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Review article

The spiritual side of healing - a supernatural miracle or spontaneous remission

Aleksandar Racz orcid id ; University of Applied Health Sciences Zagreb
Jadranka Pavić ; University of Applied Health Sciences Zagreb
Vlado Čutura ; Glas Koncila

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The paper focuses on examples of the spiritual side of healing for which there are different scientist approaches in providing explanation for sudden healing and influence of prayer on illness outcomes. Miraculous healings are a challenge for scientists in search of evidence which can provide the answer to the question whether intercessory prayer influences the favorable treatment outcomes, and whether individual cases can be explained through the use of the medical term spontaneous remission.

The initial assumption of some scientists is that the positive impact of intercessory prayer on patient cure is possible while some scientists through their critical analysis find no justification for the given results. based on available results of the research so far it is not possible to reach a conclusion that would confirm or reject the potential impact of intercessory prayer on treatment outcome, even though there is a significantly higher number of studies that do not confirm such correlation, especially among those that have been conducted according to controlled clinical trials methodology. However, there is ample evidence of positive outcomes among respondents who actively prayed for their health ‒ outcomes ranging from reducing the incidence of treatment complications to reducing the incidence of lethal outcomes. The results indicate that prayer and spirituality have their own place in integrated care for patients as physical beings, but also as mental and spiritual beings.

At the same time, individual cases of miraculous healing among the pilgrims or among people who intensively prayed for the restoration of their health, especially at Lourdes and Međugorje, indicate that from a medical standpoint this is a very interesting phenomenon the thorough scientific research of which has its own value.


miraculous healing; spirituality; healing through prayer

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