Doctor had vision of netherworld
"Those who profit from the health of others will find their reward in the jewels of hell."
If that "word of knowledge" bears credence, there are some in the medical industry (pharmaceutical companies, insurance conglomerates, hospitals, surgeons, specialists) who may want to pay heed.
For those who claim to have glimpsed sheol have been known to describe precisely this: mounds of tainted gold, filthy rubies, diamonds, and money under the throne of a beastly creature. Not pleasant. More than one has so testified. But perhaps necessary to consider.
Or one may want to listen to an anesthesiologist named Rajiv Parti, who says he was taken to the cusp of the netherworld precisely for this reason: due to his greed.
"Feeling like a master of the universe is easy in the world of modern medicine," he writes (in Dying To Wake Up"). "In my specialty alone, heart surgery anesthesia, the medical world had made so many advances in technology and techniques that we could literally bring patients back from the dead by doing everything from unclogging an artery with a balloon to replacing it or even dropping in a transplanted heart."
But Dr. Parti relates how he grew to view patients not as individuals but as numbers and dollar signs. His preoccupation: a huge house, luxury cars, and day-trading on the stock market. Then he "died."
Two days before Christmas in 2010, he was rushed to a hospital with a severe infection and resultant fever that shot his temperature to 104 degrees. Emergency surgery was initiated as the infection, caused by a recent procedure in the area of his pelvis, spread through his blood. Ironically, he "died" -- left his body -- due to the anesthesia.
"I was a mechanistic medical doctor, and this event represented new physical laws that I didn't understand," he said. "How can I be hovering? Where is my brain, and what am I seeing with? Am I breathing? Why can I hear?"
"My world turned dark, and for a moment I was relieved. I'm returning to my body, I thought.
"But that relief was replaced by fear as I saw a distant lightning storm off to my right, one that seemed to draw me in very quickly and soon became loud with the sound of thunder and... What is that?... screams and moans of pain and anguish as wildfire moved over burned souls that withered from the intense heat. I was made to lie on a bed of nails, where their needle sharpness tortured my flesh.
"I was drawn in as if on a moving sidewalk that took me to the edge of this flaming canyon. Smoke filled my nostrils and with it the sickening odor of burning flesh. I was on the lip of hell.
"I tried to turn and I couldn't. I tried to move back but couldn't. Every time I took a step back, an unseen force moved me forward, leaving me with a horrific view of the most agonizing place one could ever imagine."
As a Hindu, he knew this place as naraka (hell).
"You have clearly not been making love," Dr. Parti heard a voice say, telepathic but as clear as if spoken in his ears, "so powerful," he writes, "that it may well have been spoken by God." Added the voice: "You have led a materialistic and selfish life."
He knew that was only too true and felt ashamed.
"I saw my patients as profit centers, people who could give me the wealth and prestige I wanted in exchange for my services as an anesthesiologist," he bravely says, unconcerned with how others in the medical profession might view his otherworldly experience. "I was a doctor who did his job well but cared very little that he was working on a human being."
Now, standing on the rim of hell, he recalled a woman with arthritis who had come to him for pain medication (Dr. Parti, in addition to his hospital work, owned a pain clinic) and weeping, sought his counsel about her husband, who was suffering from lung cancer. "'I would love to talk to you,' I said, writing out a prescription for her pain and sleeping pills and handing them to her. 'But I have several patients waiting.' And I left."
This he saw in the review of his life.
It is not just sins like adultery and murder.
It's how we treat people. We are all subject to the temptation of selfishness. It's certainly not just the medical profession.
Many are the good and caring doctors. We've met many personally. And who can begrudge a comfortable living to those plugged through long years of medical school and then strenuous internships and residencies; who now find themselves on call, with long hours.
But are some -- too many -- in it for the money?
It is certainly a time of unrestrained health-care costs. And within that field -- whether hospital CEOs or laboratory owners -- are indeed those motivated far too strongly by profit.
That may go unaddressed in our current society, but apparently not after life on earth.
[Luke 16: "'