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ANNVER - I have a question regarding 'when' to use the Priesthood for blessing of the sick and afflicted?
Is their any instruction or doctrine that a priesthood blessing with or without oil should be used first on a person with a sudden illness e.g. heart attack or should cpr and paramedics be given first?
A man recently passed away suddenly while playing basketball but Priesthood blessing was only given after paramedics seemed to struggle for almost an hour.
There are many people now upset believing that the priesthood blessing could have saved that mans life if only used earlier.
JOEL - Emergency medical procedures should not be delayed or interrupted in order to give a priesthood blessing, although a prayer or blessings should be given first if possible. It could be done at the same time or while waiting for emergency medical people to arrive, so long as it does not interfere with the medical assistance.
If giving a full priesthood blessing with oil is not possible a simple blessing without the oil can be given. God has inspired medical technology to develop so that we have the means to help ourselves and each other. We should use it. "Faith without works is dead" (James 2:20).
If a blessing is not immediately possible people can certainly pray for the success of the medical treatment and and recovery of the patient. If they pray with faith and it is God's will, the person will survive.
Elder Dalin H. Oaks said:
“Latter-day Saints believe in applying the best available scientific knowledge and techniques. We use nutrition, exercise, and other practices to preserve health, and we enlist the help of healing practitioners, such as physicians and surgeons, to restore health.
“The use of medical science is not at odds with our prayers of faith and our reliance on priesthood blessings. …
“Of course we don’t wait until all other methods are exhausted before we pray in faith or give priesthood blessings for healing. In emergencies, prayers and blessings come first. Most often we pursue all efforts simultaneously”
“As we exercise the undoubted power of the priesthood of God and as we treasure His promise that He will hear and answer the prayer of faith, we must always remember that faith and the healing power of the priesthood cannot produce a result contrary to the will of Him whose priesthood it is. This principle is taught in the revelation directing that the elders of the Church shall lay their hands upon the sick.
The Lord’s promise is that ‘he that hath faith in me to be healed, and is not appointed unto death, shall be healed’" (D&C 42:48);
(“Healing the Sick,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2010, 47).
In the situation you described it could be that someone could have given a blessing sooner but just didn't think of it or felt unqualified to do it. Hard to know how people are going to act in a time of crisis. It may have been God's will the the person not be saved anyway.