According to the report, 73% of Mainers who were classified by researchers as “having cheated death” also admitted to having been unfaithful in a long term relationship.
“We stumbled upon this theory quite by chance,” Dr. Jennifer Altman, who heads the WMMC Research Department, told this Modern Philosopher. “Three years ago, our Emergency Department saved the lives of a couple horrifically injured in an automobile accident. We assumed they were married, but when their respective spouses showed up in the ED, we realized we had been wrong.”
According to Dr. Altman, one of the nurses sarcastically grumbled about cheaters cheating death. That comment stuck with one of the doctors, who recalled a case from a few months earlier where a woman almost died in the ED from an allergic reaction.
“In that case, the patient’s husband and boyfriend got into a brawl when they both showed up to check on the woman they loved,” Dr. Altman informed me with a roll of her eyes.
“I sent out a hospital wide email urging staff members to share any stories about a patient cheating death. When my inbox ended up crammed with emails, I told my researchers to start pulling files and looking for even more instances.”
Once Altman’s team had enough cases, they began to call the patients. Some were told it was a basic follow up call to check on their health, while others were told it was a research study on near death experiences.
“People who have cheated death love to talk about it,” Dr. Altman told me with a sly smile. “In fact, they won’t shut up about it once they get going on it. Because of this, it was easy for my team to slip in a question about infidelity.”
The researchers were stunned at how many people who had turned away death had also been unfaithful to their partners.
“To be honest, we worried it meant that some very amoral people lived in the area that our hospital served,” she told me with a shrug. “That was why we brought in the University team to help us expand our subject pool to the entire state.”
To Altman’s amazement, while the numbers did dip a little, they still settled in at 73%.
What conclusions can Dr. Altman and the WMMC Research Department make from this study? Would it be that large of a leap to say that having an affair could actually be good for your health?
The good doctor laughed loudly at that second question. “I wouldn’t go quite that far, Austin. I’m in no position to tell anyone how to life his or her life, but I am certainly not going to encourage infidelity based on the fact that it might prolong one’s life.”
“As a Modern Philosopher, you might want to ponder the idea that even though these patients were able to cheat death, having done so means they have to continue to live with the guilt of their adultery.”
She did have a point, and as I noticed the wedding band on her finger, I wondered if Dr. Altman had ever cheated or been the victim of an affair. I realized that didn’t matter.
What mattered was that the research showed that a large number of Mainers were unfaithful and weren’t afraid to talk about.
Maybe they didn’t intend for you to die, but rather, to always wonder if your near death experience was the result of bad behavior.
You might be able to cheat on your loved one on multiple occasions, but do you feel lucky enough to cheat death a second time?