A small but growing number of medical practices are combining religion and medicine to serve those who share similar values. At Tepeyac Family Center in Fairfax, VA, for instance, the medical staff starts every day with a prayer and religious images greet patients when they walk into the office. The doctors at Tepeyac refuse to prescribe medicines or devices, such as birth control or sterilization, which are not in line with their faith. Instead they promote natural family planning. Patients who share their doctor's religious beliefs are happy about the new trend and supporters say it allows doctors to practice medicine without violating their religious beliefs. Critics, meanwhile, are concerned about segregating the religious from the non-religious when it comes to practicing medicine.
A recent ABC poll found that 83 percent of Americans identified themselves as Christians; 37 percent of those identified themselves as born-again or evangelical. Given the tensions between these groups and the medical community, we can probably expect to hear more in the future about practices that blend religion and medicine.