Skip to comments.God vs. doctor: 1 in 2 say prayer saves the dying
Posted on 08/19/2008 5:10:43 AM PDT by rightwingintelligentsia
CHICAGO - When it comes to saving lives, God trumps doctors for many Americans.
An eye-opening survey reveals widespread belief that divine intervention can revive dying patients. And, researchers said, doctors "need to be prepared to deal with families who are waiting for a miracle."
(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...
In other words more than 80% thought that it was ridiculous.
It seems to me the outlook of the person has as much to do with it as anything else. Conceding that it is hopeless is the first step towards it being hopeless.
Now the question is, if someone maintains hope through belief in God, is it still a miracle? I would say that it is.
If you were lying vegetative, with nothing more or less to be done by doctors, would you want your family and friends to be in the 80% or the 20%?
There have been a couple of controlled studies looking at the issue of whether ill people who are prayed for do better than the control. They showed no evidence of efficacy. If I have time I'll try to find them.
God is in control. . .but He sometimes uses doctors to accomplish healing.
A physician at a major university teaching hospital once told me that they were beginning to teach doctors that faith seems to have a role in healing. He could not say whether it was because of a positive attitude. He only said that faith could have a positive impact.
There is a famous fraudulent study that said prayer did work. The Journal retracted and the editor was punished. It turned out that the whole thing was faked.
I would want a Brazilian shaman to blow smoke, dance in a circle, and shake a rattle. My family and friends might pray however because it would make them feel better. The good thing about faith is that it helps some people and it works whether what they have faith in is real or not.
Actually, the most recent double-blind study showed that prayer DID have an effect...at least on those patients who knew loved ones were praying for them.
Unfortunately, it actually made those patients worse.
Induced performance anxiety, perhaps?
But that isn't the same thing as saying that the prayers of friends and relatives affect the course of someone who is ill or injured. Also, one should be careful in ascribing too much benefit to a positive attitude, you get close to blaming the patient who doesn't do well for his/her bad outcome.
Leibovici, L., “Effects of remote, retroactive intercessory prayer on outcomes in patients with bloodstream infection: randomised controlled trial,” BMJ 2001;323:1450-1451, found that prayer was effective (p < .05).
I’m not sure why (other than materialist bias) the headline should make it a “vs.” There is a strong tradition among Orthodox Christians that the intercessions of St. John Maximovich are effective for healing only in cases where the patient has submitted himself or herself to modern medical care. (There are other saints whose intercessions are held to be effective for healing w/o such a caveat.)
I'm familiar with this study but I'm not sure the difference was statistically significant. That being said, there are no controlled studies I'm aware of that show any medical efficacy for prayer. It might make the praying friend or relative feel better but it doesn't seem to benefit the patient.
Just took a quick look at the abstract. I’ll check out the references when I have more time. Length of stay was shorter but mortality was unchanged, which strikes me as the more important indicator of efficacy.
I’ve personally witnessed a lot of prayer gatherings in my church for a number of people who were dying. Most of them ended up dying anyway. I don’t claim to know the mind of God, but it would seem to me that the act of dying is indeed something totally random in nature and very rarely influenced directly by the Almighty.
God gave us complete freedom from interference over the choices and direction we choose in life, and I believe he’s done the same with death.
Since no one can predict when they will die, it would seem to me to be more important to make sure you are prepared to stand before God whenever your time does come. Prayer is good, but preparation is important too.
“There have been a couple of controlled studies looking at the issue of whether ill people who are prayed for do better than the control. They showed no evidence of efficacy. If I have time I’ll try to find them.”
Bad sample in the study.
“and we ask, dear Father, for miraculous healing for those whose names we do not know and for comfort for their relatives during this diffcult time.”
Very common prayer in our church as well as others. You cannot get a clean samole. Prayer works.