Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Beyond Science

Effects of remote, retroactive intercessory prayer on outcomes in patients with bloodstream infection: randomised controlled trial

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: (Published 22 December 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:1450

Rapid Response:

Treat the control group

According to Clause 30 of the latest revision of the Declaration of

At the conclusion of the study, every patient entered into the study
should be assured of access to the best proven prophylactic, diagnostic
and therapeutic methods identified by the study.

To meet this ethical standard, the prayer should now be said for the
control group. If the treatment is effective, this should have the effect
of removing the difference between the groups. I await the results with

Competing interests: No competing interests

22 December 2001
Martin Bland
Prof. of Medical Statistics
St. George's Hospital Medical School, London SW17 0RE