Wednesday, April 11, 2007

doctors and faith

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Doctors and Faith

April 10, 2007

BY JIM RITTER Health Reporter

A majority of American doctors believe God or another supernatural being intervenes in patients' health, a study has found.

And nearly two in five doctors believe religion and spirituality can help prevent bad outcomes such as heart attacks, infections and even death, according to the University of Chicago nationwide survey of 2,000 physicians.

"Most physicians apply medical science while maintaining a belief that God intervenes in patients' health," Dr. Farr Curlin and colleagues wrote in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Cures 'that don't make sense'

Religious doctors were more likely than nonreligious doctors to believe this -- and to report that patients bring up religious issues.

Dr. Wayne Detmer, an internist at Lawndale Christian Health Center, said all doctors have seen cures of patients "that don't make sense based on our current understanding of physiology or medicine."

Detmer recalls one patient, disabled by a neurological condition, who was able to walk again after praying. A pastor, diagnosed with terminal lymphoma, is still alive after 13 years. And a suicidal patient has regained the willingness to live after prayer.

Detmer said he can't prove God made these patients better. But he notes the Bible says Jesus healed people. "It's not so much of a stretch to believe He can still do it."
Read the rest here.
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