Year : 2011  |  Volume : 53  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 274-

Prayer, randomized controlled trials and distance healing: A response to Dr. Jana


Chittaranjan Andrade1, Rajiv Radhakrishnan2,  
1 Department of Psychopharmacology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA

Correspondence Address:
Chittaranjan Andrade
Department of Psychopharmacology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, Karnataka
India




How to cite this article:
Andrade C, Radhakrishnan R. Prayer, randomized controlled trials and distance healing: A response to Dr. Jana.Indian J Psychiatry 2011;53:274-274


How to cite this URL:
Andrade C, Radhakrishnan R. Prayer, randomized controlled trials and distance healing: A response to Dr. Jana. Indian J Psychiatry [serial online] 2011 [cited 2021 Aug 1 ];53:274-274
Available from: https://www.indianjpsychiatry.org/text.asp?2011/53/3/274/86824


Full Text

Sir,

We thank Dr Jana for the interest shown [1] in our paper, [2] the principal purpose of which was not to examine the efficacy of prayer but to determine whether the healing power of prayer can be scientifically studied through randomized controlled trials. We provided scientific and philosophical arguments that suggest an inescapable conclusion: prayer as a means of "distance healing" does not lend itself to scientific enquiry. Under these circumstances, it would be premature to speculate on the metaphysical explanations for the well-known physiological, psychological and medical benefits of prayer. Indeed, in conflict with the suggestion by Dr. Jana, given the first three mechanisms for healing through prayer that we discuss in our paper, [1] there does not seem to be a proven need for "a transcendent God who supernaturally heals" to explain the benefits of prayer.

We have chosen our words carefully and hope that our words will be read with the care with which they were written. We wish to make it clear that we do not argue against the existence of God or the benefits of prayer.

References

1Jana AK. How Prayer works. Letter to the Editor, Indian J Psychiatry 2011;53(1):79.
2Andrade C, Radhakrishnan R. Prayer and healing: A medical and scientific perspective on randomized controlled trials. Indian J Psychiatry 2009;51:247-53.