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Old 4th October 2019, 11:51 PM   #1
Lukas1986
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The case of Marion Carroll

Hi

I would like to know a opinion on this quasi miracle cure of Marion Carroll. I found this and I have a problem to explain it. She was according to the sources diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and her health improved after a pilgrimage:

Quote:
She was falling a lot. Doctors thought she had a slipped disk or a stroke. Finally, six years into her marriage came the devastating diagnosis: multiple sclerosis.

By 1989, she was completely paralysed, except for a little power in her left hand; blind in one eye and rapidly losing sight in the other; incontinent and finding it hard to swallow or talk.
Source: https://www.catholicireland.net/mira...ple-god-there/

After the pilgrimage she was quasi cured:

Quote:
Travelling to the pilgrimage in September 1989, Marion was very ill with a kidney infection and people thought she had not long to live.

Strapped into a stretcher, Marion was placed before the statue of Our Lady at the front of the basilica in Knock. After Bishop Colm O’Reilly gave her holy communion, Marion felt sharp pains in both her heels.

When the pain passed, every pain in her body disappeared.
Source: https://www.catholicireland.net/mira...ple-god-there/

The only sceptical information I found was this:

Quote:
A consultant neurologist who reviewed the file wrote to Dr Murray that "it would be fair to say she has been cured of neurological symptoms but not of MS. It seems to me that Mrs Carroll had medically unexplained symptoms which have now (thankfully) resolved."
Source: https://www.rte.ie/news/ireland/2019...-church-knock/

If someone knows any kind of rational explanation to this case I would welcome it. I personally do not believe this story because millions of people did this in the past and they did not get cured.
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Old 5th October 2019, 12:37 AM   #2
curious cat
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I believe there are many "medical miracles" nobody can really explain - our bodies and brains work mysterious ways ;-). We apparently have the ability to cure a lot of diseases by the power of our brain. We just don't know how to trigger the process and sometimes it occurs spontaneously - pilgrimage or not.
I am one of the lucky ones who experienced this phenomenon. I was practically a wheelchair case due to a severe arthritis. At the age of 55 my doctor taught me how to walk with a stick - when I manage to stand up, that is. Then I had one hip and one knee replaced what got me out of the worst. While waiting for the replacement of the remaining joints my symptoms completely disappeared and x-rays are showing perfectly healthy joints. I am 70 now and generally as fit as most 50 years old. No pilgrimage, no changes in my lifestyle or diet - absolutely none conscious effort to heal. Just happened somehow. I am very grateful and would pleased to know what caused this change. I would be happy to pass the knowledge on anybody in need - but I don't have the foggiest...
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Old 5th October 2019, 02:49 AM   #3
dann
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Originally Posted by Lukas1986 View Post
The only sceptical information I found was this:

Quote:
A consultant neurologist who reviewed the file wrote to Dr Murray that "it would be fair to say she has been cured of neurological symptoms but not of MS. It seems to me that Mrs Carroll had medically unexplained symptoms which have now (thankfully) resolved."
Source: https://www.rte.ie/news/ireland/2019...-church-knock/

If someone knows any kind of rational explanation to this case I would welcome it. I personally do not believe this story because millions of people did this in the past and they did not get cured.

Your last quotation is a rational explanation: She was cured of neurological symptoms, symptoms that weren't properly explained but by some people attributed to MS. The symptoms disappeared again, for whatever reason. End of story ... except, of course, for the people who insist that she did have MS and that she was cured by God.
That idea is often incurable.
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Old 5th October 2019, 02:54 AM   #4
dann
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Originally Posted by curious cat View Post
While waiting for the replacement of the remaining joints my symptoms completely disappeared and x-rays are showing perfectly healthy joints. I am 70 now and generally as fit as most 50 years old. No pilgrimage, no changes in my lifestyle or diet - absolutely none conscious effort to heal.

Then I guess that we can assume that the cure was: no pilgrimage!
And if we take it further, I guess we should warn all the ailing pilgrims: Don't do it! You're only making it worse!
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 5th October 2019, 07:15 AM   #5
Lukas1986
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Thanks for the replies. I also found another explanation that MS can be misdiagnosed even in our era:

Quote:
THURSDAY, April 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Almost one in five multiple sclerosis patients may be misdiagnosed with the autoimmune disease, according to a new study.

Of 241 previously diagnosed multiple sclerosis (MS) patients referred to two major Los Angeles medical centers for treatment, nearly 18% did not actually have the autoimmune disease, the researchers found.

Those patients spent an average of nearly four years being treated for MS before receiving a correct diagnosis, the study authors said.
Also another interesting quote about MS:

Quote:
"The diagnosis of MS is tricky. Both the symptoms and MRI testing results can look like other conditions, such as stroke, migraines and vitamin B12 deficiency," Kaisey explained.
Source: https://www.webmd.com/multiple-scler...gnosed-with-ms

Last edited by Lukas1986; 5th October 2019 at 07:17 AM.
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Old 5th October 2019, 09:23 AM   #6
xjx388
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The problem is that a Catholic website detailing a miracle occurring cannot be relied upon to get the details right. We don't have any medical documentation of her, only the Church's review of "her file." We do have her testimony but it's impossible to rule out deception, psychological issues and other confounding factors.

The simplest explanation for this is that she was never sick in the first place and actually suffered from psychosomatic illness. The visit to the shrine and her deep belief in Catholicism catalyzed the psychological process needed to alleviate her symptoms.
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Old 5th October 2019, 01:19 PM   #7
DevilsAdvocate
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This story of Marions's has but a single explanation: a surgical God who digs on magic operations. No, it couldn't be mistaken attribution of causation born of a coincidental temporal correlation exacerbated by a general lack of education vis-a-vis physics in Marions's parish congregation. And it couldn't be that all these pious people are liars. It couldn't be an artefact of confirmation bias, a product of groupthink, a mass delusion, an Emperor's New Clothes-style fear of exclusion.

No, it's more likely to be an all-powerful magician than the misdiagnosis of the initial condition, or one of many cases of spontaneous remission, or a record-keeping glitch by the local physician. No, the only explanation for Marions's healing: they prayed to an all-knowing superbeing, to the omnipresent master of the universe, and he quite liked the sound of their muttered verse.

So for a bit of a change from his usual stunt of being a sexist, racist, murderous ****, he popped down to Knock and right among us used his powers to heal the sclerosis of Marion.

-Tim Minchin (with slight changes)
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Old 5th October 2019, 02:33 PM   #8
Agatha
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Multiple Sclerosis is a diagnosis of exclusion - it's what's left after other diagnoses are ruled out. Sometimes it's the right diagnosis but sometimes something was incorrectly ruled out.

Further, it can be either progressive or relapsing-remitting.

Ms Carroll may have been misdiagnosed with MS, or she may have relapsing-remitting MS and her improvement is because she is in a remitting phase.
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Old 5th October 2019, 02:39 PM   #9
theprestige
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Originally Posted by Agatha View Post
Multiple Sclerosis is a diagnosis of exclusion - it's what's left after other diagnoses are ruled out.
Do you have an authoritative source for this claim?

A close loved one of mine has been diagnosed with MS. What you're saying bears zero resemblance to how they were diagnosed and treated.
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Old 5th October 2019, 03:34 PM   #10
Agatha
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Do you have an authoritative source for this claim?

A close loved one of mine has been diagnosed with MS. What you're saying bears zero resemblance to how they were diagnosed and treated.
If you accept Pubmed as an authoritative source, then yes I do. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11794488 -
Originally Posted by Pubmed
In the absence of pathognomonic clinical features or a definitive laboratory test, multiple sclerosis (MS) remains ultimately a diagnosis of exclusion
I also have a loved one diagnosed with MS. It may be that in the future that there will be diagnostic markers which do not currently exist. I hope that will be the case because some uneducated people see "diagnosis of exclusion" and interpret that as meaning "doesn't really exist" which is not what diagnosis of exclusion means.
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Old 6th October 2019, 06:29 AM   #11
dann
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In the quotation, "In the absence of pathognomonic clinical features or a definitive laboratory test," it almost sounds as if "pathognomonic clinical features or a definitive laboratory test" is proof positive of an MS diagnosis, but Wikipedia confirms what you say:

Quote:
currently, as of 2017, there is no single test (including biopsy) that can provide a definitive diagnosis of this disease.
Multiple Sclerosis: Diagnosis
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 6th October 2019, 08:27 AM   #12
KAJ
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
In the quotation, "In the absence of pathognomonic clinical features or a definitive laboratory test," it almost sounds as if "pathognomonic clinical features or a definitive laboratory test" is proof positive of an MS diagnosis, but Wikipedia confirms what you say:
I agree it's misleading, but I think it means "As there are no clinical features or a definitive laboratory test, multiple sclerosis (MS) remains ultimately a diagnosis of exclusion."
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Old 6th October 2019, 12:16 PM   #13
dann
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I think you're right. I understood it as, 'when there is no pathognomonic clinical features or a definitive laboratory test ..., then ...', but it probably means, 'since no pathognomonic clinical features or a definitive laboratory test exists ...'.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 6th October 2019, 02:06 PM   #14
P.J. Denyer
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Originally Posted by Agatha View Post
Multiple Sclerosis is a diagnosis of exclusion - it's what's left after other diagnoses are ruled out. Sometimes it's the right diagnosis but sometimes something was incorrectly ruled out.

Further, it can be either progressive or relapsing-remitting.

Ms Carroll may have been misdiagnosed with MS, or she may have relapsing-remitting MS and her improvement is because she is in a remitting phase.
Thank you, it's nice that even as we discuss BS, I at least have learned something. Albeit about a horrible condition.
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