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Medicine: a partnership of trust and faith

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 17 February 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g1452

Re: Medicine: a partnership of trust and faith

Doctors proudly declare themselves scientists. But is this really true? Although science is based on the scientific method of predictability and reliability, healthcare is often unpredictable and unreliable. Perhaps healthcare is, in part, a faith-based religion, in which the doctor (priest) inquires about symptoms (sins), offers sympathy (forgiveness), makes a diagnosis (blessing), prescribes a bitter pill (penance), and performs a procedure (baptism), in order to cure (save) the patient (parishioner) of sickness (guilt), reverse disability (damnation), restore health (grace), and ensure longevity (heaven). Faith is the science of conscience and prescience.

Competing interests: No competing interests

18 February 2014
Hugh Mann
Eagle Rock, MO, USA