The Lazarus Effect Consideration Pt 1


“It makes me think of Lazarus. He must have had those shadows after his miracle. You don’t spend time in the tomb without it changing you, and everyone who was waiting for you to come out.” Sara Zarr


This is the first of a three part series discussing the similarity of Lazarus being called from the grave by Jesus and a modern scenario of a person ( male/ female) who while not being actually dead and buried was to a certain extent made comatose by a specific drug cocktail that converted them into walking corpses devoid of both personality and awareness.

PART ONE : A n erroneous medical diagnosis

For my brother in law and his wife this nightmare scenario began 25 years ago when she was first placed in a mental facility to determine the causes of her unusual behavior. She was described as being flighty, argumentative, hyper active and unmanageable by her close family and friends.

She was quickly placed in a mental facility by her family. The psychiatrist at the time did not perform a medical history for her but prescribed an oral kemadrin and haldol combination to calm her down and lessen her “involuntary’ movements. The drug combination worked. On that very day she lost herself and her unique personality. She had become a human vegetable.

This speedy but universally recognized resolution to this problem created more problems for the woman and her husband. Since the attending physician at the the neglected to run a full medical history but routinely prescribed this drug combination he did not discover that she was the victim of parental abuse and also suffering from post partum separation that had not been either treated or diagnosed from an earlier time in her adult life.

This being said she continued to take this medication for the next twenty five years. The family physician continued to refill the prescription. She gained weight, slept over nineteen hours a day and was for all intent and purposes a living corpse. Her husband went along with this media treatment. 

Five years ago she was assigned a psychiatrist in the town where she lived. Her sleeping condition began to worry her husband who tried to contact the psychiatrist via telephone and written letters but to no avail The sleeping continued and the husband’s concern also increased. He wrote a letter of concern to the hospital but received no reply.

A new psychiatrist assigned to her three years ago chatted with her and noted that she was not bipolar but rather suffering from depression. He lessened her Haldol intake and eliminated the Kemadrin. This approach enabled her to become not only aware of her surroundings but also opened her eyes to the fact that a great many years of her life were lost due to the incorrect diagnosis.

With this new realization she hated the fact that her husband had said nothing to help her or the family physician whom she described as a mere “pill pusher” did not help to alter her medication. She was upset that so many years of her life had been lost.

This is the point where part two of our tale begins. The question is this: did the biblical Lazarus emerge from the tomb the same person that everyone knew and loved and cared for?

This woman had been in a mental state of limbo for so many years and now is bemoaning the fact that she has grown older and her opportunities have narrowed substantially.

In part two I will discuss the “new woman” who has emerged from this chrysalis and how her husband and family members view this newly reborn person.






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