Greetings Brethren,

Religion and/or the Creator play a great role in healing and medicine. However, this role cannot be adequately realized without Faith and Belief in God. We bear witness that God is in control of all that exists because He is the Creator. Thus the miraculous is evident and the impossible is more than just a dream.

Peace and Love,

Carl Patton a willing Servant and Slave of Jehovah God in service to the FreedomJournal and to God's people with an undying love for my Savior Jesus Christ this February 26, 2002.



Part 99: The Role of Religion In Medicine

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

There are many questions regarding the role of Religion in medicine. Therefore, as the medical community has become more aware of the impact of Religion in medicine and healing they have sought to answer certain questions.

Dr. Harold G. Koenig has written extensively about this subject. His clinical observations have been a great source of information and a confirmation that Religion has a great impact on healing. In the Journal of the America Medical Association. Vol. 284, P. 1708, Oct. 4, 2000, we refer to an article entitled, "Religion, Spirituality and Medicine: Application to Clinical Practice."

Dr. Koenig in this article notes that patients have a concern regarding their overall care. Thus, they have a need for treatment of the physical, emotional and spiritual dimensions. Also, many seriously ill patients use religion as a way to cope with the stress and anxiety of being seriously ill.

Dr. Koenig also notes that there have been extensive studies that have examined the relationship of religion and mental health and the religious involvement in general health care. (See Koenig & McCullough, Handbook of Religion and Health, New York, N.Y., Oxford University Press 2000, P.7-14).

However, religious practices should not replace or remove the need for certain allopathic therapies. Also these studies revealed that an illness may help one to rediscover religion. But no studies have shown that patients are benefited by good health by embracing a religion in anticipation of an illness.

Meanwhile, exactly what do these studies mean to clinical practice? Also, what should physicians not do? These questions are asked and then answered by Dr. Koenig.

"Physicians should not prescribe religious beliefs or activities for health reasons. Physicians should not impose their religious beliefs on patients or initiate prayer without knowledge of the patient's religious background. Except in rare instances physicians should not provide in depth religious counseling to patients, something that is done by a trained clergy. Dr. Koenig also tells us what physicians should do:

"Physicians should acknowledge and respect the spiritual lives of patients. The acknowledgment of the spiritual life of a patient often involves taking a spiritual history. However, a spiritual history is not appropriate for every patient."

Dr. Koenig also mentions a study conducted by a panel of the American College of Physicians. This panel suggests four simple questions that physicians might ask seriously ill patients.

1. Is faith (Religious, Spirituality) important to you in this illness?

2. Has faith been important to you at other times in your life?

3. Do you have someone to talk to about religious matters?

4. Would you like to explain religious matters with someone?

(See L. B. Quill, L. Tulsky, J., Discussing Palliative Care With Patients, Ann Intern Med., 1999, 130, 144-749).

Meanwhile there are still people that believe that somehow medicine and religion are opposed. However, Dr. Phillip W. Long calls our attention to a passage from the new American Bible (Book of Sirach (Ecclesiastes) 38:1-15.

"The author of the Book of Sirach (Ecclesiastes) highly respected the medical profession, even at a time (2nd Century B. C.)when medicine was in its infancy. This biblical passage clearly states that God comes through the skill of the doctor and through medicine. Family Physicians, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Nuns, Priests, Ministers, and Rabbis all together form God's healing touch. Therefore, medicine and religion are not opposed. (See Internal Mental Health, Phillip W. Long, M. D. January 27, 1996).

Cont. Part 100: Further Rationale for The Relationship of Religion and Health



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