Many believe and it is a widely followed perception that doctors and scientists bridge towards atheism. That they do not believe in god, that it helps their patients to pray during the time of their sickness. Is this a myth or is a fact? Are people justified in thinking what they do about doctors? Are doctors really detached from the faith? We thought about it and who else to ask but doctors themselves.
“I do not believe in praying”, says Dr. Ashutosh More, he is a homeopath and is associated with the Hardikar Hospital, Pune. He told us his ideas on praying and his experiences with patients. Earlier I used to get too emotionally involved with my patients and would go through various upheavals while treating them. However my experiences taught me to cope with it. I was young and needed to learn a lot. My faiths or beliefs were never in question in concern with the patients’ health.
Personally I believe that praying plays a vital role during the sickness.“Dr. More is not alone on this belief. Dr. Mohan Agashe, a renowned psychiatrist and an actor states”, Faith is essential for a patient. The perception of feeling better is as good as getting better. Steps taken is progress gained. Therefore Dr. Agashe feels that once the patient believes that a belief or worship can help him, it will.
In India we are brought up with very strong customs and religious beliefs, these stay with us right through our lives. Thus in times of need they act as supports and often take on the role of crutches. “If praying helps the patient I personally feel that it does the work of a medicine. The difference obviously being that a medicine produces visible result and a prayer works within you. Why not prescribe it if it helps. I have personally administered cases where I’ve seen that faith and worship gives the patient a reason to fight his disease and try and live longer”. says Dr. More.
Gaining a sense of confidence and believing in one’s self are aspects which all of us try and work on right through our lives. Once we are succumbed to circumstances beyond our control these very same aspects of confidence, self esteem, self worth all come into question. “Once the support of prayers is there, it makes the platform much stronger to stand on”, says Dr. Agashe. many doctors believe in this particular aspect of praying during illness. Another such doctor is Dr. S.G. Dhorepatil, a Gastrointestinal Surgeon says”, Prayer help to boost up the morale of the patient. scientifically there is nothing supporting this statement or observation but a patient, in my opinion, responds well to all treatment once they know that their god is with them. Dr Ajit Damle, an orthopedic surgeon agrees with his colleagues, “Faith healing and prayers definitely help during the time of sickness. They not only support the patient during his time of difficulty but also help in increasing his confidence, and give him a sense of inner strength to fight back”.
Dr. Jyoti Unni is a gynecologist, Jehangir Hospital, Pune. In our interview with her she told us that she felt that the patients’ temperament and emotional stability are of imperative concern during the time of treatment. “I believe that Praying helps a lot. We are not god, and do the best we can. This is where the prayers work. The prayers give the patient peace of mind. One can evaluate, understand and react better if calm and within reason. Prayers do that, they help patients keep the faith”.