No better demonstration of the futility of prayer

Angela Wright had a serious heart attack two months ago; she seems to have had a history of cardiovascular problems, because she’d also had a series of blood clots in her leg that required a partial amputation about 20 years ago.

Her very supportive family seems to be the pious sort. They dropped to their knees and started praying fiercely for her. Then she had another heart attack, but she didn’t die, and the family prayed harder and also said ‘hallelujah, the prayers are keeping her alive!”

Then there was another heart attack. More prayers, more certainty that the prayers were all that was keeping her going (ignore for the moment the fact that she’s in a hospital, surrounded by doctors and nurses and monitoring equipment).

Then there was another heart attack, and another, and another. Pray, pray, pray. Pray some more.

She isn’t dead yet. At this point I feel like screaming, “Stop praying! You’re killing her!” It sure doesn’t seem like they’re helping at all. I would call six heart attacks in a row a good reason to admit that no, God doesn’t seem to want to stop tormenting this poor woman.

Now it’s really getting ridiculous: Wright has been lying in bed for months, her heart battered and scarred, and meanwhile, more circulation problems or clots have reduced blood flow to her extremities, and her toes have turned black and are rotting. The doctors want to amputate, they need to amputate, and her husband Dwight is refusing, and is actually making a scene at the hospital — they had to bar him from the ward. Why is he refusing?

Because he wants to give his prayers more time to work.

Now that is delusional thinking. Face reality, man. Prayer doesn’t work, never has, and all the evidence is staring you in the face that your wife is dangerously ill and needs the best, unimpeded medical care possible…not more muttering to a heedless myth.

There can be no happy ending here. If she dies, her family is going to blame the doctors for interfering with their magical treatment of happy thoughts and shouting into the ether; if she lives, the family will blame the doctors for any reduction in the quality of her life afterwards.

I’m just impressed with the dedication of the medical staff to keep on persevering for the benefit of this woman from a family of ignorant jackasses.