Medical Review of The Shack

There’s nothing like a Christian movie to create a firestorm of controversy. I am a Christian and saw the film and I thought the biggest failure of the film was actually medical in nature.

That’s right . . . medical.

There have been plenty of articles written on The Shack’s theology, but I doubt anyone has touched on the medical inaccuracies which I’ll do here. If you haven’t seen the movie and don’t want any spoiler alerts then stop reading . . . like right now.

The story revolves around a man named Mack who early in the film narrowly misses a major collision with a semi. At the end of the movie, it’s revealed that he’s been in a coma (he’s been unresponsive) for approximately 2-3 days. Our first glimpses of Mack post accident are in a regular patient room. He has an IV, IV fluids and is on a monitor.

Problem One: If you’re broadsided by a semi, you should actually look injured. Mack is relatively uninjured as a result of this accident. He has but a few scrapes (not even stitches) on his face and none of his bones are broken.

Problem Two: The IV pump is not running. If you watch the film, the IV pump is off. If it were on, you’d see numbers lit up on the screen.

Problem Three: If a patient is unresponsive, you have to provide a way for things to come out. Think about it, do you ever go three days without peeing? Neither does a comatose patient. Plus, we need to ensure kidneys are functioning properly which means we need to monitor urine output. This is the type of patient where the phrase “a tube in every orifice” means exactly what it means. Also, there is a significant amount of literature that patients should be nourished with tube feedings much earlier. In real life, Mack would likely be in the ICU, perhaps even on a ventilator, until he woke up. His only medical support would not just be IV fluids.

Next time Shack, call me.

4 thoughts on “Medical Review of The Shack

  1. I love your eagle eye. Movies used to have continuity folks. I see odd stuff all the time in movies and tv shows, but certainly not like you!! I loved the show ER. I have even watched the entire run several times on DVD. They always had medical personnel as advisors and actual nurses on the show. That being said, I read The Shack when it came out years ago and hated it. The guy’s got another book out now that’s just not right. Love your posts!!

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    • Hi Susan!

      Thanks so much for your comment. Michael Crichton was heavily involved with that show and I’m pretty sure he had an emergency medicine background. Probably reason #1 it was fairly close to reality– other than healing everyone by the end of the hour ;).

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  2. I am glad you shared the medical side…you are right. would have-should have been different. I read the book but not seen movies yet, there is a lot of controversy about it. I do not take movies literally ,they are fun to me.
    Paula O

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    • Hi Paula,

      Thanks for your comment. I agree, some movies we definitely can’t take literally. However, I also find that if some movies/TV shows are wildly inaccurate than it pulls me out of the story. It’s a fine line for sure.

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