Do Doctors Pray?


My article against science caused some disagreement in the comments. That’s fine, I’m not looking for consensus here. But to clarify, when I refer to science I am referring to how science is today, not some nostalgic science of the 18th century with cries of, “I say, old chap!” and “Jolly good science you did there, old boy!”, not to mention, “As I said to the vicar, do you want a harvest festival or don’t you!”

Yesterday the blog suffered one of those old DDS attacks of which I thought we had moved on from but apparently not. The timing of those attacks is always of interest to me as it invariably indicates that something I have written is not for public consumption. And yesterday I wrote that science is bunk. Draw your own conclusions.

Roosh has up a links thread to some non religious articles. There are some good ones there but the one that I want to focus on is this beauty:

How Doctors Die

Years ago, Charlie, a highly respected orthopedist and a mentor of mine, found a lump in his stomach. He had a surgeon explore the area, and the diagnosis was pancreatic cancer. This surgeon was one of the best in the country. He had even invented a new procedure for this exact cancer that could triple a patient’s five-year-survival odds–from 5 percent to 15 percent–albeit with a poor quality of life. Charlie was uninterested. He went home the next day, closed his practice, and never set foot in a hospital again. He focused on spending time with family and feeling as good as possible. Several months later, he died at home. He got no chemotherapy, radiation, or surgical treatment. Medicare didn’t spend much on him.

I have written several times about how I avoid the medical profession at all costs, and how if I am ever diagnosed with something similar that I will spend my remaining time as best as I am able to prepare myself for death. That doctors also do away with the awful treatments that they prescribe on others is no surprise to me. They see it first hand and they have the complete picture. I just have more imagination than the average man and I am willing to act on where it takes me.

So much for their medical science then. But go ahead, get that pig’s heart inserted in your chest. Sounds like a load of good times, you’ll be the life of the party.

People do this, they cling to whatever remaining fragment they have of mortal existence because to die for them is anathema. They have spent their lives doing everything they can to maximise their time on earth, so when that time is coming to an end they cannot bear or fathom it.

But we should spend our lives preparing for death. We all have to go through it so we should get in some practise on how we are going to deal with that moment. Father Z has written a wonderful piece on this topic.

So, it is habitual prayer that substitutes.

This one of the reasons why I have, on this blog and in preaching, tried to get the point across that we should “practice” dying, through mortifications and prayer.

If we want to be good at playing the piano, we have to practice.  If we want to be good at just about anything we have to apply ourselves so that we get good at it and it becomes easier to do.   Virtues, for example, are habits that we must develop through repetition and effort.  If something is hard to perform, we don’t have the virtue.

In a similar way, if we want to make a good death, we should “practice” those aspects of dying that we can control: daily penances, reflections on death while healthy and active, prayers to God for a good death by whatever means He wills, prayer for the dying and the dead, etc.

I read this yesterday and this morning I prayed the Rosary as is my habit. While praying I was aware that I will have to pray in the same manner when I am dying. Such a realisation does wonders for your focus.

What is not mentioned in that quote of the dying doctor is whether or not he prayed, nor even if he was religious. For me, the very idea of dying without welcoming God is unthinkable. Even if all I can utter is a ‘Heavenly Father’, I know that that will comfort me far beyond any material aid.

That the doctors don’t believe in their own science is not news to me, although it is a nice confirmation of what I had already deduced. But did that doctor pray? That is the question because between the two there is nothing at all.

Originally published at Pushing Rubber Downhill. You can purchase Adam’s books here.