S5E4: Brett McCarty on Faith and Medicine

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Does the church have a role to play in responding to the national opioid crisis? And how can Christians in healthcare serve their patients as an expression of their faith? Brett McCarty, professor of theological ethics at Duke Divinity School, talks about the integration of faith and medicine and his research on the opioid crisis.


On opioids and escaping reality:

"Addiction is an incredibly isolating event. And pain is an incredibly isolating event because no one can share your pain; it's just yours and your world and your worlds start breaking down and reality seems to crumble around you in pain. There are times when opiates are an escape from reality; they're not an effort to attend well to reality."

On Christian healthcare providers responding to illness:

"When we approach folks who are sick, who are suffering, who are in pain, we approach people who carry within them the person of Jesus Christ himself. And as Matthew 25 points out, we are under judgment for how we respond to that person."

On churches addressing the opioid crisis:

"This is an invitation for the church herself to more faithfully embody the body of Christ, walking alongside folks in the midst of pain and addiction. Because the folks suffering from the opioid crisis, if they are really carrying with them the person of Christ...they are an invitation from the Lord to become more faithful followers of him."


Learn more about Brett McCarty and his work at the Theology, Medicine, and Culture Initiative at Duke Divinity School.Download the episode transcript.

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