Most Mennonite and Amish groups take advantage of modern medicine. They go to doctors, take pills and medicines, and enter the hospital when necessary. In fact, because of the opportunities for service, medicine and health care have been among the professions entered by persons who leave the farm and get higher learning.
Like most Christians, Mennonites and Amish believe that healing is a gift from God. “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.” This is not a rejection of modern medicine; it is simply an acceptance of the fact that after one has done all that is humanly possible, one must leave all in God’s hands.
The most conservative groups of Mennonites, particularly the Old Order Amish and Old Order Mennonites, tend to be a bit more cautious about medical care. They will seek a doctor’s advice and enter the hospital if necessary but they also give a lot of attention to home remedies. They believe that good food, honey, tea, and vinegar may do as much for good health as drugs. Traces of superstition exist. Some members travel to non-medical clinics scattered across the country; others visit mines and springs on the recommendation of family and friends who have found help. Chiropractors enjoy a large following among these groups.
An important belief of the Mennonite groups is that of “mutual aid.” Modern Mennonites operate mutual aid programs, inspired by the ethic of brotherhood, that covers health, cars, and property of their subscribing members. The Amish and other Old Order groups know they are secure for life, no matter if sickness, financial ruin, fire, or old age comes. Their community supports them in all situations.
Most Mennonite communities sponsor their own retirement homes and villages. Family members care for the elderly in the Amish community.