Greetings Brethren,

There will always be debate among the world regarding the unseen. However the Faith of the believers transcends all that has been seen. The Faith of the heart is more notable than the belief of the mind.

Peace and Love,

Carl Patton writing for the FreedomJournal April 3, 2002 in the year of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY AND HEALING

PART 106: SCIENCE & RELIGION: THE DEBATE

In the name of Jehovah God, Master of the universe, Ruler of the earth.

Scientific debate is an on-going reality among the scientific community. Also there is evidence of (in lieu of the word debate or argument) conflicting discussions in the Spiritual world. However these discussions and questions as they relate to medical science beg for answers. Thus, there is a need to bring these questions up for review.

The skeptical side of the debate among the medical community and religion was noted in an article by R. P. Sloan, E. Baglella and T. Powell. , "Religion, Spirituality, and Medicine, The Lancet 1999, pp. 353, 664-667.

Meanwhile, the interest in these findings has a great deal to do with the recent additions to medical school disciplines. More than 60 to 126 medical schools in the U.S. have included courses that pertain to Spirituality and Religion.

As a response to Sloan et al. Harold J. Koenig, M.D., Ellen Idler PhD, Stanislaw Kasl, Ph. D. contribute an article entitled "Religion, Spirituality and Medicine: A Rebuttal To Skeptics, International Journal of Psychiatry in medicine, 1999.

The writers of this article note agreement with Sloan et al., but state the evidence or findings of Sloan et al. need careful evaluation? For example they mention the following:

"1. We find the review a highly selective one.

2. The review over emphasizes the negative aspects of many highly credible studies published in some of the best epidemiological Journals.

3. This study also (by Sloan) minimizes or dismisses the substantial positive findings.

4. Finally while largely methodological, their critique is based on inadequate understanding of epidemiological methods."

Therefore Koenig and his colleagues believe that additional research is needed to determine exactly how religion affects health. Also how can these findings be applied to clinical practice?

The response to the skeptics is an insightful and factual argument. Also, many conclusions by the skeptics also have merit. However the greatest contribution made by the skeptics is the documentation of various points that contradict the great impact on medicine, and healing by religion.

The framework or formula for making an analysis or conducting this study comes up for review. I their various points of agreement we find some substance for a framework to study this question points of agreement are noted:

"1. Religion provides many people with comfort in times of illness.

2. No ethical objections in doctor patient discussions of faith.

3. Population characteristics: age, sex, education, race etc. must be considered to reduce confounding.

4. Studies should control for multiple comparisons.

5. Guidelines are needed regarding how doctors should respond to the overall impact of religion on medicine."

Meanwhile Koenig et al. render their points of disagreement:

"1. Omitted evidence.

2. Made erroneous, incorrect, or misleading statements.

3. Argued ethical issues based on personal opinions and strawman arguments rather than scientific evidence."

For the record almost any study can be assigned negative or positive results. Often the bias or prejudice of the persons conducting the study impact on conclusions and findings. It is for sure from various studies and participant observation religion has a substantial impact on one's health and healing. Thus, the medical community should respect this fact.

Meanwhile, there are questions posed by doctors and patients. If one determines that religion is a road to better health what of those that are ill and who profess knowledge of God? Will these people see illness as a result of insufficient faith?

Patients that embrace this view have a shallow understanding of Biblical Truth and what God has rendered to us about healing. Doctors although many are not spiritual need to take courses in medicine and religion to gain insight into the way the believers think on this question.

The study by Koenig and his colleagues concur that there is ample empirical evidence to support a strong association between religion and health. Thus, doctors should take patients religious beliefs into consideration. However should physicians take the lead in providing spiritual guidance is still up for review. But there is strong evidence of the emerging and developing school of thought that reveals the God inspired God ordained relationship of medicine and healing.

Healing has always been part of Medical Science. Healing is extended not from man but by God, the Creator of all that exists.

Cont. Part 107: How The Sick Benefit From Religion

 

 


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