Christian Science was not to blame for any of Mrs. B-------'s suffering says the church's Dorset spokesman.
By Jane Reader
Michael A'Court has described his "enormous compassion" for her family adding: "It's a very sad situation."
He said pain relief and surgical dressings would not have gone against Christian Science beliefs. But he admitted they might have been frowned on by some church members.
Mr. A'Court said the church would not have stopped praying for Mrs. B------- if she had sought medical help.
However, he confirmed that any attempt at medical cure, such as surgery or chemotherapy, would not be compatible with Christian Science.
"If Mrs. B------- felt she could not have any medical help, it was her own thought and her own interpretation.
"There would have been no criticism from the church. It is a popular misconception that the church throws people out for having medical help.
"It would have been more compassionate for her to agree to the wishes of her family."
He said he believes pain relief is acceptable if the person feels there is no option.
"If you can't handle the thing, then pain relief is not a problem."
Mr. A'Court added: "I think she was too hard on herself. She should have been more compassionate to herself."
He said he firmly believes that "our experience is the result of our own thinking.
"There was clearly something in her thought that needed to be healed."
He said that continuing negative thoughts such as resentment or anger are believed to lead to physical problems.
But he stopped short of saying the illness was her own fault.
Mr. A'Court said he firmly believes that Christian Science heals in "almost all" cases.
"There is a growing acceptance of the power to heal. It's a lot cheaper than going to the doctor and there are no waiting lists."
Mr. A'Court, who lives in Poole, admitted that Christian Scientists attract controversy and often "speak in a funny language that other people don't understand".
"For example, we say: 'There is no such thing as death', which is a difficult thing for other people to understand.
"What we mean is that there is a continuity of consciousness."
He said there are thousands of examples of healing within the church.