Monday, April 03, 2006

Patient, Heal Thyself!

Earlier in this space, we have discussed the failure of scientists to find any proof of the “healing power of prayer.”

Now comes a new study, published in the American Heart Journal, that looked at how prayer affected the recovery of more than 1,800 heart bypass surgery patients at six U.S. hospitals.

Not only did the study find that the prayer — which was conducted by two Catholic groups and one Protestant group — did not help to speed recovery, but it also found out WHAT about those patients who knew they were being prayed for?

A) They recovered more slowly than those who didn’t know they were prayed for
B) They converted to Christianity at a higher rate than those who didn’t know they were prayed for
C) They stayed in the hospital longer
D) They actually liked the hospital food

A) Some 59 percent of patients who KNEW they were being prayed for had post-op complications — compared to the 52 percent of patients who only thought they were being prayed for.

In other words, not only did the praying not help, but knowing that they were being prayed for actually seemed to hurt the patients.

Researchers could find “no clear explanation” for the phenomenon.


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