Daar word op die oomblik in die kerk meer gepraat oor self-ontplooiing as oor self-opoffering.-Anon.......As ‘n kerk haar woorde begin devalueer, dan word die kerk ‘n ramp vir die volk. - K Schilder


Religious belief vs medical proof

When it comes to saving lives, God trumps doctors for many Americans. An eye-opening survey reveals widespread belief that divine intervention can revive dying patients. And, researchers said, doctors "need to be prepared to deal with families who are waiting for a miracle."
More than half of randomly surveyed adults - 57 percent - said God's intervention could save a family member even if physicians declared treatment would be futile. And nearly three-quarters said patients have a right to demand such treatment.
When asked to imagine their own relatives being gravely ill or injured, nearly 20 percent of doctors and other medical workers said God could reverse a hopeless outcome.
"Sensitivity to this belief will promote development of a trusting relationship" with patients and their families, according to researchers. That trust, they said, is needed to help doctors explain objective, overwhelming scientific evidence showing that continued treatment would be worthless.
How the survey was doneThe survey, in the Archives of Surgery, involved 1 000 US adults randomly selected to answer questions by telephone about their views on end-of-life medical care. They were surveyed in 2005, along with 774 doctors, nurses and other medical workers who responded to mailed questions.
Survey questions mostly dealt with untimely deaths from trauma such as accidents and violence. These deaths are often particularly tough on relatives because they are more unexpected than deaths from lingering illnesses such as cancer, and the patients tend to be younger.
Dr Lenworth Jacobs, a University of Connecticut surgery professor and trauma chief at Hartford Hospital, was the lead author. He said trauma treatment advances have allowed patients who previously would have died at the scene to survive longer.
That shift means hospital trauma specialists "are much more heavily engaged in the death process," he said.
Doctors must respect religious beliefsJacobs said he frequently meets people who think God will save their dying loved one and who want medical procedures to continue.
"You can't say, 'That's nonsense.' You have to respect that" and try to show them X-rays, CAT scans and other medical evidence indicating death is imminent, he said.
Relatives need to know that "it's not that you don't want a miracle to happen, it's just that is not going to happen today with this patient," he said.
Families occasionally persist and hospitals have gone to court seeking to stop medical treatment doctors believe is futile, but such cases are quite rare.
Religion vs. realism?Dr Michael Sise, trauma medical director at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, called the study "a great contribution" to one of the most intense issues doctors face.
Sise, a Catholic doctor working in a Catholic hospital, said miracles don't happen when medical evidence shows death is near. "That's just not a realistic situation," he said.
He recalled a teenager severely injured in a gang beating who died soon afterward at his hospital. The mother "absolutely did not want to withdraw" medical equipment despite the severity of her child's brain injuries, which ensured she would never wake up, Sise said. "The mom was playing religious tapes in the room, and obviously was very focused on looking for a miracle."
Claudia McCormick, a nurse and trauma program director at Duke University Hospital, said she also has never seen that kind of miracle. But her niece's recovery after being hit by a boat while inner-tubing earlier this year came close.
The boat backed into her and its propeller "caught her in the side of the head. She had no pulse when they pulled her out of the water," McCormick said. Doctors at the hospital where she was airlifted said "it really doesn't look good."
And while it never reached the point where withdrawing lifesaving equipment was discussed, McCormick recalled one of her doctors saying later: '"God has plans for this child. I never thought she'd be here."'
Need to give families time to copeLike many hospitals, Duke uses a team approach to help relatives deal with dying trauma victims, enlisting social workers, grief counsellors and chaplains to work with doctors and nurses.
If the family still says, "We just can't shut that machine off, then, you know what, we can't shut that machine off," McCormick said. "Sometimes," she said, "you might have a family that's having a hard time and it might take another day, and that's OK." – (Sapa, August 2008)


Michael said...

Die skoonheid vir my uit hierdie studie is die bevestiging dat die mens smag na geloof. Dit is in ons wese, dit maak ons gereed vir enige iets.

Wat my so hartseer maak is dat 'n misplaasde siening van geloof en rasionaliteit teen mekaar afgespeel word in so baie gevalle. Ek wil die misplasing aan alby kante blameer op humanisme. Aan die kant van geloof veroorsaak humanisme dat die mens vertrou in sy geloof tot so 'n mate dat dit 'n "opdrag teenoor God" word. Aan die kant van rasionalisme glo die humanis dat rasionaliteit in die mens se fisiese bestaan gesetel is en verwerp hulle die bestaan van God.

Hierdie toestand sien ek keer op keer en dit maak my hartseer, want dit neem alles weg van dit wat God vir ons wil leer oor sy persoonlike betrokkenheid by ons pyn en hartseer, soos wat dit in Christus volkome bevestig is.


Mart said...

Michael, ek stem 100% saam met jou!

Michael said...


Toe jy sê jy stem 100% saam met wat ek gesê het moes ek dadelik weer gaan lees het wat ek geskryf het, so bekommerd was ek.

Ek wil eintlik vir Henriette vra of my siening dalk aangevul kan word uit haar beradingsondervinding.


Mart said...

Mense wil dikwels wetenskaplike bewyse hê van dinge. Dis goed en reg so.
Wanneer hierdie bewyse verskaf word, is dit dikwels STEEDS nie goed genoeg nie en word dit soms afgemaak as "Internet twak", "Google gemors", ens.

Natuurlik is daar ook baie rubbish op die Internet! Die geheim is om jou oog in te kry, sodat jy lateraan kan onderskei tussen gemors en waardevolle navorsing.

Gaan kyk maar altyd na die outeurs en instansies wat betrokke was by navorsing. Dan sal jy weet wat is wat.