What medical treatments/surgeries/etc do not coincide with our Catholic beliefs


Recently there was a story of a minor, in Texas I want to say, that was diagnosed with cancer. The type of cancer he had was treatable with chemotherapy and other western kinda medicines…but…the family (and I’m not sure what their religion was) said that this was against their religion, and opted to use an eastern form of medicine, that was all natural, herbal, something like that…they were court ordered, since the boy was a minor and its pretty much life or death if he doesnt get treatment, to get the chemo and what not…so the mom, takes him out of the country to like, canada I think ((If I’m butchering the story its ok because the theme persists)) so…they set out a manhunt for this mom and son, saying shes endangering the life of her son, etc…keep in mind the eastern treatment they sought out has been effective and other people have been cured this way…

So it got me thinking about a couple things…

1.) Other than the obvious contraception and abortion, what other medicine, treatments, surgeries, etc- would oppose our religious beliefs? I’d like to know, because I only know of the former two…what about breast augmentation? plastic surgery for cosmetic purposes?


2.) If we are presented with a treatment or option, what have you, that does conflict with our religious beliefs? What choice do we really have in the matter???

It just seems like every day that goes by the less what we believe matters and the more whatever the state says just … goes…


I know the story you’re talking about… Actually they claimed to be Catholic, but their beliefs about the surgery had something to do with Native American treatments.

As Catholics, there are no “forbidden” procedures, treatments, or medications that may be used to improve health and/or well being.
The items you listed: contraception and abortion - are not forbidden because they are medical treatments - quite the contrary - they NOT used to improve health and/or well being - they destroy life.

The others you listed - cosmetic surgeries - are also not forbidden. A woman with breast cancer that requires a mastectomy… it’s hardly a vanity in that case. A child with terrible burns from an accident - plastic surgery is hardly a vanity. If vanity IS the sin, then that’s a different story, but we have no way of judging as an outsider to any situation.

So there are no forbidden medical treatments for the sake of improving health and/or well being - within morality.

Editing to add:
I meant to add more on the new story you were referencing…
Apparently, the type of cancer that the boy had was like 95% curable with chemotherapy - but without treatment it was like 80% chance of death.
This is a VERY difficult case…
On ONE hand - the statistics are overwhelming. The mother is clearly putting her son’s life at risk and I do believe her actions are reprehensible.
On the OTHER hand - it’s scary having courts overrule parental rights - there’s something fundamentally wrong with that.
This is a really tough case…


oh well thats good to know…thanx em!!


My family is kind of like theirs. If someone got cancer, we would do the herbal, organic, treatments because the chemo does more harm than good.
If you, as a person, believe that something will endanger the life or health of another (say, a son) then that, I believe, would go against the 5th commandment. So it’s really in personal context.


Well that didnt help the family in the aforementioned story…they put out a manhunt and warrant for her arrest…‘endangering the life of her son’…all that…it was crazy…


IVF is also forbidden.


It was a family in MN. Herbal treatments were not working.

Here are some old links.


Parents shouldn’t have the right to force their dangerous beliefs on their children. The child’s right to life overrides the mother’s crazy beliefs.

Was the mother charged with a crime in this case?


No…she just came back and told the judge they would resume treatment…


Not if chemo saves the life of a child that would other wise die. Death is more harmful than not dying. My sister had chemo and she did die but not because of the chemo but because the cancer came back and spread. She did make friends who had cancer at the hospital and many of them survived because of chemotherapy.


The Church does not have a list of “moral” and “immoral” medical treatments. The Church has spoken on some specific acts, mostly dealing with the attempt to create or take a life. The reason they have spoken so specifically on these topics are the assault on innocent life in our society.

While the Church has no exhaustive list on medical procedures, what she does have is the basic teaching of moral decision making.


1750 The morality of human acts depends on:

  • the object chosen;

  • the end in view or the intention;

  • the circumstances of the action

1755 A morally good act requires the goodness of the object, of the end, and of the circumstances together. An evil end corrupts the action, even if the object is good in itself


Please do not confuse the right to Life with the “right” to medical care.
It is the ideal that everyone should receive the best and most efficient care, however it is dangerous to place the ultimate decision for treatment any farther than the family unit.

For example: A pregnant woman is nearing her due date, but the government decides that since the baby has a disorder that is known to have an 80% death rate in newborns, they don’t want her to “risk” the complications of birth (including her own death) and mandate that she should have an abortion.
If this woman is Catholic then such a thing is against her beliefs, and I would support her contempt of centrist authority in such a situation.


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