Recently I posted some concerns about health care for missionaries and would still welcome your comments and experiences on the matter (please add them to the original post – I may send the link to a few key people in Salt Lake that may be interested in your perspectives to help them improve the system). But I’d like to emphasis the wise comments from one of my favorite commenters, Bookslinger:
In the final analysis 18-year olds are legal adults and responsible for themselves.
If a missionary is really sick, and the MP or APs don’t believe him, he’s still sick. Someone else’s mistaken belief doesn’t change facts.
In the United States at least, emergency care can’t legally be denied someone who shows up at a hospital’s emergency room.
My father was a doctor, and I remember him dismissing many legitimate problems I had when I was little. I had to complain about a broken finger for 2 weeks before he finally had it X-rayed to shut me up, and it turned out it did have a hairline fracture.
It really hurts when people in authority over you don’t believe you or don’t take you seriously. But when it comes to a matter of your health and safety, you have to do what you have to do.
A mission president only has ecclesiastical authority over a missionary. It’s not like missionaries are slaves or indentured servants.
There is ALWAYS the option to disobey an “order.” And, in the case of an unrighteous order that is preventing a missionary from getting needed medical care, then it is almost a DUTY to disobey it, almost like in the military.
I can’t think of any occasion when church leaders said that members or missionaries must obey church authorities to the point of ignoring injuries or illness.
The MP or APs can be straightened out later when all the facts are in, but the foremost duty of missionaries is to stay healthy. Sick missionaries can’t preach the gospel.
Good advice, I’d say. Missionaries, take care of yourselves and make sure your families know when there is a serious problem.