The New York Times SundayReview | OPINION
by IRENE HURFORD OCT. 1, 2016
Philadelphia — In the middle of the night in my second year of psychiatric residency, 13 years ago, I was awakened to see a prophet. The man, in his early 50s, had been living on the streets. He was a college graduate from a middle-class family. But on Christmas Eve three decades earlier, the Archangel Michael had come to him in a vision and demanded that he spread God’s word.
“He told me I would suffer great pain,” the man said. “His words are true. I suffer great pain.” He lifted his shirt and showed me his chest, covered in Kaposi sarcomas, the stigmata of full-blown AIDS.
He said he had come to the emergency room to preach. I encouraged him to check into the hospital for care. He refused, and I considered my options. I could allow him to leave, or I could admit him involuntarily. I » Continue Reading.