Extreme rates of premature death prior to the advent of modern medicine, very low rates of premature death in First World nations with low rates of prayer, and the least flawed of a large series of clinical trials indicate that remote prayer is not efficacious in treating illness. Mass contamination of sample cohorts renders such clinical studies inherently ineffectual. The required supernatural and paranormal mechanisms render them implausible. The possibility that the latter are not benign, and the potentially adverse psychological impact of certain protocols, renders these medical trials unethical. Resources should no longer be wasted on medical efforts to detect the supernatural and paranormal.
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Competing interests: None.