A Return to Faith Healing (sort of)

Fresh from his abortion arguments, David has now spoken about medical science, faith healing, and touched upon the tragic story of Archie Battersbee. There are a number of issues with his latest post.

For one, David resurrects the idea that faith healing is a valid form of treatment for serious illness and injury. He rejects the idea that parents who choose faith healing for their child are negligent. He is wrong. We have been over this topic before. He was wrong then too.

There will always be difficult decisions in life. Whether you are a Christian or not, no one ever promised anyone a rose garden Some of the most difficult decisions a parent has to make is recorded in this article-Archie Battersbee can be removed from life support over parents’ objections, judge rules

There are several elements involved in this decision. One, for Christians is that hospitals, courts and governments do not listen to or follow God or his ways. Instead, they will disobey God and do what they want and what is in their best interests.

The second element will be emotions. Parents often have too many emotional issues to clearly think through the situation and make the right decision. These two elements make it very hard to make the right decision for the child in danger of dying.

Two, unbelievers do not care about God or the life of your child. Often, their decisions are based on the resources that will be spent trying to give this and other children a chance to recover.

Emphasis mine. Non-believers may not care about God, but the suggestion that they act out of self-interest and do not care for the child is absurd. Doctors – irrespective of religion – take the Hippocratic Oath, and virtually all doctors take it seriously. With the exception of rare bad apples, doctors, nurses and other medical professionals, join the profession in order to save lives and help people. In the course of their jobs, difficult and distressing choices must be made, and sometimes, it is impossible to keep everyone happy. It is not a question of resources, but of quality of life. Archie will never wake up, and whilst I too would fight any decision to switch off life support, deep down, I know there would come a point where I would have to let my child go, for their sake.

If you remember HMOs then you know what we are referring to. While we have written about faith healing, it is a possibility but sadly, it is not always a guarantee. Parents are being charged with crimes they did not commit if they choose faith healing and it doe snot produce the desired results.

The unbelieving world does not put any faith in faith healing but thinks that their scientific methods are the best. If medical science was the best option then people would not be dying under its care. The anger that unbelievers have against faith healing should be directed at medical science as it is not a perfect cure or option. Just like faith healing.

This is where David displays his ignorance of what medical science offers. No one has ever said that we can stop death in 100% of cases. However, diseases like smallpox, that used to kill 30% of anyone infected by it, and could cause blindness and deformities. Would David care to provide any information regarding the effectiveness of faith healing or prayer in defeating this disease?

Whilst he does his research and no doubt offers us tangible, verifiable facts to support his claims, I’ll provide some that show the effectiveness of medical science. To quote:

In 1959, the World Health Organization (WHO) started a plan to rid the world of smallpox. Unfortunately, this global eradication campaign suffered from a lack of funds, personnel, and commitment from countries, and a shortage of vaccine donations. Despite their best efforts, smallpox was still widespread in 1966, causing regular outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia.

The Intensified Eradication Program began in 1967 with a promise of renewed efforts. Laboratories in many countries where smallpox occurred regularly were able to produce more, higher-quality freeze-dried vaccine. Other factors that played an important role in the success of the intensified efforts included the development of the bifurcated needle, the establishment of a case surveillance system, and mass vaccination campaigns.

By the time the Intensified Eradication Program began in 1967, smallpox was already eliminated in North America (1952) and Europe (1953). Cases were still occurring in South America, Asia, and Africa (smallpox was never widespread in Australia). The Program made steady progress toward ridding the world of this disease, and by 1971 smallpox was eradicated from South America, followed by Asia (1975), and finally Africa (1977).

Polio is another disease that has been nearly eradicated, and it wasn’t through prayer. The hard work and devotion of medical professions is why polio no longer leaves people crippled.

Science is not perfect, but smallpox and polio are just two examples among many, of how medical science has saved lives. Can David demonstrate that prayer and faith healing would have eradicated smallpox? I eagerly await his answer.

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