WHEN IS PROVIDING information about drugs a form of education? And when is it advertising and marketing? Those questions were raised in a number of articles in The New York Times, including in "Drug Makers' Push Leads to Cancer Vaccines' Fast Rise," (Aug. 20). More than once the Times pointed out the link between drug companies' payments to doctors for giving what are described as informational or educational speeches to other doctors about a specific drug, and the physicians' tendency to prescribe it to patients. Asked if they see a connection between receiving the payments and prescribing the drug, doctors generally tend to say that the money does not influence them. Could there be some influence from these payments?
Such opportunities to earn sometimes thousands of dollars place strong temptations on those who are in a healing profession. Despite the potential influence, they need to maintain clarity about their role as healers rather than as advocates for products or for experimentation with medications that may not be approved for the use to which they are put. "Physicians, whom the sick employ in their helplessness, should be models of virtue," observed Mary Baker Eddy, in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." "They should be wise spiritual guides to health and hope" (p. 235).
It's useful to recall the legacy of the most effective healer on this planet. Jesus, with an unparalleled record of healing, never relied on the drugs of his era to cure the many people who came to him for help, nor did he recommend the use of these substances. His medicine was the medicine of God, divine Mind, with all its perfection, stability, strength, and wholeness. To Jesus, the suffering people who came to him were the children of the Deity he knew as "Our Father." As such, they were inseparable from their divine parentage – spiritual, perfect, and complete in every way. The Bible's accounts show that more than once the master Christian's spiritual vision went beyond healing their bodies; it regenerated their thoughts and lives.
Some may say that Jesus and his disciples were the exception, not the rule; that such healing as they performed is impossible today. But the Apostle Paul and others who came after Jesus healed people using the same teachings. This shows that it wasn't just a phenomenon of one individual's life, philosophy, or divinely personal authority. Mary Baker Eddy's life, following in Jesus' footsteps, and the proofs of healing that have been published in the Christian Science Sentinel and The Christian Science Journal for well over a century, are further evidence that the Christ – the true understanding of God's love – is still a powerful healing force.
The mortal, or carnal, state of thinking argues that we are merely material beings with bodies that become diseased and need medical treatment in order to be put right. Mary Baker Eddy's discovery dismisses that argument, as articulated in a letter to the New York World published in 1899. She wrote: "If mind be absent from the body, drugs can produce no curative effect upon the body. The mind must be, is, the vehicle of all modes of healing disease and of producing disease. Through the mandate of mind or according to a man's belief, can he be helped or killed by a drug; but mind, not matter, produces the result in either case" ("The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany," pp. 301–302).
To understand this is to see that the actual source of illness – namely, mistaken human thought – is where true healing must take place. Material methods can't effect the mental and spiritual transformation that will progressively bring freedom from disease, and regeneration and reformation to lives.
A genuine desire to trust God and to grasp even the smallest vision of the Science of the Christ, however, is transformative and restorative. Followed faithfully, divine law eliminates guesswork and wipes out fear. It shows us that God's love for us can't be bought because it is beyond price. It comes with no side effects, and it cannot fail to meet every need. It is worthy of our trust.
Adapted from the Christian Science Sentinel (Oct. 6).