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Surgery & the Supernatural

Date: 06-14-09
Host: Ian Punnett
Guests: Dr. Allan J. Hamilton

Ian Punnett welcomed Harvard educated brain surgeon Dr. Allan Hamilton for a discussion about his experiences with spirituality and the supernatural, and how they manifested themselves in the lives of medical patients. Reflecting on the many anomalous events he has observed over the course of his career, Hamilton said, "it's pervasive throughout medicine and yet we've sort of held the lid on it."

Hamilton talked about sometimes having the unsettling ability to know that a patient is dangerously close to death because they would take on a "yellow, waxy color." He first noticed this while working as an assistant to a veterinarian and would see it appear on dying animals' faces. Later in his career as a surgeon, he recognized the hue again on the faces of his patients who either went on to die or came precipitously close to death. While he dismissed the notion that this was an absolute means of determining a patient's viability, he did say that "more than once" he has ordered tests on a patient after observing the troubling color.

He also shared an amazing story of a seemingly separate form of consciousness which he said was "about as close as I'll get to the holy grail of the soul in this life." A recovering brain surgery patient remembered the doctors' operating room conversation and described it with remarkable detail. However, due to the nature of the surgery, her brain had no electrical activity at the time and the creation of memories should have been impossible. Hamilton mused, "there's no way this brain can make memories ... and yet, those memories were made somewhere."

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Bumper Music

Bumper music from Sunday June 14, 2009

  • Moms
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