DOCTOR STUDIES THE POWER OF PRAYER TO COMBAT COVID-19
While scientists around the world are searching for ways to treat and prevent COVID-19, an Indian- American physician in Kansas City is wondering if prayer can make a difference.
Dr. Dhanunjaya Lakkireddy, a cardiologist at the Kansas City Heart Rhythm Institute, is the principal investigator in a clinical trial that will study the impact of multi-denominational prayer on the health of COVID-19 patients admitted to intensive care units.
The four-month study, which began on May 1, will involve 1,000 patients. Half of them will be randomly selected to receive a “universal” prayer offered by five religions (Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism) in addition to standard of care recommended by medical teams; the other half will receive just the standard of care.
“We all believe in science, and we also believe in faith,” Lakkireddy told NPR. “If there is a supernatural power, which a lot of us believe, would that power of prayer and divine intervention change the outcomes in a concerted fashion? That was our question.”
Lakkireddy and other medical professionals will look at not just survival rates, but other health outcomes, such as how long patients need to be on ventilators and whether they suffer from organ failure.
Born into a Hindu family, Lakkireddy attended a Catholic school and has spent time in synagogues, Buddhist monasteries, and mosques.
Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.
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