Ask Amy: Is prayer after treatment in a Catholic hospital common?


Dear Amy: My husband had knee replacement surgery at a Catholic hospital last week.

The first weeks of his physiotherapy are done at our home.

The first session was today.

Everything went well and when she left the therapist asked if my husband wanted to pray with her. She said it was totally up to him.

He said yes, she said a short prayer and left.

I was stunned. Is this something new?

I have been seen by many health professionals and NO ONE has ever asked me to pray with them.

We live in the Bible Belt, so I thought it might have something to do with it.

Your thoughts?

– I will pray alone

Dear, I Will Pray: My research on this topic has led me to read a number of studies regarding the practice of prayer between healthcare workers and patients. Although most appear to reflect attitudes about patients asking health workers to pray with them, one study reflected a situation similar to that of your husband. Quoting a 2018 study published by the National Institutes of Health: “Most Americans pray; many pray for their health. However, when in hospital, do patients want a prayer offer from a health care provider? This project made it possible to measure the responses of hospitalized patients to massage therapists’ offers of a familiar prayer after a massage.

“After the intervention, 78 patients filled out questionnaires which obtained quantitative data… In this sample, 88% accepted the prayer offer, 85% found it useful and 51% wanted daily prayer. Patients may welcome prayer, provided the clinician demonstrates “genuine kindness and respect”.

While this may be unusual, I don’t think it is necessarily unethical for a health care provider to offer to pray with a patient, even in their home. This could help to establish a bond between the therapist and the patient. Prayer can help relax the patient and “focus” their intentions on their own health and recovery.

The offer can also look like coercion.

How did your husband feel about this practice? He should be prepared to answer before his next date.

A reminder that this is his treatment and that HE decides how to manage it, no matter what you think.

Dear Amy: My boyfriend and I often meet another couple at our favorite waterhole.

They are very friendly and seem to like us a lot, but they are still absolutely plowed whenever we see them.

The husband will hold on to something and repeat it over and over again.

The last time we passed them he kept telling me to stop crossing my arms because it was a defensive position. He even shouted it from across the room.

I am 62 years old and I fold my arms whenever I want. But more seriously, he made some very specific and pointed remarks about my boyfriend’s body.

Yes my guy is extremely good looking, but it was completely inappropriate and scary.

I’m so thankful my boyfriend didn’t hear it, but I did.

How can I stop it if it happens again?

– Stand back, mate

Dear friend: Note to you: People wearing beer glasses usually lack depth perception.

Just because this hot couple is hanging on to you and seeming to love you a lot, doesn’t mean you love them back.

The best way to respond to a drunk person in a bar is to politely ignore them. I’m not suggesting trying to reason with him or engage in some sort of pun: this will only add fire to his alcohol-fueled feedback loop; it could also infuriate him.

Next time these two very nice people plow you while you’re plowed and you don’t like it, you might say, “We’re going to sit here and have a private conversation now. You two should be careful when you get home, okay? “

Dear Amy: “Curmudgeon in California” wrote describing a Zoom based baby shower featuring over 100 people!

For me, the thing that made in-person showers tolerable was the food, treats, drinks, and goofing around with the people at your table.

Without it, it’s just something to go through.

No one should organize a virtual event with more than 30 people. It is odious and impersonal. Divide it into smaller events!

– Zoom out

Dear Zoomed-Out: I continue to be stunned by the sheer number of people some people know!

Yes, small events are much better, whether virtual or real.

(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy Where Facebook.)

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