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Medical Establishment Practices 'Mutual Pretense'

During his training to become a hospital chaplain, a friend of mine was surprised to learn of a phenomenon in the medical community widely known as "Mutual Pretense." In many cases, mutual pretense is something that takes place after the period of treatment for a particular patient has run its course and it's become clear to everyone that it's not working and the patient will die. Despite the fact that this the dark reality is clearly known by all parties involved, the doctor, patient, and family of the patient will often deal with the fact by talk about anything other than the fact that the patient is going to die. They'll talk about what will happen once they get out of the hospital, what they are going to do when everything gets better, about sports, about family—anything but the truth of the impending death.

Mutual pretense is a kind of survival mechanism that allows everyone to continue talking to each other while not having to actually talk about what's going on—like the brute reality of an impending death.

Possible preaching idea: (1) Speaking the truth in love—Church is not a place we go to escape from truth; it's a place where we to go discuss the truth about our lives, even when it's painful. (2) Bible; God's Word—God's Word speaks the truth into our lives.

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