Angry Doctor

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Power of Prayer

This letter to the Straits Times Forum made me laugh.

Oct 4, 2005
Doc asked patient to pray

THE letter, 'Should teachers seek to convert pupils?' (ST, Oct 1), reminded me of an incident at a specialists' clinic in a hospital some years ago.

I was consulting an oncologist on the outcome of a CT scan. Grim-faced, he told me the bad news: my cancer had returned.


Fully aware that I was not a Christian, the doctor asked me to kneel with him and pray. This made me even more distraught because the conclusion was that conventional medicine had run its course and divine intervention was needed.

At that critical moment, I felt that faith and medicine should not have been dispensed in the same prescription.

Alvin Choo Weng Kee


What I found amusing was:

1. Perhaps the oncologist knew that prayer has actually been
'proven' to be effective.

2. Mr Choo obviously survived to write the letter.

I wish Mr Choo the best.

4 Comments:

  • Haha!

    Wow this is a good paper to quote eh? BMJ some more!

    By Anonymous Dr Oz bloke, At October 04, 2005 2:56 pm  

  • Prayer is not effective. This is delusional. Neither are all metastatic cancers immediately lethal. I entirely agree with Mr. Choo's comments.
    - a medical oncologis

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At October 05, 2005 1:23 pm  

  • oh yeah, the "God Experiment". think they did it on heart patients as well.

    whatever is it, as long as it works, man, as long as it works.

    Nobody knows why eating gold relieves arthritic pains.

    As long as it works, man...

    By Blogger andrew, At October 05, 2005 5:31 pm  

  • It is not an issue of prayers as a mean of healing but on "forcing" a patient to kneel on the doctor's perceived form of "truth".
    A "good" doctor would explore a patient's spiritual leanings and encourage him to pursue prayers according to his religious choice.

    Christian evangelism as "exposed" by Alvin Choo is just the tip of the ice-berg. Patients "exposed" to christian-funded medical facilities such as nursing home and even the community hospitals are sutbly "deconditioned" from their non-christian faith and some persuasian has reached the level of harrassment with continuing visits from cell groups even after an older person has been discharged home.

    It is not uncommon to see christian groups "preying" on the poor elderly in certain sectors of Singapore and a wooden cross in the small flat of the elderly indicates that "the battle is won". To the elderly, the christian diety has merely replaced the previous "idol".

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At October 13, 2005 6:41 am  

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