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"Unlikely Hero's : Part 8" 11/1/23

Dear Church, God is in the business of saving lives; body and soul. And, as His people, we have a part to play in sharing the hope of eternal life through Christ and upholding the sanctity of EVERY human life. Among the body of Christ, some have been given the unique vocation (work) of preserving human life through the practice of medicine. One such man was Dr. C. Everett Koop (1916-2013). Dr. Koop, Surgeon-in-Chief at the Children's Hospital in Philadelphia (1946-1981) was a devoted Christian and a gifted doctor who served from 1982-1989 as Surgeon General of the United States under Ronald Reagan. Prior to his appointment to public office, Dr. Koop had made a number of advancements in the surgical care of infants, while working at the Children's Hospital in Philadelphia. - He established America's first neonatal surgical intensive care unit in 1956. - He developed a technique to correct esophageal atresia, a congenital birth defect where the esophagus is detached from the stomach. As a result of this one procedure, Dr. Koop was able to save over 500 patients throughout the course of his 35 year career. Dr. Koop was also able to develop a treatment for hydrocephalus, which is the accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid within the skull. Prior to Dr. Koop's work, hydrocephalus was considered a terminal diagnosis. - He gained international recognition for becoming the first surgeon to separate Siamese twins joined at the heart (he was able to save the life of one of the twins). Christopher Wall was born with ectopia cordis (the heart outside the chest), he was the first patient ever to survive after being born with that type of condition. Dr. Koop performed 15 different procedures on Christopher over 1,117 days before Christopher was finally discharged from the hospital. As he thought about those surgeries, Dr. Koop wrote, "A doctor is responsible to God for the manner in which he works to save a single human life. It is a matter of stewardship. The surgeon is accountable for the way he uses the gifts that God has given him. He is also responsible for the life entrusted to his care. It is a question of moral principle". (story taken from What happened to the Human Race, co-authored by Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop). This common sense, God-given understanding, is all but gone from the medical field today. Abortion, the slaughter of innocents, has become commonplace. And on the other end of the spectrum doctors are being pressured by organizations like the Canadian Association of MAID assessors and providers (CAMAP) to routinely bring up MAID (medical assistance in dying) to their patients (see https://www.google.ca/amp/s/nationalpost.com/news/canada/canada-maid-medical-aid-in-dying-consent-doctors/wcm/5cc862e9-7202-4e1f-b5c9-23e2ecddb55a/amp/ ). Such efforts to normalize the destruction of life and call it "health care" are all too common around us. Navigating and working in 'healthcare' in Canada is not easy today. But, when few are willing to stand with God, those who refuse to use medicine to destroy life shine out brightly against the night. A Cautionary Tale C. Everett Koop was a man of faith dedicated to preserving life and for that we can be very grateful, but he was far from perfect. While serving as Surgeon General, Koop tried to stay out of the "abortion debate". He was firmly against abortion, but as he put it it was a "moral issue" not a matter of public health. In trying to remain neutral, he failed to fully use his position to defend the lives of the unborn. As followers of Christ, we cannot afford to remain neutral in our death-crazed world. We cannot be silent in the face of evil. Grace & Peace, Matt

Matthew Deneault Pastor at Christ Community Fellowship

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