HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Friday, March 31, 2006

New Study Casts Doubt on Healing Power of Prayer

Today's NY Times reports that the American Heart Journal has released an article on its web site that will appear next week that questions whether intercessionary prayer has any healing effects.  Indeed, the article suggests that patients who know they are being prayed for have a higher rate of complications, perhaps because their expectations are higher as a result of that knowledge. This may be the largest study yet to look at the question.

The focus of the study was prayer offered by strangers without the knowledge of the patient.  The paper doesn't express an opinion about the power of prayer by patients themselves or by close family members.  [tm]

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