User:Paronomase/Guérison par la foi

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
If you're looking for this article in English, it can be found at Faith healing.

Against allopathy
Alternative medicine
Icon alt med alt.svg
Clinically unproven
When I was a boy a farmer's wife who lived five miles from our village had great fame as a faith-doctor—that was what she called herself. Sufferers came to her from all around, and she laid her hand upon them and said, "Have faith—it is all that is necessary," and they went away well of their ailments. She was not a religious woman, and pretended to no occult powers. She said that the patient's faith in her did the work. Several times I saw her make immediate cures of severe toothaches. My mother was the patient.
Mark Twain[1]

La guérison par la foi is a form of medical woo that attempts to cure a wide range of ailments primarily through personal prayer and intercessory prayer, sometimes augmented by faith-based rituals. God is capable of curing all diseases and injuries that could ever affect anybody, assuming He is willing.

C'est une forme distincte de médecine alternative qui repose entièrement sur la foi, plutôt que sur quelque substance supposée "médicalement active", ce qui en fait un placebo, qui peut néanmoins être très puissant.

Tout comme l'hypnose, il est difficile de définir un placebo (et probablement un groupe de contrôle) contre la guérison par la foi, ce qui rend l'expérimentation difficile. Even events that are anecdotally observed are hard to assess because most people who turn to faith healing probably are already using or tried another treatment, likely to improve without intervention or the condition is imaginary or exacerbated by the believer until being faith healed.


Roomy loomy, lama nama noomy! Ce garçon est guéri! (eh?) À l'œil nu, il pourrait sembler que ce garçon n'a pas été guéri; mais je peux vous l'assurer, l'esprit de ce garçon a été guéri! Dans ce corps enchevêtré et essoré, il y a un petit garçon guéri. Son esprit est guéri! Hallelujah!
—"Hellalujah" Insane Clown Posse

Si votre dieu est d'humeur à vous guérir, la guérison par la foi est efficace à 100%. Si vous n'en valez pas la peine, pour quelque raison que ce soit, alors cela fonctionne toujours car c'est le souhait de Dieu que vous n'alliez pas mieux. Empiriquement, ce n'est pas différent de l'affirmation "la guérison par la foi ne fonctionne pas", mais c'est une excuse fort commode pour les défenseurs et les pratiquants.

Comparaison avec l'effet placebo[edit]

If you are that person [who received a diagnosis of 6 months to live, but whose cancer went into remission], you are more likely to believe that God cured you, this invisible force, creator of the universe, cured you, than that you had three idiotic doctors diagnose you. [...] I taught physics to pre-med students who became doctors. Not all of them are smart, I assure you.
Neil deGrasse Tyson[2]

Faith healing is obviously not what you would consider science. The actual causal effects are limited to the placebo effect. However, since the placebo effect produces testable and reproducible results pertaining to faith healing, studies have been done on the subject, showing that it has little effect other than to increase one's spiritual health.[3] So, when properly controlled for, and when confounding factors such as cherry picking and selective reporting are removed, faith healing does pretty much nothing. In this regard, faith healing performs exactly as well as any other form of alternative medicine and fails the meaningful definition of a working treatment.

It may be possible that faith healing works as a placebo (much like other non-active forms of alternative medicine such as homeopathy or Reiki), causing the patient to truly believe that they are being healed. Placebo treatments work in a complex manner - someone receiving a treatment may consciously or subconsciously alter their habits and improve their health or the treatment will just cause them to think positively and at least feel much better until the illness disappears on its own. Beyond this effect, which can be extremely powerful, there is no evidence to suggest that faith healing works. In particular, experiments on prayer have found no increase in people's recovery from surgery despite prayers being said for them. With regards to serious illnesses, the placebo effect may not be as much use.

Peer-reviewed science[edit]

While a few studies have shown an effect,[4][5] these studies have come under extensive criticism and most studies have shown a null effect or even that prayer can be detrimental![6][7]


Le christianisme est de loin la religion la plus souvent associée à la guérison par la foi, à tel point qu'une dénomination (la "science chrétienne") est dédiée à l'idée de guérison par la foi. Souvent, les chrétiens qui pratiquent de telles "techniques" de guérison pratiquent également une lecture littérale de la Bible.

Justifications théologiques[edit]

Les "scientifiques chrétiens" croient que la guérison par la foi a été prouvée quand Jésus guérit une femme malade rien qu'en utilisant sa foi.[8] Ils croient aussi que le monde matériel est une illusion, et que cela va conduire à une vraie compréhension spirituelle de Dieu, et que la peur, l'ignorance, et le péché sont la cause de toutes les maladies.

L'Église des Premiers-nés cite James 5:14:[9]

If any be sick, call for the elders of the church, let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.

L'organisation "Children's Health Is a Legal Duty" (acronyme CHILD, "La Santé des Enfants est un Devoir Légal) estime que depuis 1976, au moins 82 enfants liés à cette secte sont morts par manque de soins médicaux.[9]


Faith healing is most closely linked to televangelists, who often use it to fleece millions of dollars from vulnerable people. Almost all of the major televangelists make faith healing a major component of their "services." Pat Robertson talks to God on his show the 700 Club and announces miraculous and spontaneous healings right before asking for donations. Benny Hinn's whole ministry is based around his "miraculous" healings with full-blown stage shows where he brings up sick people and pushes them to the ground, screaming "be healed." Hinn also offers the chance to the television audience by placing his hands up in front of the camera and asking people to touch their hands to the screen and be healed. Peter Popoff had a neat trick of being able to announce the address of his victims patients gullible peons victims before "healing" them. He was able to milk millions from his followers until James Randi revealed that Popoff was using a radio earpiece to pick up prompts from his wife instead of God.[10]

Autres groupes[edit]

Faith healing is also dotted across the landscape of alternative medicine with things like psychic surgery and Ayurvedic medicine. Occasionally faith healing pops up in the peer-reviewed literature usually focused around whether intercessory prayer for a patient can improve their health or recovery.

Dangers de la guérison par la foi[edit]

Vous avez tué deux de vos enfants... pas Dieu, pas votre Église, pas la dévotion religieuse — vous.
—Juge Benjamin Lerner[11]

La guérison par la foi peut ressembler à une blague quand ce sont les télévangélistes qui la pratiquent, mais dans le monde réel elle est mortelle

Rester sans aide[edit]

Le principal danger est que les gens vont catégoriquement rejeter les traitements conventionnels, dont l'efficacité est prouvée, et s'en remettre totalement à la guérison par la foi. Cela peut s'avérer mortel dans certaines circonstances, où la maladie est sérieuse et les soins médicaux complètement ignorés.[12]

Diagnostic erroné[edit]

Travis and Wenona Rossiter were convicted of first- and second-degree manslaughter in the death of their daughter, Syble after the 12-year-old died from untreated diabetic ketoacidosisWikipedia's W.svg; the Rossiters assumed Syble had come down with the flu. The conviction has a 10-year minimum sentence.[9][13] Wenona Rossiter stated:[9]

I always prayed that God would allow the body to naturally take care of itself. [....] I had no idea – the day my daughter died – that the body was destroying itself. [....] It’s been hard. Especially hearing from the doctors. It just tore me up inside that as a mother, I had no idea that that was going on.

Nombre de morts[edit]

Many histories revealed that symptoms were obvious and prolonged. Parents were sufficiently concerned to seek outside assistance, asking for prayers and rituals from clergy, relatives, and other church members. For example, a 2-year-old child aspiratedWikipedia's W.svg a bite of banana. Her parents frantically called other members of her religious circle for prayer during nearly an hour in which some signs of life were still present.

Innumerable examples of children dieing to faith healing exist.[9]

The organization Children's Health Is a Legal Duty (CHILD) estimated that around 300 children have died in the US since 1975 due to people putting too much faith in faith healing. CHILD identified 172 cases between 1975 and 1995 in which a child died and evidence suggested medical care was exempted for religious grounds; of these, CHILD estimated that 140 would have had a 90% survival rate with medical intervention and an additional 18 would have had a 50% survival rate.[9][14]

The Faith Tabernacle Congregation and First Century Gospel Church, to which the Schaibles (below) belong, have collectively at least 22 children to illness since 1971.[15]

Estimating the numbers of preventable deaths in closed communities that reject medicine like the Amish is very difficult.[16]

All of these numbers, of course, don't include adults who may have intentionally kept themselves from medical treatment and certainly don't include probably tens of thousands more worldwide in places where culture hasn't necessarily caught up with the medical technology available.


In Prince v. MassachusettsWikipedia's W.svg (1944), the Supreme Court of the United States ruled 5-4 that parental authority cannot interfere with a child’s welfare, even in cases of religious expression:[9]

Les parents sont libres de devenir eux-mêmes des martyres. Mais ils ne s'ensuit pas qu'ils sont libres, dans des circonstances identiques, de faire de leurs enfants des martyres avant qu'ils aient atteint l'âge de la responsabilité légale, où ils peuvent faire leurs choix par eux-mêmes.

Cependant, cela ne semble pas déranger la plupart des "guérisseurs" par la foi et ceux qui leur font confiance. Charges and sentences given to people "acting in faith" - or more specifically, acting in a religious faith, or even more specifically, a fundamentalist Christian faith - are often far more lenient compared to comparable neglect, manslaughter and even murder charges. The position of the law when dealing with people who are "acting in faith" has been tricky due to the difficulties in striking a balance between objective and universal application of the law, and "respecting" people's religion and their rights to practice it.[17]

In the United States, 38 states and the District of Columbia have religious exemptions in their civil codes on child abuse or neglect.[9][18]

Some parents are charged with negligent homicide for relying on faith healing. However, there are constitutional objections to this based on the First Amendment.[19]

After a series of incidents with a local religious group resulting in death, the state government of Oregon decided in March 2011 that faith healing is not an acceptable defense against neglect charges.[20]

In 2009, Herbert and Catherine Schaible lost a two-year-old to pneumonia and were sentenced to ten years probation, which stated that they must seek medical care if another one of their children became sick. In 2014, their 8-month-old son Brandon died from pneumonia. The Schaibles were sentenced to between 3.5 and 7 years in jail.[21] Herbert Schaible stated:[21]

We believe in divine healing, the Jesus shed blood for our healing and that he died on the cross to break the devil’s power.

Liens externes[edit]

Articles connexes[edit]

Notes et références[edit]

  1. Christian Science
  2. Pseudoscience quotes, Hayden Planetarium.
  4. Byrd RC. Positive therapeutic effects of intercessory prayer in a coronary care unit population. South Med J 1988;81:826-9.
  5. Harris WS, Gowda M, Kolb JW, Strychacz CP, Vacek JL, Jones PG, Forker A, O'Keefe JH, McCallister BD. A randomized, controlled trial of the effects of remote, intercessory prayer on outcomes in patients admitted to the coronary care unit. Arch Intern Med 1999;159:2273-8.
  6. Aviles JM, Whelan SE, Hernke DA, Williams BA, Kenny KE, O'Fallon WM, Kopecky SL. Intercessory prayer and cardiovascular disease progression in a coronary care unit population: a randomized controlled trial. Mayo Clin Proc 2001;76:1192-8.
  7. The Deity in the Data
  8. Mark 5:25-29
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7
  10. James Randi busting Peter Popoff
  12. Police: Girl Dies After Parents Pray for Healing Instead of Seeking Medical Help Dans cet exemple, une fille de 11 ans est morte après que ses parents aient refusé de lui fournir un traitement pour son diabète (une forme répondant aux traitements).
  14. 14.0 14.1
  16. When Parents Call God Instead of the Doctor
  17. The Washington Post - When a child dies, faith is no defense
  19. March 24, 2010. Faith-healing a First Amendment dilemma. Retrieved December 9, 2014.
  20. Oregon House unanimously votes to end faith healing exception
  21. 21.0 21.1