Having accepted our own spiritual disability and God's forgiveness, we desire to honor, assist, and bring healing to the physically, mentally, and spiritually disabled in our community.

Danvers, Massachusetts. Disabled Persons Ethics Statement with References. Doctors appreciate the contribution that the pharmaceutical and medical device industries make to the practice of medicine. Without the discoveries made by industry, many of the medical advances and products of recent decades would never have been possible.

However, there must be appropriate boundaries between practicing doctors and industry. Industry viability understandably requires fiscal integrity and a margin of profit. The resultant conflict of interest requires that a doctor deliberately evaluate the ethics of receiving gifts from industry. There are many published standards for appropriate relationships between industry and doctors.

Phoenix Affirmations

Many academic medical institutions and the US Government have adopted policies on these issues. The choice of what pharmaceutical or medical device to use is largely made by the doctor though this choice is often influenced by institutional or insurance company constraints and incentives.

Therapeutic choices must be individualized with due consideration of the best scientific evidence available and costs involved. Industries seek to promote the use of their product to the doctor by providing, among other things, free educational opportunities, gifts, and services. Studies demonstrate that incentives from industry influence recipients more than doctors realize.

The Phoenix Affirmations

Doctors should consider carefully the basis of their therapeutic decisions to assure that they are made in accordance with best possible evidence applied to the welfare of the patient. Personal gain must never be the compelling reason for our decisions. Incentives from industry, intended to influence therapeutic choices, can compromise doctor integrity and behavior.

Christian doctors must be wary of any inappropriate influence industry has over their prescribing behaviors and assure that their practices are guided by what is best for their patients and in accord with biblical principles. All medical treatments have the potential for adverse secondary effects, some anticipated and others not. The medical acceptability of such adverse secondary effects is judged on a risk-benefit basis. This involves assessing the likelihood of their occurrence, their severity, and the ability to treat them.