The Medical Death Sentence
by Gregory Allen Butler

I think it is wrong when a doctor gives to a patient a medical death sentence. You can call me an optimist, but I believe as Kirkegaard did that every man is an exception. And some of the exceptions pertain to outliving medical predictions.

Inayat Khan told this story:

I knew a person whom a physician had examined. He was told that he would die in three months. But he came to me and he said, ¡°What nonsense! Die in three months? I am not going to die even in three hundred years.¡±

And to our great surprise within three months the doctor died, and this man brought me the news!

We must learn to respect the human being and realize that a human soul is beyond birth and death, that a human soul has a divine spirit in it, and that all illnesses and pains and sufferings are only his tests and trials. He is above them, and we must try to raise him above illness.

The Doctor's PredictionMy wife¡¯s father, when he was just 39-years-old, was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig¡¯s Disease and told that he had only five to seven years of life left. He died five years later. My wife believes he gave up hope. I don¡¯t see why it would be so hard for a doctor to say something like this instead: ¡°Most people with this condition live five to seven years, but you never know. Maybe you can be an exception.¡±

Just this week I had the pleasure to pleasantly surprise my ophthalmologist. Last summer she thought I was developing glaucoma. She wanted me to start taking medication. I knew that wasn¡¯t necessary. I politely refused and told her to check me again in four months. She agreed. This week she found no sign of it at all. The inner-ocular pressure was normal as was the visual field test.

¡°How did you do that?¡± she asked.

¡°Vitamin C and exercise,¡± I told her.

¡°Well, you¡¯re fine,¡± she said as I left her examination room.

I once had a doctor who told me in no uncertain terms: ¡°You are definitely going to develop glaucoma.¡±

He didn¡¯t say ¡°maybe,¡± or even ¡°probably,¡± he said ¡°definitely.¡± I never went back to see him. I don¡¯t need that type of dogmatic, negative energy.

When patients have confidence in themselves to overcome a condition then they have a great chance to do just that. They certainly don¡¯t need a doctor telling them that it can¡¯t be done.

But then again, maybe that is just the motivation some people need. They want so bad to prove the doctor wrong that they do just that.

I went to a lecture a year and a half ago by Gary Null. It was inspiring to see over a dozen patients of his stand up in the audience and be acknowledged by him. These were patients, some with histories going back 17 years, told by conventional medicine that they had terminal illnesses. Through natural healing methods and healthy lifestyles learned from Gary, they proved their former doctors wrong. They overcame the medical death sentence. Perhaps Gary Null saw them all as exceptions and got them to believe it.

What if these patients believed their doctors? They would have given up. But they didn¡¯t. Not only are they alive, they are inspiring others.

Sometimes serious illnesses can¡¯t be overcome. We all die sooner or later. But if a disease or illness is going to kill me, it¡¯s going to have to prove it to me. I¡¯m not going to take it as second-hand knowledge from a doctor who doesn¡¯t know me as well as I do.

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