Dr. Tim Lahey was treating an HIV patient who seemed to be winning the battle against the disease -- he was taking medicine regularly and his immune system was strong. But his health quickly plummeted after a religious advisor convinced him to stop treatment.
Lahey shared the tragic story of the decline in his former patient's wellbeing with HuffPost Live's Josh Zepps.
"He was a success story, but because of the advice of a fringe Pentecostal minister and the congregation, he decided to stop his HIV therapy and we really had to watch him progress toward AIDS and nearly to death nowadays because he declined modern medicine thinking a miracle was just around the corner," Lahey said.
The doctor acknowledged that many people find great benefit from faith and other means beyond the scope of medical treatment, but he added that he worries the nature of his former patient's disease led to him getting advice that his minister wouldn't offer to others.
"I have this intuition that the fact that my patient is a gay man suffering with HIV is, I worry, influencing the advise he's getting, that people with less controversial illnesses like diabetes are less likely to be advised to stop taking life-saving treatments and that in some way the ambivalence about his lifestyle could be leading to this deathly advice," he said.
Catch the full conversation about church and medicine at HuffPost Live HERE.