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Monday, February 28, 2005

Miracle and Hope

Subdeacon Theophan has this to say about the miracle of Sarah Scantlin, and what hope (if any) to offer to families of other comatose loved ones in their care:
 "After speaking with a nurse friend of mine the other day about this story, he told me that as amazing as this story was, he almost wished the press didn't get a hold of it so that other families in the same situation wouldn't be given false hope. At first I felt some sympathy with his statement for deep in my heart I would not want to see a family hurt even more after watching their loved one suffer so, but then I thought, that without miracle stories like this one, there would be no hope at all, and despair would be the only option in these cases."
The fear of giving false hopes has good intentions but, as explained by the good subdeacon, that way also lies peril, playing into the hands of despair. Besides, this is not mere conjecture. It really happened, and therefore it is empirical proof that it can happen again. It would be false hope if the story was a hoax, or if it wasn't given with a healthy dose of reality: "It is extremely unusual," said Sarah's physician. For the pragmatic rationalist, a consolation is that this sort of thing can renew research enthusiasm and provide new data to support such research. Read the entire post from Blogodoxy, one of my favorites.

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