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The Scalpel and the Soul
Encounters with Surgery, the Supernatural, and the Healing Power of Hope
A Harvard-educated neurosurgeon reveals his experiences-in and out of the operating room-with apparitions, angels, exorcism, and after-death survival, and shares the lessons he learned.
A young burn victim remains in a coma until a ghost appears.
A doctor discovers he can predict when a patient will die.
A clinically dead patient later recounts extraordinary details about the private lives of her caregivers.
A physician needs the help of a Navajo shaman to exorcise the spirit of his dead patient.
These things really happened-and neurosurgeon Allan J. Hamilton was involved in every one of them, and many more. Based on thirty years of medical experience, The Scalpel and the Soul tells the unspoken stories behind remarkable patients and strange events, and shares the moral and spiritual lessons found in them.
For physicians, supernatural inklings and intrusions are disturbing. Doctors cannot be candid with colleagues or patients because they are trained to disregard the inexplicable and unbelievable. They're taught to discount elusive, evanescent powers of the soul. Superstition, omens, and divine spirits smack of madness.
But patients have the same experiences. Life-threatening illness or surgery frequently brings dormant spirituality to life. The soul often needs more than intensive care alone can give. The Scalpel and the Soul explores how premonition, superstition, hope, and faith not only become factors in how patients feel but can change outcomes; it validates the spiritual manifestations physicians see every day; it empowers patients to voice their spiritual needs when they seek medical help; and, finally, it addresses the mysterious, attractive powers the soul exerts during life-threatening events.