Transcript: Abdu'l Missagh Ghadirian on Spirituality and Healing | Apr 01, 2006

Abdu'l-Missagh Ghadirian stands behind a lectern in front of an audience. He is in his seventies, balding and with a moustache. He wears glasses, a dark gray suit, a white shirt and a polka dotted black tie.

He says WHAT I'M GOING TO TALK ABOUT
TONIGHT IS BASICALLY ABOUT
SCIENCE AND THE SOUL.
SCIENCE AND THE SOUL AND THEIR
(Unclear)

A caption reads "Adbu’l-missagh Ghadirian. Faculty of Medicine, McGill University."

The caption changes to "Spirituality and healing in the stressful. Carleton University. January 28, 2006."

Doctor Ghadirian says MEDICAL SCIENCE HAS PROGRESSED
ENORMOUSLY AND CAPTURED THE
IMAGINATION, CAPTURED THE
HEARTS AND MINDS OF MEDICAL
PRACTITIONERS AROUND THE WORLD
AND THEIR PATIENTS OF COURSE.
BUT WHAT IS INTERESTING IS THAT
MEDICAL SCIENCE HAS BECOME
DISEASE ORIENTED MORE THAN
PERSON ORIENTED AND THAT MAY
HAVE CONSEQUENCES.
IS TREATING THE PATIENT THE
SAME AS THE HEALING AS THE
TREATING THE DISEASE IT'S THE
SAME AS HEALING.
NOT EXACTLY.
PHYSICIANS HAVE THE
RESPONSIBILITIES TO DIAGNOSE,
THAT IS QUITE UNDERSTANDABLE
AND NECESSARY.
DIAGNOSE IN ORDER TO GIVE THE
PATIENT THE UNDERSTANDING AND
ALSO TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR
THE TREATMENT.
BUT THAT IS NOT THE WHOLE
STORY.
WITH HEALING COMES DISCOVERING.
DISCOVERING THE MEANING OF THE
SUFFERING.
SO HEALING IS AN ART.
ART OF RESTORATION OF WHOLENESS
AND RESTORATION OF HOPE.
SO IN OTHER WORDS TO HAVE A
HOLISTIC VIEW OF MEDICAL
PRACTICE AND RESTORATION OF
HOPE AND WHOLENESS COMES PARTLY
FROM A SPIRITUAL UNDERSTANDING
OF REALITY OF HUMAN BEING.
SCIENCE DOESN'T TEACH MORALITY
BUT WILL DISCOVER THE WAYS OF
TREATMENT.
LET ME SHARE WITH YOU A COUPLE
OF CASES THAT SHOWS THAT HOW
MUCH THE ISSUE OF FAITH, THE
ISSUE, THE ISSUE OF SPIRITUAL
UNDERSTANDING HAS IMPORTANT
IMPACT ON THE SENTIMENT AND
FEELING OF THE PATIENT AND CAN
CHANGE THEIR ATTITUDE TOWARD
TREATMENT.
THIS IS BASED ON A LITERATURE
REPORT.
A PATIENT 30 YEARS OF AGE YOUNG
MAN WAS SUFFERING FROM SEVERE
METASTATIC CANCER OF THE LUNG
AND HE WAS IN A TERMINAL STAGE.
ONE DAY AS HIS PHYSICIAN CAME
TO SEE HIM HE TOLD HIS
PHYSICIAN THIS PAST YEAR WAS
THE BEST YEAR OF MY LIFE AND
THAT WAS QUITE A SURPRISE TO
THE PHYSICIAN.
HIS DOCTOR SAID THAT THIS LAST
YEAR WAS AN AGONISING YEAR FOR
YOU.
HOW IT COMES THAT YOU SAY AS
THE BEST YEAR OF YOUR LIFE?
HE SAID DURING THAT THIS
ILLNESS I HAD TO THINK AND
REFLECT ON MY LIFE AND ITS
MEANING AND I CAME TO A NEW
AWARENESS ABOUT LIFE, WHAT IT'S
ABOUT.
A FEW DAYS LATER HE DIED.
HE WAS NOT CURED.
HE DIED OF CANCER BUT HE WAS
HEALED, HE CAME TO TERMS WITH
THE MEANING OF LIFE AFTER ALL.
SECOND PATIENT.
A 70 YEAR OLD WOMAN WAS
SUFFERING FROM BREAST CANCER
AND THIS CASE ALSO THE CANCER
WAS METASTASISED AND SHE WAS
SUFFERING FROM A LOT OF PAIN.
PHYSICIANS WERE GIVING HER
ANALGESICS AND MEDICATION IT
DIDN'T WORK.
CHANGE THE MEDICATION NOTHING
HELPED AND THE DOCTOR WAS
PUZZLED WHAT ELSE HE COULD DO?
PATIENT HAS A TERMINAL STAGE OF
CANCER WHERE THE PAIN JUST
CANNOT BE ALLEVIATED.
SO HE CAME ONE DAY TO ASK HER
THIS QUESTION.
HE ASKED HER WHEN WAS THE LAST
TIME THAT YOU REALLY FELT GOOD?
SHE SAID THAT DO YOU MEAN
PHYSICALLY?
HE SAID NO, YOURSELF.
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME THAT YOU
FELT GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF?
SHE SAID DOCTOR, I NEVER FELT A
DAY IN MY LIFE GOOD ABOUT
MYSELF.
I
HAVE BEEN SICK -- I HAVE BEEN
SICK IN MY MIND AND SPIRIT
EVERYDAY OF MY LIFE.
SHE, TOO, AFTER SOME TIME
PASSED AWAY.
NOW THE DIFFERENCE SHE WAS NOT
HEALED.
SHE WAS NOT CURED.
COULD NOT BE CURED BUT SHE WAS
NOT HEALED BECAUSE SHE COULDN'T
DISCOVER THE MEANING AND THE
PURPOSE OF LIFE AND AS TO
WHETHER THAT SUFFERING HAD
MEANING TO HER BUT THAT DOESN'T
MEAN THAT SHE WAS IN ANY WAY
LOWER THAN THE OTHER PATIENT
BUT SHE DID NOT COME TO THAT
REALISATION BEFORE SHE DIED AND
MEDICATION DIDN'T WORK PARTLY
BECAUSE SHE NEVER ACCEPTED
THAT.
SO THE ISSUE IS THIS THAT HOPE
AND CONTENTMENT IS SOMETHING
NOT BASED ON SCIENCE AS MUCH IT
IS BASED ON TRUE UNDERSTANDING
OF THE MEANING OF LIFE AND
PURPOSE OF LIFE.
UH, A FEW YEARS AGO AT HARVARD
UNIVERSITY SOME 644 ALUMNI
MEMBERS OF HARVARD UNIVERSITY,
ONE OF THE BEST THE ICON OF THE
NORTH AMERICAN ACADEMIA WERE
ASKED A QUESTION ABOUT HOW MUCH
YOU PEOPLE ARE CONTENT WITH
YOUR LIFE.
THESE WERE PEOPLE WITH REGARD
TO THE ACADEMIC AND SCIENTIFIC
STANDING WERE VERY, VERY HIGH
IN THE WORLD AND SALARY-WISE
THEY WERE RECEIVING AVERAGE
300,000 U.S DOLLARS.
AND THE ANSWER WAS THIS.
40 PERCENT OF THEM SAID THAT THEY ARE
NOT CONTENT WITH THEIR LIFE.
30 PERCENT -- 40 PERCENT.
THEY ADMITTED THAT THEY REALLY
IN SPITE OF ALL OF THIS, IN
VIEW OF ALL OF THIS THEY WERE
NOT CONTENT WITH THEIR LIFE.
SO THE QUESTION IS THAT HOW WE
CAN SEE THE LANDSCAPE OF THE
FUTURE HEALING IN THE FIELD OF
MEDICINE OR ALTERNATIVE
MEDICINE IN THE FUTURE.
THERE IS GOING TO BE A CHANGE.
SIGNIFICANT CHANGE TO BALANCE
UP SCIENCE WITH THE
SPIRITUALITY AND THIS IS
COMING.
WHEN WE TALK ABOUT TREATMENT,
HEALING WE ARE TALKING ABOUT A
RELATIONSHIP.
TREATMENT IS RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN THE DOCTOR AND THE
ILLNESS.
AT LEAST THIS IS THE WAY IT HAS
BEEN UNDERSTOOD IN MEDICAL
SCHOOLS BUT HEALING IS THE
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE DOCTOR
AND THE PERSON SO AS YOU SEE
THE DISEASE ORIENTED APPROACH
NEEDS TO BE CHANGED TO PERSONAL
ORIENTED.
THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT WE
SHOULD NEGLECT OR IGNORE ALL
THESE DISCOVERIES ABOUT MEDICAL
TREATMENT, DIAGNOSIS, AND
MANAGEMENT, IT'S GREAT.
THERE'S NOT QUESTION ABOUT
THAT.
THERE'S NO QUESTION THAT
SCIENCE HAS A VERY STRONG
FOUNDATION.
IT SHOULD BE MAINTAINED BUT WE
HAVE NEGLECTED IS THE FACT THAT
WE NEGLECTED THE OTHER SIDE OF
OUR REALITY THE SPIRITUAL SIDE
OF IT AS MUCH AS WE HAVE BEEN
FOCUSSING AND CONCENTRATING ON
THE BIOLOGICAL ASPECT OF LIFE.
IN ONE OF THE STUDIES PATIENTS
WHO WERE NEAR THE DEATH IN THE
TERMINAL STAGE IF IT WAS
BECAUSE OF CANCER OR OF A
DISEASE WERE ASKED IN THESE
LAST DAYS OF YOUR LIFE, WHAT DO
YOU EXPECT IN THE HOSPITAL?
AND ONE OF THEM ANSWERED THAT
WHAT I EXPECT IS A WARM AND
CARING RELATIONSHIP WITH MY
PHYSICIAN.
WARMING AND CARING RELATIONSHIP
WITH MY PHYSICIAN.
AND SOME OF THEM WERE CRITICAL
IN
THEIR ANSWER -- IN THEIR ANSWER
BY SAYING THAT COMMUNICATION
THAT WE GET FROM THE DOCTOR
SOMEHOW THERE'S SOMETHING
MISSING AND THAT SHOULD BE
CORRECTED.
YOU KNOW, SOME PATIENTS THEY
WANT TO KNOW IF THEIR DOCTOR
HAS ANY SPIRITUAL OR RELIGIOUS
BELIEF.
CAN THEY SHARE SOME THOUGHT
ABOUT THEIR SPIRITUAL NEEDS.
SPIRITUAL NEEDS, WHAT IS LIFE
AFTER DEATH?
WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE?
SPIRITUAL NEEDS, WHAT WOULD
HAPPEN TO ME AND WHAT'S THE
MEANING OF ALL THIS?
SPIRITUAL NEEDS, WHY SUFFERING
TO ME?
I WAS A GOOD PERSON.
I WAS A DEVOUT RELIGIOUS
PERSON.
WHY DOES THIS HAPPENS TO ME?
THESE ARE THE NEEDS OF THE
PATIENT AT THE INTENSIVE CARE
UNIT, EMERGENCY ROOM, AND IN
THE PALLIATIVE CARE AND SO
FORTH THAT THEY WANT TO TALK
ABOUT MANY OF THEM.
THIS FEELING OF RELIGIOUS OR
SPIRITUAL NEEDS COME UP AT THE
TIME OF CRISIS.
THE PATIENT IS TOLD THAT YOU'RE
GOING TO LIVE FOR TWO MONTHS OR
TWO DAYS AND THEY START TO
THINK ABOUT MUCH MORE IF NOT
EARLIER.
AND YET FOR PHYSICIANS OR ANY
KIND OF HEALERS SHOULD BE
PREPARED TO KNOW THE LANGUAGE
OF THE PATIENTS AND TO RESPOND
TO THAT AND OUR MEDICAL SCHOOLS
ARE NOT YET READY, HAVE NOT
BEEN PREPARED BUT THAT IS
CHANGING.
IN THE UNITED STATES OUT OF 126
MEDICAL SCHOOLS UNTIL THE END
OF LAST YEAR OVER 90 MEDICAL
SCHOOLS FORMALLY ACCEPTED AND
BEGAN TO IMPLEMENT SPIRITUAL
COURSES FOR MEDICAL STUDENTS.
COURSES IN SPIRITUALITY -- NOT
TO CONVERT THE UH, MEDICAL
STUDENTS OR TO SOMEHOW IN A WAY
IMPOSE ON HIM ON THEM A SERIES
OF DOGMA OR SOMETHING NOT AT
ALL.
IT'S REALLY TO MAKE THEM
UNDERSTAND THAT THE
SPIRITUALITY IS PROFOUNDLY IN
THE MIND AND THE SOUL OF THE
PATIENT IN THEIR SEARCH FOR THE
MEANING OF LIFE.
SO THIS HAS BEEN MOVING FORWARD
QUITE A BIT.
IN -- IN CANADA THERE IS ALSO
INCREASING COURSES ON
SPIRITUALITY AND WHAT IS THE
RELATIONSHIP SO IN THE SLIDES
WHICH I'M GOING TO SHOW WITH
YOU I'M GOING TO GO INTO SOME
OF THIS SUBJECT.
WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN THE SOUL AND THE BODY?
WE KNOW A LOT ABOUT THE BODY
BUT VERY LITTLE ABOUT THE SOUL.

He reads a slide with the caption "Body can be perceived as the physical fame through which the soul expresses its power. Body is the throne of the inner reality."

He says THE SOUL.
ANY RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN
SCIENCE AND THE SOUL OR SCIENCE
AND RELIGION INTERESTINGLY YES,
PROFOUNDLY SO.

He reads another slide with the caption "Science and religion: Any relationship? Both reach out the truth: Science through the power of intellect, research and technology; Religion through Divine Revelation and knowledge."

Doctor Ghadirian says THIS IS FAMOUS STATEMENT OF
WILLIAM OSLER WHO WAS A VERY,
VERY FAMOUS AND A GREAT SCHOLAR
IN THE MEDICAL SCENE OF CANADA
AND THEN HE WENT TO UNITED
STATES AND HE'S VERY WELL
KNOWN.
AND THEN HE EXPRESSES AS A
PHYSICIAN, AS A RESEARCHER, AS
AN EXPERT THE IMPORTANCE OF THE
FAITH.

A slide appears with the caption "Faith and Medicine. Nothing in life is more wonderful than faith- the one great moving force which we can neither weigh in the balance nor test in the crucible. Faith has always been an essential factor in the practice of medicine. William Osler (1910)."

Doctor Ghadirian says NOW BODY AND SOUL DEFINING THE
RELATIONSHIP IS NOT AN EASY
JOB.
IT'S NOT EASY.
SCIENCE AS I SAID CANNOT DEFINE
THE SOUL.
THAT SHOULD COME FROM A
SPIRITUAL UNDERSTANDING OF IT.

He reads another slide with the caption "Body and soul. Physical ailments, no matter how severe, cannot bring any change in the inherent condition of the soul. The spirit is permanent and steadfast in its station. Bahá’l Faith, Lights of Guidance page 113 number 385 (1990)."

Doctor Ghadirian says SOUL IS INDEPENDENT FROM THE
BODY AND WILL NOT BE AFFECTED
LIKE FOR EXAMPLE TAKE THE BODY
LIKE A MIRROR AND THE SOUL LIKE
A SUN THE MIRROR CAN BE BROKEN
AND SHATTERED TO PIECES BUT THE
SUN WILL CONTINUE TO EXIST.
SO
IT'S REALLY A TYPE OF...
ANOTHER LIFE WHICH GOING ON
PARALLEL WITH THE PHYSICAL LIFE
FOR A PURPOSE.
SO IT IS A NEW LIFE WITHIN A
LIFE.

AS I MENTIONED BEFORE...

Another slide reads "Medicine and the soul. Modern medicine has made significant scientific progress, but technological advancement has caused the soul and the healing bond between patient and physician to be neglected. D. Rosen, Humane Medicine, volume 5, 1989, page 18."

Doctor Ghadirian says THE MORE WE GO ONLY FOR
TECHNOLOGY AND NEGLECT THE SOUL
THE RESULT IS IMPEDIMENT OF
PROGRESS AND RECOVERY.
SO BOTH ARE NEEDED.
IN THE OLD TIME THE HOSPITAL
USED TO BE IN THOUSANDS OF
YEARS AGO IN GREECE, IN EGYPT,
IN OTHER COUNTRIES, HOSPITAL
WAS THE SAME AS TEMPLE.
PATIENT WOULD BE BROUGHT TO

An old painting appears depicting a scene in a hospital.

Doctor Ghadirian says THESE PLACES FOR TREATMENT OF
THEIR PHYSICAL WOUNDS AND
ILLNESS AS WELL AS CARING FOR
THEIR NON-VISIBLE WOUNDS OF THE
SOUL AND TREATMENT OF THAT.
SO IT HAD BOTH FUNCTIONS.
THIS IS THE SAME OF HOW CARING
THE MEDICAL STAFF, THE NURSES
AND SO FORTH THEY WERE FOR A
PATIENT AND YET PRESENCE CAN
GIVE A SENSE OF HOPE, A SENSE
OF MEANING AND A SENSE OF
COMPASSION BUT AT THE SAME TIME
WE SHOULD REALISE THAT BY
SPEAKING ABOUT SUFFERING
DOESN'T MEAN THAT THEY SHOULD
NEGLECT THE PATIENT FOR THE
PAIN AND SUFFERING.

Another slide reads "Ethics: Relief of Pain and Suffering. The medical profession has a strong moral imperative to do all that can be done to prevent physical and emotional symptoms, such as pain, and to work toward the alleviation of suffering. E.J Latimer, CMAJ 1998, 185 (13): 1741-7."

Doctor Ghadirian says THAT IS PART OF THE
RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PHYSICIAN
TO ALLEVIATE IT SO IT IS NOT
THAT WE ARE -- WE ARE
ENCOURAGING THAT WE SHOULD HAVE
SUFFERING AND SUFFERING SHOULD
NOT BE STOPPED.
BUT IF SUFFERING HAS NO MEANING
A PATIENT CAN'T DRAW ANY
MEANING FROM THE SUFFERING THAT
SUFFERING IS VERY, VERY
PAINFUL.
THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF HEALING
WHICH WILL BE MORE AND MORE
TALKED ABOUT IN THE YEARS AND
CENTURIES TO COME AND THAT IS,
ONE IS MATERIAL MEANS THE SAME
LIKE MEDICATION, PHARMACOLOGY,
AND TECHNOLOGY TO BE USED FOR
THE PATIENTS AND THE OTHER ONE
SPIRITUAL MEANS, A SPIRITUAL
HEALINAND BOTH MEANS SHOULD
BE USED AND PRACTISED AT
PRESENT TIME ONLY THE MATERIAL
MEANS BEING PRACTISED.
WHAT ABOUT PRAYER?
THE QUESTION BEING ASKED
REALLY, REALLY IS THERE ANY
EFFECT IN PRAYER FOR A PATIENT?

Another slide reads "Prayer for Healing. Prayers are important both for spiritual and material healing. If healing is to the best interest of the patient, it will be granted. But it depends on the Will of God. If the divine wisdom does not decree, healing will not be granted for a reason."

Doctor Ghadirian says I COME TO THAT LATER ON IN THE
RESEARCH WHICH HAS BEEN DONE
ABOUT IT BUT IF YOU RECOGNISE
THAT HUMAN BODY, HUMAN BEING IS
BASICALLY A SPIRITUAL BEING WE
CAN REASONABLY WELL CONCLUDE
THAT SUCH A SPECIAL BEING
SHOULD HAVE SOME SORT OF
SPIRITUAL REMEDY AS WELL AND
THEREFORE PRAYER EASY FORM OF
TREATMENT OR A FORM OF REMEDY
FOR HEALING.
IN FACT, PRAYER IS THE LONGEST
THERAPY KNOWN TO HUMANITY.
IN WHATEVER FORM IT WAS IN
MILLIONS OF YEARS AGO NEVER
(Unclear) THE ONLY WAY THEY
TRIED TO COPE WITH THE ILLNESS
WHICH WAS NO TREATMENT FOR IT
THEY STARTED WITH PRAYER AS A
WAY OF COPING AND IT GOES
BEYOND COPING AND THAT IS
NURTURING THE SPECIAL NEEDS OF
THE PATIENTS.
NOW THE HISTORY OF RELIGION AND
MEDICINE GOES A LONG, LONG TIME
AGO.

A slide appears that reads "From the early dynasties of China to the aboriginal empires of the Americas, holy men in ancient societies ministered not only to the spiritually fallen, but to the physically ill as well. In western civilization, the earliest hospitals were built, staffed and maintained by religious orders. K. Modjarrad, JAMA, 2004-291:2880."

Doctor Ghadirian says THE FIRST HOSPITAL IN THE
WESTERN WORLD WAS ESTABLISHED
BY RELIGIOUS ORDER IN THE
FOURTH CENTURY AND THEN FROM
THEN ON WITHIN A THOUSAND YEARS
LARGE NUMBERS OF THE HOSPITALS,
MEDICAL SCHOOLS, AND THIS GOES
FOR THE NURSING AND SO FORTH
ESTABLISHED AROUND THE WORLD.
SO RELIGION HAD A VERY
IMPORTANT ROLE ALTHOUGH AT SOME
POINT THEY REALLY IN A WAY
OVERPOWERED THE SCIENTISTS AND
MEDICAL PRACTITIONERS IN SOME
WAYS BUT NEVERTHELESS THE
CONTRIBUTION WAS SIGNIFICANT.
AMONG THE ABORIGINAL PEOPLE,
NATIVE PEOPLE, THEY HAD THEIR
OWN RITUALS AND THEIR OWN
PRAYERS AND THEIR OWN WAYS OF
DEALING WITH SUFFERING AND PAIN
AND DON'T BE SURPRISED IF SOME
OF THOSE PRIMITIVE TYPES OF
REMEDIES WERE SUCCESSFUL TO
SOME EXTENT BECAUSE OF BELIEF,
BECAUSE OF FAITH AND TO SOME
EXTENT THEY WERE ABLE TO BE
COMFORTED FOR THAT.
DEATH HAS BEEN INTERPRETED IN
DIFFERENT CULTURES IN DIFFERENT
WAYS AND IN FACT IN DIFFERENT
RELIGIONS IN DIFFERENT WAYS BUT
GENERALLY SPEAKING DYING IS A
PROCESS.

He reads a slide with the caption "Dying is a process which is deeply influenced by cultural and religious beliefs and practices. Physicians should be acquainted with these cultural values and religious teachings and practices followed by the patient and the family."

Doctor Ghadirian says AND DOCTORS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT
THAT AND HOW TO HANDLE IT.
WHEN A PATIENT COMES TO A
DOCTOR IN THE PALLIATIVE CARE
UNIT AND SAYING THAT DOCTOR,
CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT WOULD
HAPPEN IN THE PROCESS OF DYING
TO ME?
AND CAN YOU TELL ME THAT WHAT
HAPPENS AFTER THAT?
I HAD A COLLEAGUE WHO PASSED
AWAY RECENTLY AND ONCE I WAS
ASKING HIM UH, ABOUT DEATH
BECAUSE WE WERE IN A MEMORIAL
OF SOMEBODY I SAID ARE YOU
AFRAID OF DEATH?
HE SAID NO, I'M NOT AFRAID OF
DEATH BUT I'M AFRAID OF DYING.
THAT LAST MOMENTS THAT I AM
ABOUT TO TAKE MY LAST BREATH
WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN?
THAT I AM AFRAID OF.
AND STRANGELY ENOUGH THIS
PATIENT DIED WITH A MASSIVE
HEART ATTACK WITHIN A MATTER OF
SECONDS.
HE EVEN DIDN'T HAVE A CHANCE TO
CALL.
HE WAS SPARED FROM THAT
AGONISING MOMENT OF PASSING TO
THE NEXT WORLD WHICH IS NOT
REALLY AGONISING FOR EVERYBODY.
THOSE WHO HAVE A STRONG BELIEF
AND UNDERSTANDING THAT THERE'S
A WORLD BEYOND THIS WORLD THEY

- THEY TAKE IT WITH MUCH
CONTENTMENT.
I HAVE ANOTHER COLLEAGUE WHO
WAS A PHYSICIAN AND HE WAS TOLD
THAT HE HAS CANCER OF PANCREAS
AND HE WAS TOLD THAT THERE IS
NO TREATMENT BECAUSE THE CANCER
OF PANCREAS IS ONE OF THE WORST
TYPES OF CANCERS BECAUSE FIRST
IT CANNOT BE DIAGNOSED IN TIME
AND WHEN HE'S DIAGNOSED IT'S
ALREADY SPREAD AND WHEN IT'S
SPREAD IT CANNOT BE OPERATED
BECAUSE IT IS VERY DANGEROUS TO
OPERATE AND FOR HIM IT WAS
BEYOND THE POINT.
OF COURSE HE FELT VERY MUCH IN
THE BEGINNING PAIN AND WAS IN
SORROW AND GRIEF BUT HE
OVERCAME THROUGH FAITH, THROUGH
A SPIRITUAL UNDERSTANDING OF
THE WORLD AFTER THIS WORLD AND
I REMEMBER THAT IN THE DAYS
BEFORE HIS PASSING HE INVITED
SOME OF THE FRIENDS TO COME AND
TO TALK WHICH WAS GOING TO BE
THE LAST TALK.
AND I WAS ONE OF THOSE WHO WAS
PRIVILEGED TO BE INVITED TO HIS
BEDSIDE AND WE TALKED AND HE
WAS REALLY SORT OF YOU KNOW,
I'M GOING TO DIE A MATTER OF A
COUPLE OF DAYS OR A FEW DAYS.
I ACCEPT IT AND I AM QUITE
CONTENT.
AND I KNOW THAT THERE WILL BE
ANOTHER WORLD AND I WILL BE
JOINING TO MY LORD AND THE REST
OF THE FAMILY.
VERY CONTENT.
HE HAD PAIN, A LOT OF PAIN.
HE WAS TAKING ANALGESIC, A
STRONG ANALGESIC BUT
NEVERTHELESS HE ACCEPTED AND HE
ACCEPTED HIS FAITH.
SO HERE IT IS.
THIS IS A NEW DIMENSION OF
MEDICAL UNDERSTANDING OF DEATH
AND DYING AND PAIN AND
SUFFERING THAT WE SHOULD COME
TO TERMS WITH.

Another slide reads "For many people, religion forms a basis of meaning and purpose in life. The profoundly disturbing effects of illness can call into question a person’s purpose in life and work. Healing, the restoration of wholeness (including spiritual aspects) requires answers to these questions. Foglio and Brody. J. Farm Pract, 1981; 23:477-4."

Doctor Ghadirian says IN
FACT, IT IS RELIGION WHICH
DEFINES THE PURPOSE OF LIFE AND
LIFE BEYOND.
IN
A LARGE NUMBER OF STUDIES UNTIL
A FEW YEARS AGO 1600 STUDIES
DONE AND PUBLISHED IT WAS
CONCLUDED THAT THERE IS A LINK
BETWEEN SPIRITUALITY AND
HEALTH.
AND IN FACT, EVEN THE WORLD
HEALTH ORGANISATION TALKING
ABOUT THE PALLIATIVE CARE
PATIENTS MENTION THAT GOOD
HEALTH IS NOT ABSENCE OF THE
SYMPTOMS AND THE DISEASE BUT IT
IS WELLNESS IN THE
INTELLECTUAL, EMOTIONAL,
PHYSICAL AND ALSO SPIRITUAL
ASPECTS OF LIFE.
SO HERE IT IS THAT UM, UM,
SCIENCE IS COMING TO TERMS
THROUGH RESEARCH TO FIND OUT
REALLY IF THERE'S A
RELATIONSHIP OR NOT AND MANY OF
THE STUDIES THEY SHOWED THERE
IS INDICATION THAT THERE IS A
LINK.

Another slide reads "In a survey of 150 patients seen in family practice in Vermont: 52 percent of the 135 respondents believed that physicians had the right to inquire about the religious beliefs of patients. Only 21 percent thought that it was the physician’s responsibility to do so. A. Astrow et al. JAMA; 2004; 291:2884."

Doctor Ghadirian says WITHOUT BEING INTRUSIVE.
SIMPLY ASKING DO YOU HAVE ANY
FAITH?
DO YOU LIKE TO TALK ABOUT
ANYTHING OF YOUR OWN RELIGION
OR YOUR OWN FAITH.
NOW I DON'T MEAN THAT MEDICAL
ASSOCIATIONS ACROSS THE COUNTRY
AGREE WITH THAT AT THIS POINT
BUT NEVERTHELESS PATIENTS FEEL
THAT THIS IS THEIR
RESPONSIBILITY TO ASK QUESTIONS
ABOUT THEIR RELIGIOUS
BACKGROUND OR RELIGIOUS BELIEF.
THIS IS FROM PLATO.

A slide reads "If the heart and body are to be well, you must begin by curing the soul. Plato, The Dialogue of Plato, page 6."

Doctor Ghadirian says NOW THERE ARE A NUMBER OF
ETHICAL ISSUES WHICH UM, COME
TO THE ATTENTION OF PHYSICIANS
AND IT IS RELATED SOMETIMES TO
RELIGION.

A slide reads "Spiritual issues are central in life and death of many people. For some patients, decisions on accepting or refusing life-sustaining interventions are based on their religious beliefs."

Doctor Ghadirian says BUT SOMETIMES CERTAIN DECISIONS
MAY NOT BE POSSIBLE IF THEY
DON'T CLEARLY UNDERSTAND THEIR
RELIGIOUS BACKGROUND OF THE
PATIT.
FOR EXAMPLE, A PATIENT COMES
AND A DOCTOR GIVES PRESCRIPTION
AND A NEW DIET.
THE PATIENT SAYS DOCTOR, I'M
SORRY, I CANNOT TAKE THE
MEDICATION FOR EAT IN THE
DAYTIME.
I AM FASTING.
NOW IF THE DOCTOR HAS NO
KNOWLEDGE WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
HE THINKS THAT IT'S
SOMETHING SUPERSTITIOUS,
MEANINGLESS AND SO FORTH.
AND IN FACT, PATIENTS
COMPLETELY REFUSE THE TREATMENT
AND JUST WALK OUT.
SO
THERE ARE ISSUES IN RELIGIOUS
AND CULTURAL ATTITUDES OF
PATIENTS WHICH CAN BE AN
OBSTACLE TO THE TREATMENT OR IT
COULD BE FACILITATING THE
TREATMENT.
BUT THE DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE
PATIENT AND THE DOCTOR IS
EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.
SO RESPONDING TO THE PATIENT'S
SPIRITUAL NEEDS, EMOTIONAL
NEEDS, UH, IS VERY MUCH
IMPORTANT AND THAT IS PART OF
THE CARE OF THE PHYSICIANS AND
ALSO IT REFLECTS THE COMPASSION
OF THE PHYSICIANS AND THIS IS
MORE AND MORE IN THE CLASSROOM
OF MEDICAL SCHOOLS ARE BEING
NOW TAUGHT TO TALK ABOUT NOT
ONLY DIAGNOSIS BUT ALSO TALK
ABOUT COMPASSION, ABOUT CARING,
ABOUT FEELING, ABOUT PRAYER AND
SO FORTH.
AND THERE ARE ALSO A NUMBER OF
EXISTENTIAL QUESTIONS WHICH
WILL BE AWAKENED AT THE TIME OF
CRISIS AT THE TIME OF TERMINAL
ILLNESS WHICH HAS TO BE
ADDRESSED AND ANSWERED.
MANY PHYSICIANS AVOID
DISCUSSING THESE CONCERNS OF
THE PATIENT'S BECAUSE THEY FEEL
UNCOMFORTABLE ABOUT IT OFTEN.
ONE OF THEM, ONE OF THE REASONS
IS THAT THEY FEEL THAT THEY ARE
INADEQUATE AND THEY DON'T KNOW
MUCH HOW TO RESPOND TO THESE
CONCERNS BECAUSE THEY -- IN THE
MEDICAL SCHOOL THEY HAVE NEVER
BEEN TAUGHT ABOUT IT AND SOME
OF THEM THEY VERY CLEARLY
DISLIKE EVEN THE QUESTIONS AND
THEY SOMETIMES THEY CAN BE VERY
BLUNT AND THAT CAN BE VERY
HEARTBREAKING FOR THE PATIENT.
SOME OF THEM SAY WELL, LOOK,
REALLY I DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT
IT, MAYBE I SHOULD REFER YOU TO
A CHAPLAIN IN THE HOSPITAL AND
THEY COULD DISCUSS WITH YOU
MORE BUT PHYSICIANS OF TODAY
AND TOMORROW THEY ARE BOUND TO
GET TO KNOW ABOUT THE BELIEF OF
THE PATIENTS AND ANSWERS TO
THEIR QUESTIONS AT THE CRISIS
OF THEIR LIFE.
AND THIS IS A STATEMENT FROM
ABDU'L-BAHA FROM THE BAHA'I
WRITINGS.
THAT HOW THE PHYSICIAN SHOULD
BEHAVE AT THE BEDSIDE OF THE
PATIENT WHO IS IN SUFFERING.

A slide reads "When at the bedside of a patient, cheer and gladden his heart and enrapture his spirit through celestial power. Indeed, such a heavenly breath quickeneth every mouldering bone and reviveth the spirit of every sick and ailing one. Abdu’l-Baha: Some Answered Questions, page 151."

Doctor Ghadirian says THAT CHEER AND CONVEYING THAT
SENSE OF HAPPINESS HOW MUCH IT
GOES BEYOND JUST EMOTIONAL
EXPERIENCE.
HOW IT WILL AFFECT PATIENTS
IMMUNE SYSTEM, SELF-ESTEEM AND
MANY OTHER THINGS WE JUST DON'T
KNOW BUT CERTAINLY HAVE VERY
IMPORTANT IMPACT.

Another slide reads "1996 Gallup poll found: 96 percent of Americans believe in God; 72 percent of Americans believed that their approach to life was based on religion; only 39 percent of psychiatrists and 33 percent of clinical psychologist admitted that religious faith was most important. Grabovac and Ganesan. Can J. Psychiatry, 2003: 48; 171."

Doctor Ghadirian says NOW YOU MAY SAY THAT THIS IS
VERY HIGH I DON'T KNOW IN WHAT
WAY THEY PERCEIVED AND
UNDERSTOOD GOD BUT NEVERTHELESS
THEY ADMITTED THAT THEY HAVE A
BELIEF IN GOD.
AND THAT'S QUITE HIGH.
THREE OUT OF FOUR PATIENTS THEY
SAY THAT WHAT I'M GOING TO TAKE
AS MEDICATION OR WHAT KIND OF
PRESCRIPTION, WHAT KIND OF
ADVICE YOU'RE GIVING ME IS
RELATED PARTLY TO MY RELIGIOUS
BELIEF AS WELL.
SO IN OTHER WORDS COMMUNICATE
WITH ME ABOUT THAT.
PSYCHOLOGISTS AND PSYCHIATRISTS
WITH ALL DUE RESPECT THEY HAVE
BEEN MOST SCEPTICAL ABOUT THE
ROLE OF RELIGION AND THAT IS
BECAUSE OF THEIR TRAINING.
FREUD, WHAT QUITE SIGNIFICANT
IMPACT IN PSYCHOLOGICAL AND
BEHAVIOURAL SCIENCES HE
BELIEVED THAT RELIGION REALLY
IS A FORM OF ILLUSION AND THAT
UNDERMINES SIGNIFICANT ALTHOUGH
HE CHANGED HIS STATEMENT
TOWARDS THE END OF HIS LIFE AND
HE FELT THAT RELIGION HAS VERY
IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTIONS TO MAKE
IN HUMAN TREATMENT BUT
NEVERTHELESS HE WAS QUITE BLUNT
ABOUT HIS VIEWS.
HIS DISCIPLE CARL GUSTAV JUNG
THAT YOU HAVE HEARD OR READ
ABOUT HIS WORK HE WAS QUITE
DETERMINED THAT RELIGION IS
INHERENT IN HUMAN REALITY.
THE RELIGIOUS BELIEF YOU CANNOT
TAKE IT AWAY IS THERE.
IT MAY TAKE DIFFERENT FORMS BUT
IT IS THERE.
AND HE ABANDONED THE SCHOOL OF
FREUD A PERSON WHO WAS GOING TO
BECOME HIS SUCCESSOR HE OPENED
HIS OWN SCHOOL AND HE DID
ELABORATE ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE
OF RELIGIOUS UNDERSTANDING IN
THE HEALING PROCESS.
JUST BRIEFLY IN OTHER STUDIES
ABOUT PHYSICIANS AND THEIR
ATTITUDE TOWARD SPIRITUALITY
AND MEDICINE...

Another slide reads "IN a recent multi-centre survey of 476 physicians: 85 percent said physicians should be aware of patients’ religious and spiritual beliefs; However, only 31 percent and 39 percent of physicians believed that physicians should ask patients about their spiritual beliefs in outpatient and impatient settings; only 10 percent of physicians would actually ask patients about religious beliefs. H. Koening, JAMA, 2004; 291: 2881."

Doctor Ghadirian says AND ONLY SMALLER NUMBERS 31 AND
39 PERCENT DEPENDING ON THE IN PATIENT
OR THE OUT PATIENT THEY SAID
THAT THERE IS A PLACE FOR THE
BELIEF OF THE PATIENT TO BE
RESPECTED.
AND ONLY 10 PERCENT OF DOCTORS SAID
THAT ACTUALLY THEY ASKED THE
PATIENT ABOUT THEIR RELIGIOUS
BELIEF OR A SPECIAL
UNDERSTANDING OF THEIR BEING.
NOW I MENTIONED THAT IN NORTH
AMERICA TEACHING SPIRITUALITY
IN THE FACULTY OF MEDICINE IS
ON THE RISE AND THAT IS PARTLY
BECAUSE THE PATIENTS ASK FOR
IT.
MANY PATIENTS REFUSE IF THE
DOCTOR HAS NO FEELING OF
UNDERSTANDING TOWARDS RELIGION
OR SPIRITUALITY AND THEY FEEL
THAT THEY CANNOT COMMUNICATE.
IF A PATIENT SAYS THAT MAY I
SAY A PRAYER IN THIS SESSION
AND WHEN HE OR SHE IS REFUSED
THAT IS QUITE HEARTBREAKING FOR
THAT PATIENT SO I THINK THAT
THERE IS A SENSE OF TOLERANCE
THAT THEY HAVE TO DEVELOP AND
TO EDUCATE OUR MEDICAL STUDENTS
AND THESE ARE SOME OF THE
STATISTICS THAT I WAS JUST
MENTIONING ABOUT MEDICAL
SCHOOLS AND THE NUMBER AS YOU
SEE IS ON THE RISE AND NOW IS
OVER UM, OVER 90 MEDICAL
SCHOOLS THAT THEY'RE OFFERING
COURSES IN SPIRITUALITY IN
FACULTIES OF MEDICINE IN THE
UNITED STATES.

A slide reads "An increasing number of Medical Schools offer courses in Spirituality and Medicine. In 1994, only 17 of 126 accredited US medical schools offered courses in Spirituality and Medicine. By 1998, this number increased to 39. By 2004, there were 84 medical school offerings these courses (a 5-fold increase in 10 years) A Fortin et al, JAMA 2004; 291:2883."

Doctor Ghadirian says NOW JUST CAN YOU IMAGINE, CAN
YOU IMAGINE THAT BEING IN
INTENSIVE CARE, NOBODY'S THERE.
ALL THE GADGETS AND ALL THE
MACHINES AROUND NOBODY TO TALK
TO, HOW DIFFICULT IT IS AND
THAT IS THE CONCERN ABOUT
ENTIRE RELIANCE ON THE
TECHNOLOGY IN THE ABSENCE OF
HUMAN FACE.
AND THERE ARE A NUMBER OF
ASSOCIATIONS THAT THEY HAVE
BEEN RECOMMENDING SUCH AS THE
ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN MEDICAL
COLLEGES ABOUT SPIRITUALITY BE
TAUGHT AND THE ALTERNATIVE
MEDICINE ESPECIALLY BEING
EMBRACED THIS NOTION OF
SPIRITUALITY MEDICINE MUCH MORE
THAN TRADITIONAL MEDICAL
PRACTICE.

Another slide reads "Spirituality may be taught in several venues including courses on holistic medicine and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)."

Doctor Ghadirian says AND IN MEDICAL PRACTICE AND THE
STAFF, THE NURSES, SOMEHOW THEY
EMBRACED IT MORE THAN THE
PHYSICIANS.
PERHAPS THEIR CONTACT WITH THE
PATIENTS HAD BEEN MUCH MORE
OFTEN.
BEING WITH THEM AT THE TIME OF
DYING THROUGH THE TIME OF
RECOVERING CONSTANTLY.
NOW A FEW STUDIES ABOUT THE
RESEARCH STUDIES IN SOME OF THE
SCIENTIFIC CENTRES AROUND THE
WORLD.
ONE IS ABOUT PRAYER AND CARDIAC
PATIENTS.

Another slide reads "In a study of cardiac surgery patients it has been reported that in one group of patients 96 percent of them used prayer to cope with surgical stress. Of these, 70 percent found prayer to be extremely effective in reducing their stress. Saudia T. et al, Heart Lung. (20) 60-65 1991."

Doctor Ghadirian says AND THIS IS NOT UNUSUAL.
YOU KNOW, WE HAVE MEDITATION,
RELAXATION AND SO FORTH AND
PRAYER WHICH TOUCHES MUCH
DEEPER ASPECT OF HUMAN REALITY
UH, SHOULD HAVE SOME EFFECT.
VERY MUCH EFFECTIVE IN A WAY.
IN HIV PATIENTS IN OTHER
CENTRES PATIENTS WITH HIV AIDS
REPORTED THAT THEIR ILLNESS
UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF PRAYER
IN A WAY MITIGATED SOME POINT
SO THAT THEY COULD HAVE LONG-
TERM SURVIVAL RATHER THAN SHORT
TERM AND THE USE OF MEDITATION,
PRAYER WAS A FACTOR IN THAT
CHANGE.
IN THE IMMUNE SYSTEM ONE OF THE
HOT AREA EXPLORING THE IMPACT
OF PRAYER ON HEALTH AND HEALING
IS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM WHICH IS
HIGHLY SCIENTIFIC AND VERY MUCH
POPULAR AND THIS PROBABLY WILL
BE A GROUNDBREAKING AREA TO SEE
REALLY WHAT IS THE IMPACT BUT
THERE ARE SOME CHALLENGES AS I
MENTIONED LATER.
IN A SWEDISH STUDY OF THE RENAL
TRANSPLANT PATIENTS WHO
RECEIVED ORGANS SUCH AS KIDNEY
AND OTHERS THOSE PATIENTS WHO
SHOWED A BETTER COPING WITH THE
STRESS AND LESS ORGAN REJECTION
ADMITTED THAT PRAYER WAS ONE OF
THE MOST COMMON WAYS OF COPING
WHETHER THEY THEMSELVES SAID
PRAYERS OR OTHERS WERE ASKED TO
SAY PRAYERS FOR THEM.
NOW DOING RESEARCH ON SOMETHING
VERY SPIRITUAL, PROFOUNDLY
PRIVATE SUCH AS PRAYER IS VERY
DIFFICULT AND THEREFORE THE
SCIENTIFIC MEASURE CANNOT BE
REALLY CALCULATED OR QUANTIFIED
TO SEE HOW MUCH PRAYER IS
EFFECTIVE BECAUSE WE DON'T KNOW
THE REALITY OF THE SOUL WHAT IT
IS.

Another slide reads "Scientific methodology is aimed at material research. It cannot measure, evaluate or quantify the effects of prayer as it is beyond the matter. Problems of methodology consist of control group, multiple variance, selection bias, definition problem, assessment instruments, as well as geographic areas."

Doctor Ghadirian says IT IS NOT SOMETHING MATERIAL
FOR SURE AND WE DON'T KNOW HOW
IT RELATES TO THE BODY AND HOW
THIS RELATIONSHIP COULD BE
MEASURED SUCH AS PRAYER AND WE
ALSO KNOW THAT UM, SOME OF THE
PATIENTS MAY RESPOND TO
ANYTHING AND THAT IS CALLED
PLACEBO EFFECT SO THAT'S WHY
IT'S VERY DIFFICULT TO FIND OUT
ABOUT THE IMPACT OF PRAYER IN A
SCIENTIFIC WAY BECAUSE SOUL AND
SPIRITUALITY AND PRAYER ARE NOT
SOMETHING TO BE MEASURED
THROUGH TECHNOLOGICAL MEANS OF
RESEARCH.
SO AS YOU SEE THERE ARE
PROBLEMS METHODOLOGY SUCH AS
CONTROL GROUP FOR EXAMPLE IN
ONE STUDY THEY HAD ONE GROUP OF
PATIENTS WHO THEY DIDN'T KNOW
BUT PRAYER WAS BEING SAID FOR
THEM.
ANOTHER GROUP OF PATIENTS WITH
THE SAME ILLNESS (Unclear) WAS
COMPARABLE THEY WERE NOT PRAYED
FOR AND AFTER SOME TIME THEY
REVIEWED AND THEY NOTICED THAT
PATIENTS WHO WERE PRAYED FOR
THEY HAD A BETTER RECOVERY RATE
AS COMPARED TO THE OTHER ONES.
NOW THE QUESTION IS THAT THEN
HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT THE
PATIENTS WHO ARE NOT PRAYED FOR
THEY THEMSELVES ARE SAYING
PRAYER IN THEIR HEART?
YOU CANNOT STOP PEOPLE SAYING
DON'T SAY PRAYER
SO
ALL OF THIS SHOWS THAT THE
SPIRITUAL DIMENSION OF MEDICAL
SCIENCE OR MEDICAL PRACTICE IS
NOT SOMETHING TO BE MEASURED BY
TECHNOLOGICAL INSTRUMENTS THAT
THEY HAVE.
CANNOT.
BUT WHAT IS EVIDENT IS THAT THE
VERY TESTIMONY OF THE PATIENTS
WHO HAVE SHOWN THAT PRAYER HAS
EFFECT AND AS TO WHETHER THEY
WILL BE ABLE TO SHOW YOU IN THE
FUTURE THAT IMMUNE SYSTEM IS
CHANGED BECAUSE WE KNOW THAT
MEDITATION AND RELAXATION CAN
AUGMENT THE ACTIVITY OF BEING
IN THE SYSTEM SO IS IT GOING TO
HAPPEN WITH PRAYER AS WELL?

A slide shows two hands connecting by the fingers and a DNA chain with the caption "Religion. The God Gene. Does our DNA compel us to seek a higher power? Believe it or not, some scientists say yes."

Doctor Ghadirian says WE DON'T KNOW BUT IT IS
HAPPENING AND EVEN SOME OF THEM
WENT THAT FAR THAT THEY SAID
THAT GOD IS IN THE GENE OF
HUMAN BEING AND THEREFORE THERE
IS A TYPE OF SPECIAL
CHARACTERISTIC IN THE DNA WHICH
UH, MAY BE RELATED TO THE
HIGHER POWER.
THIS IS HIGHLY SPECULATIVE AND
HIGHLY THEORETICAL AND I FEEL
THAT WE ARE GOING INTO A TYPE
OF UM, PERIOD IN WHICH
SCIENTIFIC RESEARCHERS TRYING
TO USE BIOLOGICAL MEASURE FOR
HIGHLY SPIRITUAL THINGS AND
THAT MAY NOT BE CORRECT BUT
NEVERTHELESS IT'S VERY
INTERESTING WHAT THEY COME UP
AND SAY ABOUT THE ROLE OF THE
DIVINE POWER IN THE HUMAN
RELATIONSHIP AND IN THE HUMAN
FEELING.
NOW THERE'S AN ETHICAL QUESTION
ABOUT RESEARCH AND PRAYER.
AN ETHICAL QUESTION IS THAT HOW
ABOUT IF YOU PRAY VERY HARD IN
FACT YOU ASK A NUMBER A NUMBER
OF PEOPLE TO SIT AROUND AND SAY
A PRAYER FOR THAT PATIENT AND
THAT PATIENT DIES.
WHO'S RESPONSIBLE?
GOD?
OR THE PRAYER WAS NOT READ
PROPERLY?
OR SOMEBODY SHOULD BE SUED
BECAUSE WAS THINKING ABOUT
SOMEBODY ELSE AND MISSED IT?
WHAT TO DO.

Another slide reads "It is presumed that reciting prayer should elicit a specific response from God. Prayer is an internal and private practice beyond dose response as we know it medicine."

Doctor Ghadirian says IF
THE PRAYING IS VERY STRONG
INCREASE THE MORPHINE YOU GET
THE RESULT.
THIS IS NOT THE SAME THING.
IT'S QUITE DIFFERENT.
SO WHAT'S HAPPENING YOU IS THAT
YOU SHOULD COME TO TERMS ABOUT
THE FACT THAT YES, PRAYER IS
VERY IMPORTANT, THERE'S NO
QUESTION ABOUT THAT IN MY POINT
OF VIEW.
BECAUSE I HAVE SEEN IN THE PAST
30, 40 YEARS SO MANY PATIENTS
COMING ALTHOUGH IT IS TREATED
AS ANECDOTES BUT NEVERTHELESS
IT'S VERY MUCH IMPORTANT.
LET ME SHARE WITH YOU THIS
STORY.
THIS IS A TRUE STORY.
THERE WAS A PATIENT UH, SEVEN
YEARS OF AGE WHO WAS DYING IN A
VILLAGE AND THE MOTHER WAS
DESPERATE BECAUSE THE DOCTORS
GAVE UP ON HER AND THEY SAID
THAT YOU KNOW, THIS GIRL IS
GOING TO DIE.
WE JUST DON'T HAVE ANY
TREATMENT FOR HER.
SO SHE CAME TO ABDU'L-BAHA WHO
WAS THE SON OF PROPHET
BAHA'U'LLAH BAHA'I FAITH AND
UM, SHE CAME TO HIM AND ASKED
HIM CAN YOU PLEASE COME AND SEE
THIS GIRL.
HE CAME AND HE BROUGHT WITH HIM
TWO ROSES AND HE SAT DOWN AT
THE BEDSIDE OF THIS PATIENT AND
WITH MUCH COMPASSION AND LOVE
AND AFTERWARDS HE GAVE THE
ROSES TO THE MOTHER, ONE FOR
THE CHILD AND ONE FOR THE
MOTHER AND HE LEFT.
THAT NIGHT THE GIRL DIED.
THE MOTHER WAS DEVASTATED.
NEXT DAY SHE CAME TO ABDU'L-
BAHA SHE SAID YOU WERE THE ONLY
HOPE THAT I HAD.
EVERYBODY I GAVE UP BUT I
WANTED THAT YOU SUSTAIN HER
LIFE AND SHE DIED AND ABDU'L-
BAHA EXPLAINED TO HER HE SAID
THAT THE WORLD OF HUMANITY IS
LIKE A GARDEN AND WE ARE ALL
LIKE PLANTS OF THE GARDEN.
IN THE GARDEN SOMETIMES
SOMETHING HAPPENS THAT NOBODY
CAN UNDERSTAND IT AT LEAST
AMONG THE PLANTS IF YOU'RE
TALKING ABOUT THE PLANTS.
PLANTS ARE AROUND EACH OTHER
AND ONE PLANT IS VERY CUTE,
VERY NICE AND GARDENER COMES
AND PICKS IT UP AND PLANTS IT
SOMEWHERE ELSE AND OTHER PLANTS
THEY ARE ASTONISHED THEY SAY
THIS BEAUTIFUL PLANT, WHY HE
REMOVED IT?
WHY HE REMOVED IT?
THIS IS NOT FAIR.
AND THEN EXPLAINED TO THE
MOTHER THAT BUT THE GARDENER
KNOWS WHY HE SHOULD TAKE THAT
PLANT FROM THERE AND PLANT IT
SOMEWHERE ELSE BECAUSE THERE'S
MORE SPACE AND MORE POSSIBILITY
FOR THIS PLANT TO GROW AND TO
BLOSSOM AND THEN HE SAID TO THE
MOTHER THAT IF YOU KNOW THAT
YOUR DAUGHTER IN WHAT WORLD
SHE'S FREE LIMITLESS SPACE WITH
JOY AND HAPPINESS YOU WOULD NOT
BE CONTENT TO LIVE IN THIS
WORLD BUT YOU HAVE TO BE IN
THIS WORLD BECAUSE YOU HAVE A
RESPONSIBILITIES.
SO
THE WOMAN, THE MOTHER CAME WITH
UNDERSTANDING OF MEANING OF
DEATH OF DEATH OF HER DAUGHTER
AND THAT COMFORTED HER.
THAT THERE WAS ANOTHER WORLD
AND THAT WAS WITHOUT REASON.
SO HERE IT IS THAT HOW MUCH
BELIEF AND UNDERSTANDING IN THE
MEANING AND PURPOSE OF LIFE AND
HAVING A SPIRITUAL PERSPECTIVE
CAN CHANGE THE ATTITUDE FOR
DEATH AND DYING.
YOU KNOW, THAT UM...
KUBLER-ROSS WAS A PIONEER IN
THE FIELD OF THE STUDY OF DEATH
AND DYING.
SHE HAS UM, STAGES OF SHOCK AND
SHOCKING EXPERIENCES AND HOW
UH, PEOPLE GO THROUGH THAT AND
SHE SAYS THAT THE FIRST STAGE
IS SHOCK AND THEN SHE GOES
THROUGH OTHER STAGES SUCH AS
THE STAGE OF ANGER AND
BARGAINING AND THEN DEPRESSION
AND THEN RECOGNITION.
THESE ARE DIFFERENT STAGES.
AND WHAT I UNDERSTAND IS THAT
HAVING BELIEF AND THE SPIRITUAL
UNDERSTANDING IN THE STAGE OF
SHOCK YOU HAVE MOVED TO THE
STAGE OF RECOGNITION WITHOUT
BARGAINING AND WITHOUT MUCH
DEPRESSION AND DESPAIR AND
ANGER BECAUSE THAT GIVES A
SENSE OF MEANING.
WITHOUT THAT SOME PEOPLE STAY
IN THE STAGE OF ANGER AND NEVER
GIVE UP AND THEY STAY UNTIL THE
END OF THEIR LIFE.
SOME HAVE NEVER SEEN THE STAGE
OF DEPRESSION UNTIL THEY
RECOGNISE THE MEANING OF IT,
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF IT THEY
CANNOT GET OVER.
AND HERE IT IS.

A comic vignette shows a woman in pyjamas saying to a man "I’m gonna say my prayers. D’you need anything?"

Doctor Ghadirian says IT
SUMS UP THE CONSUMER SOCIETY'S
REQUEST FOR PRAYER IF ANYBODY
NEEDS IT.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

The audience applauds.

Watch: Abdu'l Missagh Ghadirian on Spirituality and Healing