Medicine Not Prayer, Please!

Doctors want right to talk faith reads the BBC headline.

If it’s all the same to them, I’d rather they didn’t. I’d much prefer that they focussed on the tried, tested and proven use of medicine as a means of treatment.

Of course, if they want to pray for me, or anyone else, that is undergoing treatment that’s fine so long as they do it on their own time – your thoughts will be appreciated. However the hospital is not the place for superstitious supplication – that’s what your churches are for.

As far as coming and asking me about my spiritual needs should I find myself in hospital, well, you can ask. I’ll try and be polite with my response. But if I’m in pain, or otherwise suffering, I make no such promise.

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One thought on “Medicine Not Prayer, Please!

  1. Hi Alex,

    I don’t think anyone’s suggesting an either/or… (imagine there’s a cheky wink emoticon here)

    I think the interesting thing here, similar to the NHS chaplains story, is the underlying implication – in this case, that there is a sufficient proportion of Christian doctors to make this a live issue. The persistence of faith in individual scientists in every scientific field – not all of whom, presumably, would be idiots – does seem to argue against a position that science has disproved or is incompatible with faith. (As an aside, my memory of university is that a disproportionate number of Christians I knew were medical students. One might suggest a number of reasons for this.)

    With the NHS chaplain story, the thing which struck me was that despite financial pressures, and perhaps some societal pressure, NHS management still thought it worthwhile having chaplains, whether paid for by themselves or not. What is the value they see in having them? I’d have been interested to see follow-up articles engaging with that question. (Again as an aside, I know several people who are full-time or part-time chaplains in hospitals or other workplaces, but none of them are funded by the workplace.)

    I think you’re on holiday now – have a good one. Two more school weeks to go down here.

    Best wishes,
    Iain

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