UNFIT TO BE UNFIT?
A CHRISTIAN CONTRIBUTION TO THE HEALTHY LIFESTYLE DEBATE
Keywords:Christian, forgiveness, health, lifestyle, health promotion, sin
Molly offers me a handful to sweets from her copious bed-side supply. She is evidently over-weight and the complicity of her family offers little hope that she will shed the tens of kilograms that are inhibiting her recovery. Who am I to say 'no thanks' if that merely compounds my inner disdain at her failure to make healthy choices? This paper invites us to reflect on a Christian contribution to the debate on healthy lifestyle choices that the Scottish Executive and NHS Scotland are cur-rently promoting. How do we make a theologically-informed response to those who make unhealthy lifestyle choices? Where does personal responsibility and autonomy fit when our choices have fiscal implications for the wider community? Can we legitimately stigmatise people who fail to comply with others' model of health? To what extent does a Christian perspective clash with the ultimate value that the healthy lifestyle debate seems to place upon life? By exploring Christian ideas of humanity and shared non-innocence we aim to identify key responses that might enhance the contemporary practice of health promotion.
CRIBB, A. & P. DUNCAN (2002) Health Promotion and Professional Ethics, Oxford: Blackwell.
de GRUCHY, J.W. (1995) Christianity & Democracy: A Theology for a Just World Order, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
EWLES, L. & I. SIMNET, (2003) Promoting Health: A Practical Guide, 5th Edition, Edinburgh: Bailliere Tindall./RCN.
FORRESTER, D.B. (2001) On Human Worth, SCM, London.
KATZ, J., A. PERBERRY & J. DOUGLAS (2000) Promoting Health: Knowledge and Practice, Hampshire, The Open University / Palgrave.
MCMANNNERS, J. (1981) Death and Enlightenment, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
MOLTMANN, J. (1985) God in Creation: An Ecological Doctrine of Creation, London: SCM.
MOLTMANN, J. (1999) God for a Secular Society: The Public Relevance of Theology, London, SCM.
NAIDOO, J. & J. WILLS (2001) Health Studies – An Introduction, Hampshire: Palgrave.
SCOTTISH EXECUTIVE (2003), ‘Improving Health in Scotland – The Challenge’, March 2003. Available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/library5/health/ihis00.asp
SEEDHOUSE, D. (1986) ‘A Universal Concern’ Nursing Times, 22nd January, 1986, pp.36-38.
VOLF, M. (1996) Exclusion & Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness and Reconciliation, Nashville: Abingdon.
WHO (1946) Preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization as adopted by the International Health Conference, New York, 19-22 June, 1946; signed on 22 July 1946 by the representatives of 61 States (Official Records of the World Health Organization, no. 2, p. 100) and entered into force on 7 April 1948.
WHO (1984) Glossary of Terms used in Health for All series (No.9). World Health Organization, Geneva.
WHO (1986) Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion. First International Conference on Health Promotion, Ottawa, 21 November 1986 World Health Organization,
WHO/HPR/HEP/95.1 WHO (1997), The Jakarta Declaration on Leading Health Promotion into the 21st Century. Fourth International Conference on Health Promotion, Jakarta 21-25 July, 1997.
World Health Organization, WHO/HPR/HEP/4ICHP/BR/97.4 WHO (2004) Fifty-seventh World Health Assembly, Health promotion and health lifestyles, Resolution World Health Organization 57.16, 22nd May, 2004.
WILSON, M. (1975) Health is for People, London: Darton, Longman & Todd.
WYATT, J. (1998) Matters of Life and Death: Today’s Healthcare Dilemmas in the Light of Christian Faith Leicester: IVP.
How to Cite
© Equinox Publishing Ltd.
For information regarding our Open Access policy, click here.