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GC Health Statements and Guidelines - Adventist Health Ministries


Human beings are created in the image of God. Part of the gift that God has given us as humans is procreation, the ability to participate in creation along with the Author of life. This sacred gift should always be valued and treasured. In God’s original plan every pregnancy should be the result of the expression of love between a man and a woman committed to each other in marriage. A pregnancy should be wanted, and each baby should be loved, valued, and nurtured even before birth.

Affirmation of Family

In the family circle, deep and abiding needs for belonging, love, and intimacy are met in significant ways. God blesses the family and intends that its members will help each other in reaching complete maturity and wholeness. In the Christian family, the personal worth and dignity of each member is affirmed and safeguarded in an environment of respect, equality, openness, and love. In this intimate circle the individual’s earliest and most lasting attitudes toward relationships are developed and values are conveyed from one generation to another.


The global epidemic of AIDS profoundly impacts the worldwide gospel mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Church leaders are called to respond through initiatives in education, prevention, and community service, and through personal acts of kindness to persons and families involved in the crisis. AIDS is no respecter of national boundaries, church membership, gender, marital status, education, income, or position in life. In many countries of the world, it is decimating the population, taking the lives of many individuals, including Seventh-day Adventist Church members.

Birth Control

Scientific technologies today permit greater control of human fertility and reproduction than was formerly possible. These technologies make possible sexual intercourse with the expectation of pregnancy and childbirth greatly reduced. Christian married couples have a potential for fertility control that has created many questions with wide-ranging religious, medical, social, and political implications. Opportunities and benefits exist as a result of the new capabilities, as do challenges and drawbacks.

Care for the Dying

For people whose lives are guided by the Bible, the reality of death is acknowledged as part of the current human condition, affected by sin (Genesis 2:17; Romans 5; Hebrews 9:27). There is “a time to be born and a time to die” (Ecclesiastes 3:2). Although eternal life is a gift that is granted to all who accept salvation through Jesus Christ, faithful Christians await the second coming of Jesus for complete realization of their immortality (John 3:36; Romans 6:23; 1 Corinthians 15:51-54). While waiting for Jesus to come again.

Chemical Use, Abuse, and Dependency

The Seventh-day Adventist Church, officially organized in 1863, early in its history addressed the use of beverage alcohol and tobacco. The Church condemned the use of both as destructive to life, family, and spirituality. She adopted, in practice, a definition of temperance which urged “total abstinence from that which is injurious, and the careful and judicious use of that which is good.”
The position of the Church with respect to the use of alcohol and tobacco has not changed.

Child Sexual Abuse

Child sexual abuse occurs when a person older or stronger than the child uses his or her power, authority, or position of trust to involve a child in sexual behavior or activity. Incest, a specific form of child sexual abuse, is defined as any sexual activity between a child and a parent, a sibling, an extended family member, or a step/surrogate parent.
Sexual abusers may be men or women and may be of any age, nationality, or socio-economic background.

Commitment to Health and Healing

The Seventh-day Adventist Church affirms the commitment and objectives of its Health Ministry aiming to achieve the well being of its members and the communities it serves, and improving global health.*
The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists reiterates its commitment to the principles of human dignity and equity, social justice, freedom, self-determination, access to clean food and water, and non-discriminatory universal access to available health care.

Considerations on Assisted Human Reproduction

Developments in medical technology have led to a number of interventions designed to assist human procreation. Procedures such as artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, surrogacy, embryo transfer, and cloning increasingly provide new options in human reproduction. Such interventions raise serious ethical questions for Christians seeking God’s will on these issues.The hope of having children is generally powerful. When this hope is frustrated by problems of infertility, the disappointment of childlessness weighs heavily on many couples.

Drug and Tobacco Use

The Seventh-day Adventist Church urges every individual and every nation to cooperate in stamping out the worldwide drug epidemic that undermines the social structure of nations and on the individual level often kills its victims or leads them into lives of crime.
Seventh-day Adventists believe the Bible teaches that each human body is a “temple of the living God,” which should be cared for intelligently (2 Cor. 6:15-17).
The church’s Bible-based Fundamental Belief No. 22 states, “Along with adequate exercise and rest,

Ending Violence Against Women and Girls

The Seventh-day Adventist Church recognizes that every human being is valuable in the sight of God, and we seek to minister to all men and women in the spirit of Jesus. We also believe that by God’s grace and through the encouragement of the community of faith, an individual may live in harmony with the principles of God’s Word.
Seventh-day Adventists believe that sexual intimacy belongs only within the marital relationship of a man and a woman.

Ethical Considerations Regarding Human Cloning

For a number of decades, the prospect that new members of the human family might be produced by cloning was considered far-fetched. Recent advances in genetic and reproductive biology, however, indicate that techniques for cloning humans may soon be developed. With this prospect comes the Christian responsibility to address profound ethical issues associated with human cloning. As Christians, with firm belief in God’s creative and redemptive power.

Female Genital Mutilation

As part of their mission to the entire world, Seventh-day Adventists have a firm commitment to provide health care that preserves and restores human wholeness. By wholeness we mean the harmonious development of the physical, intellectual, social, and spiritual dimensions of a person’s life, unified through a loving relationship with God and expressed in generous service to others.


Gambling, defined as a paid game of chance, increasingly impacts more and more people all over the world. The concept of winning at the expense of others has become a modern curse. Society pays the escalating cost of associated crime, victim support, and family breakdown which erodes the quality of life. Seventh-day Adventists have consistently opposed gambling as it is incompatible with Christian principles. It is not an appropriate form of entertainment or a legitimate means of raising funds.

Genetic Interventions

Most of the new developments in genetics are the result of increased knowledge concerning the fundamental structure of genes, not only in humans but throughout all the realms of life on earth (Italicized words are defined in a glossary at the end of this statement). Among these developments are genetic mapping, new means for genetic testing, new possibilities for genetic engineering, and a variety ofeugenic strategies that would have been unimaginable only a few years ago. In short, new genetic knowledge has produced unprecedented power. With that power has come the potential for immense good or harm.

Global Poverty

Poverty is present in every society. Poverty robs human beings of their most basic rights. It keeps people hungry; it deprives them of medical care, clean water, an education, the opportunity to work, and often results in a sense of powerlessness, hopelessness, and inequality. Every day, more than 24,000 children die due to preventable conditions created by poverty.
Seventh-day Adventists believe that actions to reduce poverty and its attendant injustices are an important part of Christian social responsibility.

Homelessness and Poverty

In a world ravaged by sin, the bitter fruits of greed, war, and ignorance are multiplying. Even in so called “affluent societies” the homelessness and the poor are growing populations. More than 10,000 people starve to death every day. Two billion more are malnourished, and thousands more go blind annually because of dietary deficiency. Approximately two-thirds of the world’s population remains caught in a cycle of hunger-sickness-death.


The Seventh-day Adventist Church recognizes that every human being is valuable in the sight of God, and we seek to minister to all men and women in the spirit of Jesus. We also believe that by God’s grace and through the encouragement of the community of faith, an individual may live in harmony with the principles of God’s Word.
Seventh-day Adventists believe that sexual intimacy belongs only within the marital relationship of a man and a woman.

Human Gene Therapy

Recent advances in medicine and genetic technology make it possible to treat human disease by altering the genes in cells of the sufferer. Though the methods of the emerging field of genetic medicine are still under development, the pace of clinical trials and recent advances suggests that gene therapy will become a common and versatile medical option. This prospect highlights the need for Christians to identify the moral principles of their faith that apply to the practice of human gene therapy.

Human Relations

Seventh-day Adventists deplore and seek to combat all forms of discrimination based on race, tribe, nationality, color, or gender. We believe that every person was created in the image of God, who made all nations of one blood (Acts 17:26). We endeavor to carry on the reconciling ministry of Jesus Christ, who died for the whole world so that in Him “there is neither Jew nor Greek” (Gal. 3:28). Any form of racism eats the heart out of the Christian gospel.


The Seventh-day Adventist Church places strong emphasis on health and well-being. The Adventist health emphasis is based on biblical revelation, the inspired writing of E.G. White (co-founder of the Church), and on peer-reviewed scientific literature. As such, we encourage responsible immunization/vaccination, and have no religious or faith-based reason not to encourage our adherents to responsibly participate in protective and preventive immunization programs. We value the health and safety of the population, which includes the maintenance of “herd immunity.”


Issues related to marriage can be seen in their true light only as they are viewed against the background of the divine ideal for marriage. Marriage was divinely established in Eden and affirmed by Jesus Christ to be both monogamous and heterosexual, a lifelong union of loving companionship between a man and a woman. In the culmination of His creative activity, God fashioned humankind as male and female in His own image; and He instituted marriage, a covenant-based union of the two genders physically, emotionally, and spiritually, spoken of in Scripture as “one flesh.”

Meeting the Challenges Against STD’s

The contemporary world is confronted by grave ethical, medical, and social problems resulting from increasing sexual permissiveness and associated promiscuity. Because Christians are a part of the larger social community, these attitudes and behaviors have infiltrated the Seventh-day Adventist Church as well, demanding that we address them. So serious are the challenges presented by sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that the United Nations, in conjunction with most of the world’s governments…

Nurture and Protection of Children

Seventh-day Adventists place a high value on children. In the light of the Bible they are seen as precious gifts from God entrusted to the care of parents, family, community of faith and society-at-large. Children possess enormous potential for making positive contributions to the Church and to society. Attention to their care, protection and development is extremely important.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church reaffirms and extends its longstanding efforts to nurture and safeguard children

One Humanity: A Human Relations Statement Addressing Racism, Casteism, Tribalism, and Ethnocentrism

The moral duty of declaring biblical principles in the treatment of fellow human beings has become paramount as the world increasingly recognizes the lingering scourge of racial injustice, tribal conflicts, and caste system bigotry suffered by millions of persons in every society and world region. God “has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26) and Jesus teaches us to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matt 22:39).

Operating Principles for Health-Care Institutions

Christ ministered to the whole person. Following His example, the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church includes a ministry of healing to the whole person–body, mind, and spirit. The ministry of healing includes care and compassion for the sick and the suffering. It also includes the maintenance of health. Teaching the positive benefits of following the laws of health, the interrelationship of spiritual and natural laws, man’s accountability to these laws, and the grace of Christ which assures victorious living are integrated in the ministry of healing.


Diverse courts and cultures may debate the definitions and consequences of pornography (the literature of sexual deviance), but on the basis of eternal principles, Seventh-day Adventists of whatever culture deem pornography to be destructive, demeaning, desensitizing, and exploitative.
It is destructive to marital relationships, thus subverting God’s design that husband and wife cleave so closely to each other that they become, symbolically, “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).

Same-Sex Unions

Over the past several decades the Seventh-day Adventist Church has felt it necessary to clearly state in various ways its position in regards to marriage, the family, and human sexuality. These subjects are at the heart of many pressing issues facing society. That which for centuries has been considered to be basic Christian morality in the marriage setting is now increasingly called into question, not only in secular society but within Christian churches themselves.

Sexual Behavior

In His infinite love and wisdom God created mankind, both male and female, and in so doing based human society on the firm foundation of loving homes and families.
It is Satan’s purpose, however, to pervert every good thing; and the perversion of the best inevitably leads to that which is worst. Under the influence of passion unrestrained by moral and religious principle, the association of the sexes has, to a deeply disturbing extent, degenerated into license and abuse which results in bondage.

Smoking and Ethics

Smoking is the single greatest preventable cause of death in the world. It is a universal ethical concept that prevention is better than cure. When it comes to smoking, most countries are faced by an ethical paradox: while many decades of research have provided incontrovertible evidence of the health hazards of cigarette smoking, the tobacco industry still flourishes, often with either tacit or overt government support. The ethics of smoking are made even more serious by alarming revelations about the deaths and health risks caused by second-hand smoke.

Smoking and Tobacco

For more than a century, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has warned its youth and the general public regarding the addictive and health destroying nature of tobacco smoking. Cigarette smoking is the single greatest preventable cause of death in the world. One of the firm ethical concepts of most, if not all societies, is that prevention is better than cure. When it comes to smoking, most countries are faced by an ethical paradox: while many decades of research have provided incontrovertible evidence of the hazards of cigarette smoking…

Statement on Abuse and Family Violence

Seventh-day Adventists affirm the dignity and worth of each human being and decry all forms of physical, sexual and emotional abuse and family violence.
We recognize the global extent of this problem and the serious, long-term effects upon the lives of all involved. We believe that Christians must respond to abuse and family violence both within the church and in the community.

Statement on Transgenderism

The increasing awareness of the needs and challenges that transgender men and women experience and the rise of transgender issues to social prominence worldwide raise important questions not only for those affected by the transgender phenomenon but also for the Seventh-day Adventist Church. While the struggles and challenges of those identifying as transgender people have some elements in common with the struggles of all human beings, we recognize the uniqueness of their situation and the limitation of our knowledge in specific instances. Yet, we believe that Scripture provides principles for guidance and counsel to transgender people and the Church, transcending human conventions and culture.

Temperance and Financial Ethics

From the very inception of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, temperance has been a major focus and the Church has played a key role in struggling against the inroads of alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and other drugs. While some Christian denominations have lessened their emphasis on temperance, Seventh-day Adventists have continued to vigorously oppose the use of alcohol, tobacco, and improper drugs.

Well-being and Value of Children

Seventh-day Adventists affirm the right of every child to a happy and stable home environment, and the freedom and support to grow up to be the person God intended. In 1989, the United Nations General Assembly recognized the fundamental importance of children by voting the “Convention on the Rights of the Child.” In harmony with many of these lofty principles, and considering the value Jesus placed on children…

Women’s Issues

Seventh-day Adventists believe that all people, male and female, are created equal, in the image of a loving God. We believe that both men and women are called to fill a significant role in accomplishing the primary mission of the Adventist Church: working together for the benefit of humanity. Yet we are painfully aware that throughout the world, in developing and developed nations, adverse societal conditions often inhibit women from fulfilling their God-given potential.