Deifying a doctor; fawning sensationalism

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Excerpt from the Paula Zahn Now program on CNN from last Wednesday, April 20:

“Reporter” Sharon Collins had the “People in the News” profile of a pediatric heart surgeon.

Zahn’s intro said the surgeon “performs small miracles for desperate parents.”

Collins, early in the piece said, “That man is Mohan Reddy or as many parents call him, the miracle man.”

Collins question: “When people call you miracle man, how does that make you feel?”
Reddy answer: “I tell them miracles are only done by gods.”

Collins track: “But in the surgical theater, Reddy is a god.”

Collins question: “I’m looking at this tiny baby with little bitty hands and you operated on his heart. Weren’t you scared even a little bit?”
Reddy answer: “No I really was not scared.”

Late in the piece, Collins said Reddy “doesn’t like being called a miracle man.”

Paula Zahn tag: “He may not want to be called a miracle man but as you can see, he is one.”

If you’re scoring at home, that’s Miracles 6, Gods 2, Audience 0. This is fawning sensationalism of the worst kind.

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Marilyn Meinke-Murphy

April 29, 2005 at 10:06 am

No doubt about the score of that game, and it’s true that the really profound loss goes to the patients in the audience.
It’s the most blatant sensationalism and only serves to inflate a problem that plagues patients seeking to appropriately take charge of their own health. How can patients – mortals, all – be responsible enough to even ask the right questions, when those questions are directed at a god?
Worse, and finally, when we don’t get the miracle, whose fault is that? Certainly not God’s.