Friday, November 6, 2015

Adam's Rib: The First Surgery

Editor's note: Now that the baseball postseason has concluded I thought it would be good to take a very short respite from baseball and throw up a non-baseball post before the hot-stove campaign begins.

            In church recently, mention was made of God removing one of Adam’s ribs to create Eve. It struck me that this was actually the first recorded medical operation. With the recent national debate over health care, I thought it would be interesting to examine the case a little closer. Luckily, biblical scholars have recently finished decoding a lesser known archaeological discovery, the Dead Sea Twitters, and they reveal new information on this.
            By all accounts, the procedure went very well. The surgeon was perfect, obviously, and the patient lived to the ripe old age of 930 years. Also, it set the precedent for all future surgeons to think they are God. 
            What is not commonly known, however, is that there were a few minor problems. First, the procedure had to be moved a number of miles to the east, to the land of Nod, because the hospital in Eden did not participate with Adam’s insurance plan. Although the Nod Community Hospital accepted Adam’s plan, the anesthesia group there did not. This is the reason God placed Adam into a deep sleep instead of using general anesthesia. 

            Initially the insurance company refused to reimburse God for the surgery, claiming it was a pre-existing condition. After numerous phone calls, letters and burning bushes, God was able to convince them that since the Earth was only a few weeks old, it could not have been pre-existing. Then the insurance company denied the claim because the appropriate ICD-1 diagnosis code for "needs a mate" was not used. In God's defense, at the time ICD-1 only consisted of one medical diagnosis: "loss of immortality due to eating forbidden fruit," and that diagnosis had never even been used. The claim was eventually paid—but not without great gnashing of teeth.
            Unfortunately, God was hit with a hefty fine from OSHA for merely covering the wound with skin and not following accepted guidelines for aseptic technique. And when details of the procedure were printed in the Bible, God was fined again for violating Adam’s HIPAA rights as Adam had not signed a specific waiver consenting to the release of his personal health information.

            Later, Adam filed a malpractice lawsuit against God claiming that the preoperative informed consent document should have warned him about the potential risk of his new partner tricking him into eating the forbidden fruit and all the complications which resulted from that. God countered that even He could not have anticipated all the remote complications which were possible. The suit was settled out of court, but God’s malpractice premiums sky-rocketed.

            The family practice doctors of Eden were outraged when it was reported that God was reimbursed 30,000 shekels for the case.  Actually, He received only 567 (this included a 5% reduction because He didn’t demonstrate meaningful use of electronic health records for the year). In addition, Adam did not pay his portion of the deductible and God was forced to send him to a collection agency.

            God was further frustrated when the new Holy of Holies HMO plan restricted direct patient access to Him. When declining reimbursements along with rising overhead and small business taxes made it impossible to continue, God retired from the practice of medicine, even though he was universally regarded as a Great Healer—actually a genuine miracle worker.

            It was many years before He came out of retirement for the famous Lazarus case. By then, thing’s were much smoother as the Israelites were covered under Rome’s National Health Plan. Of course, the backlog of cases and rationing of care required Him to wait four days before bringing Lazarus back to life, but that’s another story.


  1. On the other hand, Lucifer was quite pleased with the reimbursement system he had devised.

  2. True. And the rules were a lot easier to follow.