The next fact to be kept in mind when considering faith healing is that very few of these cures are accompanied by case histories that are adequate. No layman is qualified to properly diagnose his illness, and in fact, sometimes doctors disagree on a diagnosis. Public testimonials given in a moment of great stress are not worth much either.
We can take the case of a 17-year-old girl named Frances Massey of North Carolina. She traveled with the Oral Roberts campaign in baltimore and Akron. She claimed that she had been ill with a disease called Lupus Erthematosus. She had been treated at Duke University, but had not been cured, and this disease was incurable and fatal. She stated that she had been cured by Oral Roberts. The doctors at Duke University were contacted, and they confirmed her diagnosis and stated that she had been treated with cortisone and ACTH so that the disease became inactive. Mr. Russell Dicks, editor of the magazine “Health and Religion” concludes that this disease makes one so conscious of pain in the joints that even after the disease was arrested, she was able to overcome the need of crutches only by the drama of a healing service, and then se was able to throw away the crutches.
Another point to consider is the lack of follow up by the records. We must remember first, that many people who get sick get well again without either faith healers or medical healers so that a sudden turn for the better is natural in a few cases. Furthermore, few of those healed come again into the public eye. A Dr. Charles R. Brown tells of an investigation of 100 cases of claimed faith healing of patients who had been pronounced incurably ill by their doctors. More than 2/3 of these patients were dead in two years of the very diseases their doctors had diagnosed.
Before we conclude that all faith healing is a fake, let us look at the other side. Mr. Boggs concludes from his investigation that a small number of the faith cures are genuine and permanent. The Lourdes shrine is the most closely examined and investigated of all the shrines. The first medical committee for this shrine was formed in 1882, and each patient was given a certificate that he had been examined by a physician. Any doctor, whether pro or con, is allowed to examine patients at this shrine. A Dr. Guy Valot, a Catholic doctor, is one of those who disbelieves and claims to have a large amount of evidence to show that most of the miracles were of questionable authenticity. However, most students of the faith healing movement do not deny that some of these cures are authentic, and while no records are available for other shrines, their record of cures should be as good as the Lourdes.