Signs of the Times

Dr. Charles E. Wagner, President of the Delaware Medical Society in The Sunday Star Magazine Wilmington, Delaware

In my thirty-three years of medical practice I have found that the spiritual life of a patient or his relatives or friends often influences the results obtained in his treatment. I can recall many instances where I have given sulfonamides or antibiotics and prescribed the usual methods of treatment without any apparent benefit. When I have indicated my deep concern to relatives, I have gone back the next morning to find the temperature normal and the patient markedly improved. Relatives then informed me that all of them prayed for his recovery, which I could attribute only to the power of prayer and not to mere coincidence of treatment or to my own skill.

Besides the power of prayer and its good influence upon the outcome of one's illness, the spiritual life of a patient may be reflected in his whole mental attitude toward that illness. The man, regardless of race, color, or creed, who feels that God is by his side, especially in time of distress or illness, is more apt to develop confidence or faith in his recovery. ... Faith generates hope in him for his recovery. Laymen as well as physicians are familiar with cases where their physicians did not expect them to recover or where they were given only a short time to live, but where their hope and determination to get well overcame all obstacles.

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February 9, 1952

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