(2009) General Conference Institution Manual Guide lines
A copy of a very small section from a 900+ page General Conference manual for church institutions reveals the recommendation for medical institutions to refrain from using questionable healing practices as exposed in this book. The Medical Ministry Department recognizes the spiritualistic influence that such therapeutic methods bring into the SDA medical institutions.
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Health Institutions Working Policy-2009
FH 20 Statement of Operating Principles for Health Care Institutions
- Christ ministered to the whole person. Following His example, the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church includes a ministry of healing to the whole person—body, mind, and spirit. The ministry of healing includes care and compassion for the sick and suffering and the maintenance of health. Adventist health care institutions (hospitals, medical/dental clinics, nursing and retirement homes, rehabilitation centers, etc.) should teach the benefits of following the principles of health.
The relationship of spiritual and natural laws, man’s accountability to these laws, and the grace of Christ which assures victorious living are to be integrated into ministry. (See also A 15 35, What Total Commitment to God Involves for the Hospitals and Healthcare Institutions.)
- Health care institutions should function as an integral part of the total ministry of the Church. These follow church standards, maintaining the sacredness of the Sabbath by promoting a Sabbath atmosphere for staff and patients. Routine business, elective diagnostic services, and elective therapies should be avoided on Sabbath. Church standards also include the promotion of a balanced vegetarian diet free of stimulants and alcohol, in an environment free of tobacco smoke. Control of appetite shall be encouraged, use of drugs with a potential for abuse shall be controlled, and techniques involving the control of one mind by another shall not be permitted. The institutions are part of the ministry of the Church with activities and practices pervasively identified as the unique Christian witness of Seventh-day Adventists.
- The activities of the devil are rampant, both within and without the Church. The Church is warned (Col 2:8) “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men.” Because of the great controversy between good and evil, Health Ministries encourages church members to avoid practices rooted in non-Christian philosophy and belief. The Church and its institutions should promote and provide competent and caring service that respects the dignity and rights of patients.
Adventist health care and ministries are to promote only those practices based upon the Bible or the Spirit of Prophecy, or evidence based methods of disease prevention, treatment, and health maintenance.“Evidence-based” means there is an accepted body of peer reviewed, statistically significant evidence that raises probability of effectiveness to a scientifically convincing level. Practices without a firm evidence-base and not based on the Bible or the Spirit of Prophecy, including though not limited to aromatherapy, cranial sacral therapy, homeopathy, hypnotherapy, iridology, magnets, methods aligning forces of energy, pendulum diagnostics, untested herbal remedies, reflexology, repetitive colonic irrigation, “therapeutic touch,” and urine therapy, should be discouraged.
- In harmony with Christ’s loving reaffirmation of freedom of choice, and the dignity of humankind, Seventh-day Adventist health care institutions should give high priority to personal dignity and human relationships. They should seek to provide an efficient, safe, and caring environment conducive to the healing of mind, body, and spirit.
Education in healthful habits of living, as well as supportive care of the patient and family through the dying process is integral to Adventist health care.
- Health care policies and medical procedures must always reflect a high regard and concern for the value of human life as well as individual dignity.
- Seventh-day Adventist health care institutions operate as part of the community and nation in which they function. In representing the love of Christ to these communities, the health of the community and the nation is a concern of each institution. Laws of the land are respected and the regulations for the operation of institutions and licensure of personnel are followed.
- The institutions welcome clergy of all creeds to visit their parishioners.
- The mission of institutions in representing Christ to the community, and especially to those who utilize their services, is fulfilled through a compassionate, competent staff which, in the performance of their duties, upholds the mission, practices, and standards of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
- A regular program to assist the staff in keeping up-to-date professionally, growing in understanding, and in sharing the love of God shall be instituted. Staff development and support of formal education is a priority.
- Institutions must operate in a financially responsible manner and in harmony with the Working Policy of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
- Primary prevention and health education shall be an integral part of the health emphasis of Seventh-day Adventist health care institutions.
The administration and operation of Seventh-day Adventist health care institutions shall include consultation with the Health Ministries Department on a regular and continuing basis. Consulta-tion shall include the mission/conference, union, division, and General Conference Health Ministries Departments as circumstances and occasion may indicate.