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James Randi exposes the Peter Popoff Ministries and their so-called "faith healing". (Youtube — 4mins 28secs)
"How can healthcare practitioners actively support their patients' diverse religious beliefs and practices without hypocrisy; without offending patients who do not subscribe to certain of such beliefs; and without offending atheists, agnostics, and religious nonaffiliates, who together constitute a significant proportion of the American population?… In no interfaith, nondenominational, or multicultural healthcare setting can a medical professional exhibit an appeal to Allah without diminishing non-Islamic mainstream religious principles. It is likewise impossible to pray conspicuously to the Virgin Mary or to Roman Catholic saints without encroaching on Protestant beliefs. Many Christians regard even spiritual practices that are neo-Christian, nondenominational, and/or eclectic—particularly those associated with the New Age movement—as harmful, if not devil-inspired." Article by Timothy N. Gorski, M.D. (American Council on Science and Health)
Transcript of a talk given by Sue Mayer to the South Place Ethical Society, London, on 9th April 9th 2006. It looks at faith in relation to physical health and superstitious beliefs, mental health, and alternative therapies.
CONCLUSIONS: In patients with CFS, distant healing appears to have no statistically significant effect on mental and physical health but the expectation of improvement did improve outcome. Walach H, Bosch H, Lewith G, Naumann J, Schwarzer B, Falk S, Kohls N, Haraldsson E, Wiesendanger H, Nordmann A, Tomasson H, Prescott P, Bucher HC, Psychother Psychosom. (February 2008)
"To call the role of praying in healing 'controversial' in the scientific community it to give it far too much credit. There is little if any scientific evidence that the prayers themselves are making a difference." Article by Rebecca Goldin PhD, STATS (27th March 2006)
Conclusion: "Results suggest that anecdotal reports of effective psychic healing and 'faith healing' are attributable to the power of belief." Journal of Psychosomatic Research (January 2006)
"The placebo effect on which healing relies is one which most other medical treatments generate as well — so we don't need an ineffective therapy in order to profit from this effect….If we allow mystical conjecture to infiltrate our thinking, we are in danger of abandoning rationality in favour of superstition. It is easy to see how this could rebound on us." Edzard Ernst, The Guardian (15th February 2005)
"It is often claimed that faith healing may not work but at least does no harm. However, as will be demonstrated in this article, reliance on faith healing can indirectly cause serious harm and even death." Bruce L. Flamm, MD, The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine (Fall/Winter 2004-05)
Concludes "Since the publication of our previous systematic review in 2000, several rigorous new studies have emerged. Collectively, they shift the weight of the evidence against the notion that distant healing is more than a placebo." E. Ernst, Wien Klin Wochenschr (2003)
"When faith healing is used to the exclusion of medical treatment, the number of preventable child fatalities and the associated suffering are substantial and warrant public concern. Existing laws may be inadequate to protect children from this form of medical neglect." Pediatrics (4th April 1998)
Christian Scientists who received an undergraduate college eduation at a liberal arts college for Christian Scientists had a significantly higher death rate than that of the control population. Journal of the American Medical Association (September 1989)