Separation of Church and Hospital?

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University President Warns Health Care Public Option May Endanger Religious Expression in Health Care as in Public Schools

Dr. Everett Piper, President of Oklahoma Wesleyan University and a regular contributor at is speaking out about the "public option," for health care, expressing concern that it would likely lead to curbs on religious expression, similar to the ones he has encountered in public education.

"If the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior why would we think that the 'public option' for hospitals would bear any different fruit than the 'public option' we have had for education for the past 50 years?" noted Piper. "Think of it this way:...why would a chaplain be permitted to talk about the salvation of Christ with dying patients in the local hospital when that same minister is prohibited from talking about the existence of Christ with healthy students in the local high school?... Based on our experience in public education shouldn't we expect public healthcare to have the same separation of Church and State imposed on it that has been imposed on our schools for decades?    

Medical professionals have long recognized the important connection between faith and medicine. The Boston Globe recently published an article entitled on the increased number of chaplains being hired by hospitals in an effort to address the growing belief within medical circles that providing patients the option to seek spiritual council "increases patient and family satisfaction and may even provide medical benefits."        

"The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior" said Piper. "If we want to know where government controlled healthcare will lead then all we have to do is to look down the path already trod by government controlled education."

Piper's observation raises concern for those who have terminally ill loved-ones. Will patients and their family members be given the freedom to request the presence of their spiritual advisor in the last hours of the patient's life, or will they be forced to accept the cold, dank, sterile hospital room as comfort for their fleeting last breath?

"Ideas have consequences and the ideas being debated right now are not new. They have been in play for years and we have a clear predictor of what may lie ahead. Unfortunately the medicine some of our leaders want us to take has not made us well in the past but to the contrary it seems to have made us sick - perhaps even sick unto death."

Dr. Piper is available for select interviews. To schedule an interview with Dr. Everett Piper, please contact Toni Burge at: (at) gmail (dot) com

To read Dr. Piper's writings on Political Mavens, please go to:            

To learn more Dr. Piper, please visit

To learn more about Oklahoma Wesleyan University, please visit:

To read more on the Boston Globe article mentioned above, please visit:


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