The nature of the Christian faith is to do good and serve others. As many strive to abide by
faith and morality, there are always difficult circumstances, especially when it comes to
science versus religion. A very big and controversial topic that would cause such a dilemma
for a Christian public health professional would be abortion. Abortion would be ending a
human life which is against everything a Christian stands for. Some would argue that life
begins at birth, others at conception. Many of those in science argue that a fertilized egg
and embryo are not viable life, yet a fetus is. Some argue that the fertilized egg, embryo,
and fetus is not viable life, other argue all three are. This is when n ethical and religious
dilemma occurs. Who has more rights? The unborn child, or the living, breathing mother?
We also have to remember that not everyone in the world is a Christian and does not live
by Christian values so it is up to them to make the moral choice, not the public health
professionals, doctors, or nurses. To resolve this issue by applying “Principles of the
Ethical Practice of Public Health”, I would have to address the patient’s medical problem
(reproductive health, mental health, etc.), respect the rights of the individual, and respect
the different values, beliefs and religions of individuals (Public Health Leadership Society,
2002). Preserving life is a cornerstone of both Christian values and public health practice
but other elements such as the mothers physical and mental health, beliefs and values, and
legal rights may trump your own personal beliefs.
Public Health Leadership Society. (2002). Principles of the Ethical Practice of Public
A significant chunk of reproductive health resources deals with abortion, which has faced
many controversies over the years in medical halls (APHA, 2015). The public health department
has an ethical role in minimizing the number of unsafe abortions, so it ought to consider how
ethics, human rights, religion, and laws all intersect, pointing out towards the most favorable
results (APHA, 2015). As a public health officer, one often undertakes different scenarios that
present as medical dilemmas, yet decisions have to be precisely determined with one’s Christian
values put to the test. One such case was in one of the major psychiatric institutions in Maryland.
A 28-year-old, five-month pregnant female, had been diagnosed and admitted with schizophrenia
and extreme anxiety.
The decision to terminate or allow her to carry her pregnancy was due; she had no known
family members or friends, so the weight of the entire arrangement was on the medical and
public health team. In this scenario, abortion was viewed as a viable option since the patient was
in extreme agony and distress. Even if she was responding to treatment, she was in no state of
taking care of her pregnancy to term. The patient did not even comprehend as being expectant,
questions were around if the mother was a danger to her unborn child, and vice versa, since the
pregnancy was also taking a toll on the mother. Finally, most of the team members agreed on
procuring a safe abortion procedure to the patient, based on the fact that the health of the mother
was at risk if she kept the baby to term. My Christian values did not entirely agree, but the
decision was based on the patient’s best health outcomes.
APHA (American Public Health Association). 2015. “Restricted Access to Abortion Violates
Human Rights, Precludes Reproductive Justice, and Demands Public Health
Intervention.” Policy Number 20152.