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Killing Patients to Save Them?

A recent article from the BBC opens with a line that sounds like it could be from a sci-fi flick: "'When you are at 10C [50 degrees Fahrenheit], with no brain activity, no heartbeat, no blood—everyone would agree that you're dead,' says Peter Rhee at the University of Arizona, Tucson. 'But we can still bring you back.'"

Rhee's claim is true. He's referencing a bold new medical procedure that (though only tested on animals so far) drains the body of its blood, and cools it far below normal temperature, reducing cell activity that would normally lead to irreversible organ or brain damage. After a wound or injury is stabilized, the body's blood is put back in, and the patient is warmed. A heartbeat returns on its own as the body warms, and—at least in the animals tested—the patient wakes up groggy, but "back to normal" the next day.

Trials of the potentially life-saving procedure are planned to begin on critically wounded gunshot victims in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania in the near future. "Killing a patient to save his life" comments The New York Times.

Possible Preaching Angle:

It's a remarkable illustration of a spiritual principle. When we are critically wounded through sin and brokenness, the only hope for life is to pass through what appears to be death first—giving up everything for the "death" of following Jesus.

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