One aspect of CAF that I have really appreciated is that charity is considered so important. Many other websites pretty much declare open season on posters who disagree with the prevailing sentiment, and all matters of ad hominem attacks are allowed. While obviously CAF is not perfect, I appreciate that at least charity is expected here, even if many posters (including, probably, me) often fail to live up to the ideals.
However, I have been rather disappointed by the low regard many posters here seem to hold toward doctors and other health care professionals. Although medical advice is supposed to be forbidden, and I appreciate the mods for enforcing this for the most part, it seems many posters are very cynical about doctors, especially when it comes to OB-GYNs and other doctors who often prescribe the Pill. Or, doctors who advise against AP practices such as co-sleeping, extended breastfeeding, etc. It seems to be par for the course for such doctors to be accused of being ignorant, lazy, greedy, in the pocket of evil drug companies, etc. Many posters seem to think that doctors know the Pill is a horrible abortifacient carcinogen drug with tons of side effects and just don’t care as long as prescribing the Pill helps their bottom line.
Well, as someone in training to be a doctor myself, I find such uncharitable accusations to be very hurtful. Unfortunately, the average doctor in training just does not receive much education about NFP, usually it is mentioned offhand as an unreliable method of birth control that’s only 75% effective, that only ultra-conservative Catholics even use it, and that population is so low that the average doctor doesn’t need to be educated on NFP, much as they don’t need to be educated on every single rare genetic disease. This is very unfortunate, and it is also unfortunate that doctors aren’t aware of the available resources about NFP. At least a doctor who comes across a patient with a rare disease can refer him or her to a specialist.
Now, I know, on the other hand, that unfortunately many doctors are arrogant and condescending toward patients who disagree with them, whether for religious reasons, because the patient found information on the Internet, etc. It is true that many do have an “ends justify the means” mentality toward available medical technology. However, I think that most doctors do have good ends in mind, even if the means they employ are morally questionable. It seems some people find it very easy to jump to the conclusion that doctors are completely immoral and unethical simply because they disagree on the means. I think this is very uncharitable. Much as it is uncharitable to assume that the patients who avail themselves of medical technologies not approved by the Church (such as ABC, IVF, etc) are all acting out of some nefarious reason.
Also, it is one thing to discuss medical ethics and raise questions about certain technologies in a general sense. However, often, what happens is that someone posts about going to a specific doctor, and then posters accuse, or even casually assume, that this individual is ignorant, lazy, etc. Often posters will advise the OP to “never see that doctor again”. Isn’t that being uncharitable toward that specific doctor? Why do many people seem to find this acceptable?