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Article on Jesus' Death

April 13, 1986

I am responding to the article in the View section of March 28, "Christ's Death Under Medical Examination" by Allan Parachini. I had received the Journal of the American Medical Assn. the week before, and as a member of a local Jewish medical ethics group, I am in the process of arranging a fuller reply to the magazine. However, for the benefit of your non-medical readers, I would like to state the following:

The article in the journal is not a medical examination of Jesus' death. It is, in fact, a mixture of forensic pathology and theology gleaned in its entirety from the various Gospels. It is unfortunate that the authors of the article did not confine themselves, as Parachini asserts, to "the first prominent medical evaluation of the Crucifixion."

Instead, the authors of the article used the Gospels to assert events concerning the action of the Jewish community at that time, which modern, non-Jewish theologians now dispute. The authors allude, for instance, to Jesus' trial by the Jews, by the Sanhedrin, and to the urgings for punishment by the Jewish hoi polloi. These have no place in an article that ostensibly is of a medical nature.

CECIL ROLBIN MD

Buena Park

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