Gloria Strauss: Praying for a miracle

Sid Schwab’s take on the use of prayer in a terminal cancer case:

I’ve mentioned religion before, relating how, as a surgeon, I’ve seen faith, for some people, make facing deadly illness easier. (I’ve also indicated that I’ve seen it accomplish just the opposite.) Patients’ faith clearly can make it easier for me, when giving bad news and when caring for the dying. But this. These prayer circles, this continuing belief that healing will happen if enough people pray — and, implicitly, if the girl herself is godly enough — is setting the poor child up for a death bathed in self-recrimination. Evidently, it’s already happening.