Religion and Cancer Treatment
Many doctors who consider themselves to be great scientists detest the word ‘religion’. If they are truly great scientists, they will have to agree with Albert Einstein who said: “Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe—a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble. In this way, the pursuit of science leads to a religious feeling of a special sort, which is indeed quite different from the religiosity of someone more naive.”
A new series of systematic reviews suggests that religion and spirituality could have a positive impact on the physical, mental and social well-being of cancer patients. “To date, this series of meta-analyses represents the most comprehensive summary and synthesis of a rapidly growing area of psychosocial oncology: The role of religion and spirituality for patients and survivors managing the experience of cancer,” says Dr John Salsman of Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem. This paper was recently published in Cancer, the official journal of the American Cancer Society.
Spirituality is a great prop when the chips are down and one is seriously ill. Even Rock Hudson, the president of the American Rationalists Society, was secretly seen going to Lourdes when he was in his terminal stages of AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome)!
Drugs Retard Recovery from Brain Injury
Drugs do cause a lot of damage; many seem quite dangerous. As it is, adverse drug reactions are a leading cause of death.
According to a recent report, anti-cholinergic drugs, used for variety of reasons by doctors, could delay healing of brain injury. A study of 52 patients with acquired brain or spinal injury at a neuro-rehabilitation unit showed that the average length of stay was longer in patients with a higher level of anti-cholinergic drugs in their system.
Hearing Loss Blamed for Depression, Anxiety
Many elderly people either ignore hearing loss or do not accept that they have hearing loss. Such people are running the risk of depression, in the long run. Depression—coupled with anxiety—is one of the causes of suicide, more so after being on latest drugs to treat depression. It is easy, these days, to get help if one has hearing loss.
What bother me more are the drugs used to treat depression. The common mistake made by the medical fraternity is to think that the human mind is in the brain. The mind is neither in the body nor in the brain. The father of brain/mind research, after several years of his wrong presumption, in 1958, had corrected it thus: “None of the actions that we attribute to the mind has been initiated by electrode stimulation or epileptic discharges… there is no area of the grey matter as far as my experience goes, which local epileptic discharge brings to pass what could be called mind action… what the mind does is different. It is not to be accounted for by any neuronal mechanism that I can discover… To expect the highest brain mechanism or any set of reflexes, however complicated, to carry out what the mind does, and thus perform all the functions of the mind, is quite absurd.”
Nobel Laureate Wilder Penfield was a Canadian neurosurgeon who started playing with his patients’ brains by stimulating them with electric currents; eventually, wisdom dawned on him to write what he did in 1958. Sadly, his followers still treat the brain as the seat of the human mind.
Here is a classical situation where a chemical that damages the brain is given for a disease of the mind. The long-term result is that chemical reductionist drugs in the treatment of depression provoke suicidal tendencies and eventually result in dementia.