Ok I think I should have left my atheist comments out of my post as they seem to have hijacked the thread.
Bahhh! Don't worry about that. I'm more agnostic but I am definitely Darwinian. As such I fall in to the James Randi, Penn & Tellar camp on magic ethics. You raise a very interesting ethical point. It's true we can use presentation to "ease suffering" or help people marvel at the miracle of life but just how far can we ethically go with that?
I was browsing another magic website and they had this whole section on "Gospel Magic." It kind of gave me the willies to be honest. Not that using magic in a church is a bad thing. If a sermon is about mending relationships in your life and the preacher uses Torn to help illustrate his point, that's okay. However, if he crosses that line and says that God gave him the power to heal the card then he has just crossed that line into Fakir-ism. God didn't give him that power...Daniel Garcia and a thirty dollar check gave him that power.
So my point is that it is fine to use magic to lift spirits and give people a sense of wonderment when they are feeling blue or recovering from an illness but you need to be extra careful not to give out false hopes. In the end of the day the Art of Magic is an entertainment art. We are not the real healers. We can certainly help the Doctors and Psychologists with benefit shows or charity performances but if we enter that realm we must adopt some of their ethics as well. The first of which being, "Do no harm."