What if you could page God as you wait for medical test results? Wait to recover from this flu? Wait to see if your health insurance plan will cover a test or condition? Wait on hold to make a doctor’s appointment?
If God heard your page, what do you think would happen next?
“I’ve gone home, cried…” Penny a nurse in a neonatal intensive care unit told me as she talked about caring for babies that are dying. “But when I’m here [at the hospital] you have to remind yourself that you have limits and while it’s sometimes appropriate to cry with your patients… you’re the professional….you’re not there to have them comfort you… you do have to be sort
Waiting for a miracle? Lots of people are. A national survey conducted in 2007 found that 79% of Americans believe miracles still occur today as in ancient times. Many hope for medical miracles – 60% of the public and 20% of trauma professionals believe people in a persistent vegetative state (a coma) can be saved by a miracle.
In her work at a large academic medical center, Dr. Jooner does not raise the topic of religion or spirituality with families unless the situation is dire. It is when death is imminent or ‘‘you’re looking at a chronic disability’’ that ‘‘I’ll ask a family if they have some kind of faith that could help them. Would they like the chaplain to come?”
Last year the American Medical Association ran an article on their webpage, “Miracle vs. medicine: When faith puts care at risk.” The article begins by describing pediatrician James Lace, MD in Salem, Oregon who cared for a 15 year-old girl with severe asthma. Her parents refused treatment saying their religion forbid it.