Researchers at Amsterdam’s VU University are working on a project to examine examples of miracle healing, Trouw said on Thursday.
The researchers, under the leadership of Phd candidate and family doctor Dirk Kruijthoff, are collecting stories of medical successes claimed via prayer and other ‘miracles’ in which, for example, people who are paralysed are able to walk again, the paper said.
They want to establish if there is a scientific reason for the recovery, Trouw said. Examples of healing without scientific basis will be labeled ‘unexplained’ while those with a partial explanation will be described as ‘notable’.
Kruijthoff told the paper he is not out to prove if faith healing works. ‘By far most people who are prayed for see no significant change,’ he said.
‘But there are cases in which someone appears to have recovered and which cannot be ascribed to pills or other medical treatment. I have already mapped some of these and hope to do more.’
Of the 15 cases Kruijthoff has looked at so far, 11 have already been explained. The four remaining cases will be further researched. These include someone with terminal cancer who recovered, he said. ‘We are going to talk to these people to find out exactly what they experienced.’
Kruijthoff told the paper he does not suggest there is a direct link between prayer and healing. ‘You will never be able to demonstrate a causal link,’ he said. ‘We can establish that healing took place around the prayer and that the situation is different before and after. But we will never be able to say it happened due to prayer.’
Kruijthoff, himself a Christian, began researching miracle cures several years ago after a patient of his who had been in a wheelchair for 17 years could walk again after visiting a faith healer.
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