Christian Healing at the Expense of Rational Medicine by Kenneth W. Krause (Skeptical Enquirer)
Faith kills as we can see from Altoona and Lorie Nixon’s story. After their young son, Clayton, fell sick of common ear infection, he continued to say that the pain would not stop. However, the two had strong faith and believed that faith was going to heal their son. Later Clayton’s body grew weak and eventually died of malnutrition and dehydration. Because of this negligence in the name of ‘faith’, the boy never recovered and later they were prosecuted for involuntary child endangerment and manslaughter. The main reason for the prosecution was to change people’s perception and be responsible for their conduct, and not ‘for their faith or belief.’
According to the medical report and autopsy, the boy had died of diabetic ketoacidosis, DKA, which is believed to have caused her body tissue to produce much acid into the blood. This condition can be easily treated through scientific use of insulin injections and this can cost less than one dollar to treat. Therefore, according to this article, it is necessary to address this issue before it claims a lot of lives. Therefore, it may be very true that parents might be free to make decisions and believe their strong faith, and even become martyrs, but sincerely it does not mean that they should be given the freedom in any similar circumstance to make martyrs of their own children believed by the law of the land to be innocent.
In conclusion, faith should never be undertaken as the final resolution during critical moments and especially when a viable intervention is possible. Therefore, prayer-healing should best be noted or ‘understood’ and a self-proclaimed, self-administered and psychological phenomenon eventually having a neurobiological attribute to the individual. Therefore, along with all rights of parenthood and the power or freedom in religion, there should be the need to weigh out the possible responsible enforceable in the very end. It is mandatory for human faith to summon humility and courage, and by so doing let people make fundamental but realistic approaches for the health of all.
Columbia University Prayer Study: Author Plagiarism Columbia University Prayer Study: Author Plagiarism by Flamm Bruce
This article is all about a scandal of a research proclaimed to have resulted in doubling the success rate for complex IVF infertility treatment, and had successfully been done in Korea. The first strike presented in the article is Felony Fraud. This was all about a ‘prayer’ led by Kwang Cha and Danile Wirth who had no any scientific or medical training background. After the publication in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine, JRM, scientists and physicians called to know much about this mysterious invention. This kind of prayer was not practical and many people believed that there was no legitimate evidence against the studies. Later in 2004 June the co-author of the ‘prayer-study’ as it was called was arrested by the Federal Investigation Bureau officials, FBI, and pleaded guilty of fraud. He was later sentenced to five years of imprisonment.
The second strike was Deception. After the revelations of Wirth’s ‘invention,’ the journal editors broke their silence eventually announcing that they had decided to temporarily remove the study from their records and internet publication, and also the other co-authors admitted of deception arguing that they even were not aware of the research progress. Later the dean of faculty of medicine, Gerald Fischbach, ordered Dr. Lobo’s name to be removed from the article.
The third strike presented in the article was Plagiarism. The article presented by Cha, Lobo and Wirth was found to match its contents with Wirth/Cha paper. Because of that, an editor of the JRM decided that everything was quieting down and it was the time to come up and replace the original prayer study with another new one since it has surfaced. This means that the study is still seen by many as a breakthrough and there are chances that it may never be excised as a legitimate scientific research or study. It is therefore necessarily to authenticate studies and make sure they are ethical and beneficial to all people and not through faith.
Can Spiritual Overcome Illness?
The third article discusses two different answers as viewed by Herbert Benson and William B. Lindley. Spirituality and Illness: according to this article, it’s widely known that some people have come to believe that their personal faith and spirituality can cure them from any form of illness. In turn this article we will discuss how personal faith affects individual health and is one’s ‘spiritualities’ justifiable in making people shun away from scientific medicine. In California Pacific Medical Center some spiritual preachers helped determine that spirituality had a greater effect on diseases. The patients were found to derive comfort from religion and thus helped speed up their personal process of healing. It’s believed that depending on a person’s faith and ones spirituality helped in stress management and relaxation.
The prayer facilitates the release of hormones which aid in lowering of blood pressure. Below we will discuss how Herbert Benson and Marg Stark viewed spirituality and its significance over ones health. Herbert Benson believed that a person can heal from illness from his own faith, it depends how strong one is spiritual. However William Lindley tends to disagree with Benson and he believes that there is no way a prayer can heal anyone from any disease.
The issue of timeless healing has also been discussed. This is one of Benson’s works whereby he tries to explain the power of a prayer, its belief and how a prayer helps in healing people. He listed three internal factors or a force that influences the relaxation response from patients: Peoples focus depended on religious convictions, human beliefs in wellness, and beliefs in eternal life. In this faith factors, Benson went on saying that one doesn’t have to have a professed faith or belief in God to benefit from the psychological or physical rewards of the faith factor. But during his research most people had a belief in God. In summary Benson came up with the following principles and lessons that enable one to heal from his or her believes in the one incomprehensible mighty God. Therefore he denotes: Let faith the ultimate belief heal you, trust your instincts more often, remember that immortality is impossible, and belief is something good.
Prayer and healing is also presented in the article. This was one of Williams’s areas of expertise, he believed that prayers had less significant role in the healing of people, and he was once quoted saying that god answers all prayers and sometimes the answer is no. Mostly he tried to point out that different religions had different perspective about prayers, whereby if Muslims prayers worked Christians would consider it Satanism and vice versa. The question that always remains is. Can spirituality overcome illness? As Benson had developed the relaxation response in which he believed that facilitated the healing process in a patient through his / her religious commitment.
From the above article summaries, we should not that faith, however important and elemental for Christians, can as well be critical and result in human death. This is because many people’s faith might never heal them. It is therefore necessary to make sure any kind of believe and faith still is in accordance with the scientific laws and rules. This way we will be in a position of saving many lives. Whenever necessary it is important to be faithful but at the same time know how to seek treatment. Any publications should also be authenticated and clearly proven so as not to misguide people.