Cancer Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Quackery Religion

When faith healers attack

While I’m taking some time to rag on TV news for its ludicrously credulous reporting of various “alternative” medicine claims, take a gander at this puff piece on a faith healer.

Where’s James Randi when you need him? True, the story mentioned that not one of this faith healer’s “healings” could be independently verified with objective information and data, but the rest of the tone of the story is quite credulous.

My answer to ABC News (remember: Steve Wilson works for an ABC affiliate) is this video:

The video speaks for itself. Bentley just kicked a guy with stage IV colon cancer in the gut. Even though the cancer patient doesn’t look bad for someone with metastatic cancer, thanks to modern oncologic medicine (not faith healing or woo!) many patients with stage IV colon cancer can have extended periods of time where they feel pretty good and have a good quality of life, this is cruel and not a good idea. (Indeed, my best friend’s dad is proof of this.) Even so, depending on the location and extent of his metastatic cancer, kicking a guy that hard (and the guy did look as though he was in considerable pain afterward) risks making his tumors bleed or other injury. If you want true idiocy, however, check out Bentley’s response to the video above:

Notice how he doesn’t say whether his victim was actually “healed” or not, whether the cancer really “came out of his body in the name of Jesus” or not.

When faith healers attack, the faithful suffer. Bentley makes the guy who thinks he’s the Second Coming of Jesus seem harmless by comparison.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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