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Prayer and Scalpel: Surgeons Who Pray for Patients

It would violate Mark Pool's medical oath if he didn't study every patient's case before operating. He feels the same about his faith if he didn't offer to pray with patients. Read Transcript


Reporter: IT WOULD BE

AGAINST HIS OATH IF DALLAS

HEART SURGEON MARK POOLE

DIDN'T STUDY EVERY PATIENT'S

CASE BEFORE OPERATING.

BUT HE FEELS IT IS AGAINST

HIS CALLING IF HE DOESN'T AT

LEAST OFFER TO PRAY WITH

THEM.

HE IS THE ONE WHO

CONTROLS LIFE AND DEATH.

I SEE MYSELF AS AN

INSTRUMENT IN THE HAND OF

GOD.

I'M THE ONE DOING THE

OPERATION, BUT HE IS THE ONE

GUIDING ME.

WE KNOW ABOUT YOUR LOVE

BECAUSE YOU SENT YOUR SON.

AND WE KNOW ABOUT YOUR POWER

BECAUSE YOU RAISED HIM FROM

THE DEAD.

Reporter: WHEN FOLKS

ARE FACING MEDICAL

EMERGENCIES, SOME PEOPLE

WOULD SAY THAT IS THE WRONG

TIME TO PRESSURE THEM ABOUT

SPIRITUAL MATTERS.

BUT MOST PATIENTS SAY IT

ACTUALLY TAKES MUCH OF THE

PRESSURE OFF, TO BRING GOD

AND PRAYER INTO THEIR

SITUATIONS AND THEY

APPRECIATE IT.

TAKE THE CASE OF TOM PRIOR.

HIS RISK OF DYING WAS

PROBABLY 90% IF HE HAD TO

SURGERY.

EVEN IF YOU DO AN EMERGENCY

SURGERY, THE

RISK OF DYING

IS ABOUT

30%.

Reporter:

WHEN POOLE

BROUGHT UP

PRAYING?

I WAS SLIGHTLY TAKEN

ABACK FOR JUST A

SECOND, AND

THEN

REALIZING MY

CONDITION

AND THE THINGS THAT WERE

GOING ON, I THOUGHT IT WAS A

GOOD IDEA.

Reporter: PRIOR SAID

POOLE'S PRAYERS CALMED AND

RELAXED HIM.

ANOTHER PRAYER SURGEON SAYS

HE UNDERSTANDS A DOCTOR

OFFERING TO PRAY COULD MAKE

SOME PATIENTS UNCOMFORTABLE

AND WORRIED THEY CAN'T

REFUSE THIS POWERFUL

PERSON.

TO SOME DEGREE, IT CAN BE

LIKE A TEACHER AND A

STUDENT, AND YOU HAVE TO

MAKE SURE YOU'RE NOT

OVERSTEPPING YOUR BOUNDARIES

OR BEING INAPPROPRIATE IN

THAT RELATIONSHIP.

Reporter: THE CRITICS

WOULD SAY, WELL, THERE IS A

POWER DIFFERENTIAL.

THIS POOR PATIENT IS THERE

HELPLESS, AND THEY FEEL IF

YOU SAY NO YOU MIGHT NOT DO

YOUR BEST DURING THE

SURGERY.

I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT

TO BE SENSITIVE TO THE FACT

THAT WILL ARE PATIENTS,

NUMBER ONE, WHO MAY NOT BE

CHRISTIAN, AND, NUMBER TWO,

WHO MAY NOT BELIEVE IN GOD

AT ALLMENT.

Reporter: STILL, HE

SAYS HE WITNESSED GOD DO SO

MUCH IN HIS HOSPITAL, YOU

CAN'T HELP BUT BELIEVE.

I SEE THE HAND OF GOD

EVERY DAY.

Reporter: POOLE, TOO,

HAS SEEN MIRACLES.

FOR INSTANCE, WITH A PATIENT

WHO'S HEART JUST STOPPED ONE

DAY.

I OPENED HIS CHEST UP,

AND I WAS SQUEEZING HIS

HEART, AND NOTHING WAS

HAPPENING.

I PRAYED TO GOD, PLEASE HELP

THIS MAN.

AND HIS HEART JUST STARTED

UP.

HIS LIFE WAS SAVED AND HE IS

DOING GREAT.

I HAVE HAD ONE PATIENT

THAT TURNED ME DOWN.

I WAS THERE ABOUT TO START

THE SURGERY.

I SAID, WOULD YOU MIND IF I

SAY A PRAYER WITH YOU.

AND HE SAID, I PREFER NOT.

Reporter: STILL, BOTH

THEIR SPIRITUAL WORK GETS

ALMOST 100% SUPPORT FROM

THEIR PATIENTS.

OFTENTIMES THEY'LL SAY,

THAT PRAYER MEANT THE WORLD

TO US.

Reporter: THAT'S HOW

RUSSELL FELT AFTER HE HAD A

HEART ATTACK BUT WAITED

ABOUT THREE WEEKS BEFORE

GOING TO THE HOSPITALMENT.

> HOSPITAL.

WHICH IS NOT THE DOCTOR'S

ADVICE.

Reporter: HE PRAYED.

IT WAS A HUGE RELIEF.

WHEN HE ASKED THAT, IT TOOK

THE WORLD OF PRESSURE OFF MY

CHEST.

Reporter: CBN NEWS

SPOKE WITH JIMMY MAYFIELD

BEFORE POOLE REPLACED A

VALVE IN THE 70-YEAR-OLD'S

HEART.

IT MADE ME FEEL BETTER

THAT THE GUY WHO IS GOING TO

MAKE THE DECISIONS IN THERE

HAS THE LORD WITH HIM.

HE HAS THAT PEACE.

WE PRAY THAT THIS

OPERATION WOULD GO

SMOOTHLY.

Reporter: JAY SAYS SOME

PEOPLE MAY THINK THEY

WOULDN'T WANT THESE TYPE OF

PRAYERS, BUT THEY PROBABLY

HAVEN'T FACED A KILLER

DISEASE.

AT THE MOMENT YOU FIND

OUT YOU HAVE A HORRIBLE

DISEASE, CANCER, WHATEVER, I

DON'T CARE WHAT YOU BELIEVE

IN, IF YOU ACTIVELY DON'T

BELIEVE IN GOD, YOU BELIEVE

IN GOD AT THAT MOMENT.

I THINK THEY WOULD BE

SURPRISED HOW MANY OF THEIR

PATIENTS WOULD APPRECIATE IF

THEY DID DO IT.

Reporter: 1

THESSALONIANS SAYS, "PRAYER

WITHOUT SEIZING."

AND THEY SAY SINCE THEY KNOW

HIM, IT IS A PRETTY SMART

DECISION TO BRING IT INTO

THEIR SURGERIES.

PAUL STRAND REPORTING FROM

DALLAS, TEXAS.

EMBED THIS VIDEO


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