Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Joe Kohn

3/15/2006 (8 years ago)

Catholic News Service (www.catholicnews.com)

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. For Dr. Daniel Greene, there's no more debating the point: God made the human body, and he knows what's best for it.

GYNECOLOGIST HOLDS INFANT -- Dr. Daniel Greene holds infant MacKenzie Grace Couch at Crittenton Hospital in Rochester Hills, Mich., in early January. Greene, a gynecologist and parishioner of St. Mary of the Hills Parish, said his faith led him to a decision that he will no longer prescribe birth control. He joins a minority of doctors who have a natural family planning-only practice. (CNS photo/ Michigan Catholic)

GYNECOLOGIST HOLDS INFANT -- Dr. Daniel Greene holds infant MacKenzie Grace Couch at Crittenton Hospital in Rochester Hills, Mich., in early January. Greene, a gynecologist and parishioner of St. Mary of the Hills Parish, said his faith led him to a decision that he will no longer prescribe birth control. He joins a minority of doctors who have a natural family planning-only practice. (CNS photo/ Michigan Catholic)

Highlights

By Joe Kohn

Catholic News Service (www.catholicnews.com)

3/15/2006 (8 years ago)

Published in Marriage & Family


As a result, Greene, a gynecologist and member of St. Mary of the Hills Parish in the Detroit suburb of Rochester Hills, has decided that natural family planning is the only form of birth control he will prescribe. "It's crystal clear to me," said Greene, who has practiced obstetrics and gynecology for 11 years. "It makes perfect sense as to why one would choose to live the culture of life or practice natural family planning or embrace the church's teaching on human sexuality." "I think a lot of people just haven't looked at it," he told The Michigan Catholic, the official publication of the Archdiocese of Detroit. Natural family planning refers to forms of birth regulation which, in conformity with Catholic teaching, do not involve the use of any artificial means of contraception. Different natural methods all share two basic elements: monitoring of the woman's monthly fertility cycle and abstinence during her fertile period except when the couple wants to have a baby. When used properly, modern natural family planning methods have greater success rates than the most effective contraceptive, have no side effects and never lead to abortion. Some birth control methods are considered abortifacients by the church. Greene spent his early medical career as most gynecologists do; examining patients, delivering babies and presenting women with a wide array of artificial birth control methods. But as he grew more deeply in his faith, he began to have questions. Raised Lutheran, he entered the church because his wife, Liza, was Catholic. He was preparing to become a Catholic through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults as he was going through his medical residency in the mid-1990s. He was taught that artificial birth control was against church teaching but really a matter of conscience. "I clung to that for about eight years," he said. Then, his deepening faith caused him to reconsider. He listened to lectures, read books and received friendly nudges from both the medical and religious sides of the debate. In medicine, he knew that artificial birth control had side effects and potentially though the chances, admittedly, were small could cause physical harm to his patients. The risks and societal harms of contraception, he said, were glossed over in his traditional medical training, and natural family planning was given only a passing mention. Then, there were his patients to consider; they included Denise Gabryel, a member of Immaculate Conception Parish in Lapeer. Through a long and heart-wrenching ordeal with her he was helping deliver her baby, who had died in her womb Greene was touched. He recalls walking into her hospital room at midnight to see her watching the Mass on television. "She had this equanimity about her the whole time, this faith she was bearing the cross," he recalls. "She was a living witness of what faith was to me." Greene was led into a conversation with Gabryel and her husband, Mark, about the faith and eventually about natural family planning. It was one more way Greene felt God was leading him toward a change in his practice. "With all these things, it was just like click, click, click, click everything was making perfect sense," he said. "Everything was saying, 'Yeah. This is the right thing to do and it's what God wants and it's going to honor God.'" Finally, he received the consent of his colleagues at Contemporary Obstetrics and Gynecology and became a doctor who prescribes only natural family planning. He made the switch in November, writing a letter to notify his patients, and explaining it to some face to face. "I've had some Catholic patients who have been like, 'Yes!' a high-five kind of moment and they can see it's God's work," said Greene. "And other patents kind of gave me a deer-in-the-headlights kind of stare and I got a transfer-of-records form within a week." Though he has lost some patients, Dorothy Staple, the natural family planning coordinator for the Archdiocese of Detroit, could see him being flooded with more. "I constantly get calls from women who are using natural family planning and ask whether we have natural family planning-only doctors," Staple said. "These women are tired of going to doctors and not being heard."

---

Copyright (c) 2007 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops



Comments


More Marriage & Family

Undeniably cute rendition of classic children's song is sure to put a smile on your face Watch

Image of Josie sings an adorable song to her father.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the midst of war, terror and disease, it's important to take the time to smile and remember that some of the world is good. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - An adorable toddler melts hearts with her spunky rendition of classic children's song "Old McDonald." ... continue reading


Mother of quadruplets tragically dies without ever seeing her four miracles Watch

Image of Erica Morales, 36-years-old, tragically passed away hours after giving birth to quadruplets.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Just hours after giving birth to quadruplets, Arizona mother, Erica Morales, died. "She never got to hold them, she never got to see them," cried Morales' cousin, Nicole Todman to Fox10. "It is so hard to know she fought so hard for her children. She will never get to ... continue reading


Archbishop of San Francisco warns of coming war on marriage Watch

Image of The Archbishop of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone, warned of a growing war on the

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

On January 16, the Archbishop of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone, warned of a growing war on the "essential meaning of marriage," as defining "a bond which unites a man and a woman to each other and to any children who come from their union." LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


One... two... three babies?! New mother gets shocking surprise in ultrasound Watch

Image of Boe, Mika and Hope love to cuddle. (Magic Moments SWNS.com)

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Imagine hoping for one child, and being told you're pregnant with triplets; this was the case for British mother of now four, Melanie Thornton. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Melanie had a happy life with just her 13-year-old daughter and husband. Her husband, ... continue reading


Do you know what your kids are putting online? Here are 30 text acronyms that your teen DOES NOT WANT YOU TO KNOW Watch

Image of Teens have an entire code for keeping parents clueless about their activities.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In this new age of easy, fast and discrete communication the English language has rapidly evolved in a way that may leave many older people at a loss. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Acronyms rule the digital airwaves, being all important in the world of ... continue reading


14 years later: Extreme and horrific child abuse victim, Lauren Kavanaugh, thrives Watch

Image of Lauren Kavanaugh, now 21-years-old, attends college and plans on becoming a counselor to help those going through similar situations as hers.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Routinely raped and tortured, Lauren Kavanaugh was forced to live in a 4ft by 9ft closet for five years of her life until she was rescued in 2001. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Now 21-years-old, Lauren lives the "normal" life of a college student aspiring to make ... continue reading


Should marriage be defined by the legal system? The Supreme Court may aim to change the textbook definition of marriage Watch

Image of The U.S. Supreme Court may decide on same-sex marriage, as early as June of this year.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What is the definitive definition of marriage? Is it only a union before God between men and women, or is it extended to same-sex couples as well? This is a question that may be legally decided by the Supreme Court, which is set to decide soon if it will take up ... continue reading


The Reality of Marriage: The Lifelong Union of One Man and One Woman Watch

Image of

By Deacon Frederick K. Bartels

Marriage is a unique reality. There is no possibility of redefining it, shaping it in a new and essentially different way, or altering its nature, since marriage is authored by God and woven into the fabric of human life. The reality of marriage is the permanent union ... continue reading


A dream come true: Paraplegic woman remarkably walks down the wedding aisle Watch

Image of [Photo Courtesy of Disney Fine Art Photography and Video]

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Walking down the aisle, adorned in the prettiest wedding dress, reaching the arms of your Prince Charming is every girl's dream come true. For Tami Martin, this dream appeared to be only a fairytale when she was told she would never walk again. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


The Quad Squad arrives: Viral quadruplets enter the world Watch

Image of Ashley Gardner was completely shocked to learn she would be having four babies.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Ashley and Tyson Gardner welcomed to the world their, already viral, quadruplets. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Indie, Esme, Scarlett and Evangeline, better known as the Gardner Quad Squad, made their entrance on Sunday, December 28. Each weighing in at about ... continue reading


All Marriage & Family News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jonah 3:1-5, 10
1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to Jonah a second ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
4 DIRECT me in your ways, Yahweh, and teach me your ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 1:14-20
14 After John had been arrested, Jesus went into ... Read More

Reading 2, First Corinthians 7:29-31
29 What I mean, brothers, is that the time has become ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 25th, 2015 Image

St. Peter Thomas
January 25: Carmelite Latinpatriarch and papal legate. Peter was born in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter