After two weeks abroad, I was scanning through my Google Reader items this morning, catching up on the science news when this news article caught my eye. 

I found it a little disturbing, but hardly surprising, that people might believe that divine intervention could help dying patients.  Apparently, a recent random survey found that over half (57%) of the adult participants said that God's intervention could save a family member, even when doctors declared treatment futile.

The original research was published in the Annals of Surgery.

A rational worldview of this topic is provided by a practising surgeon in his blog.  He rightly points out that the heart of this issue is not so much the age-old God vs. Medicine argument, but

"improving public understanding of scientific medicine and what it can and cannot accomplish."

For my part, I have a deep seated fear of being in a trauma situation, a 'miracle' happening, but being doomed to a permanent vegetative state or being brain damaged and not really living or having conscious thought at all.  In those cases, the kinder thing is actually to die from the trauma at the time.  No one wants to be a burden to others.



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