Editor's Correspondence |

God, Prayer, and Coronary Care Unit Outcomes: Faith vs Works?

Mitchel L. Galishoff, MD
Arch Intern Med. 2000;160(12):1877. doi:.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


I wish to share a few comments on the study of Harris et al1 that appeared in the October 25, 1999, issue of the ARCHIVES. The purpose of this study was to see if there was any scientifically measurable effect of remote, intercessory prayer on the outcome of seriously ill patients in the coronary care unit.

The analysis of Harris et al seems to indicate that the main effect of intercessory prayer was on physicians and their medical decisions and not on patient outcome itself. That the same outcome was achieved with fewer controversial medical interventions in the prayer group is a bit sobering. In reading this study, I asked myself: Why should God allow the patients who received the remote, intercessory prayer to do better than the control group? Does God love those for whom strangers pray more than those who were randomly assigned not to receive their prayers? I was taught that God is not capricious and that faith is not a matter of scientific proof.


Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours

First Page Preview

View Large
First page PDF preview





Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).
Submit a Comment


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.