Pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions for contraceptives. Surgeons who pray in the OR. Pro-life clinics and end-of-life interventions, intelligent-design activists and stem-cell-research opponents. Is this the state of modern medicine in America?
In Blind Faith, Dr. Richard P. Sloan examines the fragile balance and dangerous alliance between religion and medicine—two practices that have grown disconcertingly close during the twenty-first century. While Sloan does not dispute the fact that religion can bring a sense of comfort in times of difficulty, he nevertheless believes, and in fact proves, that there is no compelling evidence that faith provides an actual cure for any ailment. By exposing the flawed research, Sloan gives readers the tools to understand when good medical science is subverted and, at the same time, provides a thought-provoking examination into the origins and varieties of faith, and human nature itself.
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“A no-nonsense scientific assessment of the alleged benefits of religious practice on health outcomes, providing a welcome dose of skepticism and exposing over inflated and unsubstantiated claims. Sloan has performed a valuable service [with] Blind Faith…Highly recommended.”—Journal of the American Medical Association
“A compelling book about attempts to blur the boundary between religion and medical practice.” —New York Post
“Sloan has done well to sound the alarm, while providing an excellent primer on how medical evidence should be collected.”—Kirkus Reviews, (starred review)
“At the heart of this fascinating book is a thorough scrutiny - and demolition – of hundreds of academic studies…The best account of the use and abuse of statistics in medical research that I have ever read.”—The Financial Times
“An honest and unsentimental assessment…that should garner the attention of medical practitioners, clergy, and the faithful alike.”—Reverend Robert Edgar, National Council of Churches, USA
RICHARD P. SLOAN, PH.D. is a professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia University Medical Center whose work has been featured in The New York Times, Newsweek, and O, among other publications, and on such programs as NPR, The Today Show, The Discover Channel, and PBS. He lives in New York City.
Richard P. Sloan, Ph.D.