My son, William, has a chronic heart condition and has already undergone two operations. Me and my wife are profoundly religious people, which means that we are generally against any medical interventions into the human body as we believe that it is sacred and only God can decide whether a person is to live or die. Yet, under the pressure of our relatives and friends, we agreed to opt for traditional medical interventions in favor of faith healing. As a result, our son had two operations. Despite the fact, that surgeons did their best, his condition did not improve. Now, they are planning another attempt that is supposed to be much more effective than the previous two. However, I believe that it is our duty as true Christians to forego any other interventions, including operations, since it has already been proven that it is wrong to go against God’s will. William does not feel any better after two operation whereas we feel much worse as we betrayed our beliefs and values. As far as I know, it has been proven by research that faith healing practices in some cases are more effective than medical interventions (Palmary, Hamber, & Núñez, 2014). At the same time, I know that hospitals may insist on operation as it allows them to conduct research on rare cases (Collett, 2015). Thus, I do not really believe that my boy needs another operation to prove that medicine is hopeless in this case.
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My Perception of the Case
There is some historical evidence that practices of faith healing helped people survive even in hopeless cases (Walls, 2015). Yet, in this particular case, I must insist that the boy should undergo another operation as it is the only way to save his life. The problem is that his parents have legal rights to forego any further medical interventions since he is immature (Case, 2016).
Case, A. I. (2016). Faith healing: Religious freedom vs. child protection. Skeptical Inquirer, 4(2), 12-25.
Collett, D. (2015). Modelling survival data in medical research. New York, NY: CRC press.
Palmary, I., Hamber, B., & Núñez, L. (Eds.). (2014). Healing and change in the City of Gold: Case studies of coping and support in Johannesburg. New York, NY: Springer.
Walls, A. F. (2015). Missionary Movement in Christian History: Studies in the Transmission of Faith. New York, NY: Orbis Books.