When a doctor is put into a position to make a life or death decision, he or she is said to be playing God. I disagree. I think every time a doctor goes to work, he or she is playing God.

God created the universe, so they say. That universe includes parasites, viruses, bacteria, and a hostile environment hell bent on grinding down all living things.

God gave us pneumococcus which causes pneumonia. Science gave us penicillin and the doctors prescribe it in the proper dosage in order to cure what God started. They are trumping God’s will with their antibiotics.

God created free radicals and humans as well as other creatures suffer from a host of cancers. Surgeons excise these wild growths and other doctors then prescribe the proper therapies to destroy the rest of the rogue cells, chemotherapy or radiation therapy. They play God.

God created humans with warped DNA causing all manner of system malfunctions. Pancreases fail and doctors pass out insulin like it’s candy. Um, well, you get the picture there.

Essentially, the medical world is thumbing its collective nose at God and saying, “Not thy will, but ours be done.”

If we left God in charge of health care, no one would be worrying about the cost because it would be free. Of course, our lives would be much shorter. Just like long ago and far away, before science intervened.

Even those who are deeply religious and believe in an all-powerful God end up at the hospital. One of my friends’ friends said this about a hospitalized family member. “God is in control – He alone is the great Healer, the Great Physician.”

Well, if that is true, why go to the doctor? Aren’t we all expecting physicians to play God on a rather routine basis?  If God is the Great Physician, do we need to do anything about health care?

This type of devotion always puzzles me. It is like thanking God when someone survived, albeit totally mangled, some horrific car accident. I would prefer an all-powerful God to have prevented the accident in the first place. And if He couldn’t do that, then why thank Him for the survival aspect. He apparently didn’t have anything to do with the issue.

I used to watch people as they were getting ready for surgery, pray for God’s intervention. Really? You are 15 minutes from surgery. If God was going to intervene, shouldn’t that have happened prior to this? The next intervention is going to come from science and a well run staff in the OR suite.

I personally would prefer a technically gifted surgeon over one who was looking for God’s guidance during the procedure.

Anyway, the quote above puzzled me. God does not seem to be the great healer at all. Science intervenes and trumps the virus, bacteria, or trauma. Or not. But in all my years in hospitals, working in CCU, ICU, and OR, I don’t recall ever feeling, seeing, hearing, sensing some other worldly interference during a Code or surgical procedure.

Instead, the doctors, nurses, and technicians all played God and fought like Hell on Earth to save lives and conquer disease.