Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Author Beware: Hallmark's Christmas Magic

There's nothing more charming for me than a Hallmark Christmas movie. Several I loved this past Christmas season-- particularly Trading Christmas written by Debbie Macomber. Hilarious if you're a writer.

Some I didn't like as much-- and you guessed it-- had to do with a medical reason.

Christmas Magic was a Hallmark movie where a young PR exec was involved in serious car accident.

Spoiler alert!

Most of the movie, you're led to believe that she has died and is doing some angel work before going to heaven. At the end of the movie-- you learn she has been in a comatose state and the climatic scene is where the man and daughter she was trying to help, come to her side at the hospital, to sing her back to life before her father "pulls the plug."

My first issue: You should actually look injured if you've been in such a devastating car accident that you've been lying in a hospital bed for the better part of a week. In her "death" scene, her hair is clean and styled. Nary a scratch on her pretty face. Exactly what was her injury? Supposedly brain trauma. Well, she should at least have a bruise on her head.

My second issue: Pulling the plug generally denotes that you are on a ventilator. Discontinuing the ventilator-- pulling the plug-- means a patient's breathing is no longer being assisted, they then cannot oxygenate their body, and the heart will stop beating when it doesn't have oxygen.

In this scene, she was on a heart monitor (which is merely a monitoring device) and an IV bag of fluids hung at her bedside. She was not on a ventilator. Therefore, no "plug to pull".

To denote discontinuing "life support" the nurse in the movie turned off the IV solution where then the heart began to slow down. Okay, you will die if you are in a comatose state from dehydration (think Terri Shiavo's case) but it will not happen in a few minutes. It will take days.

But, this patient was able to comply and nearly died in a few short minutes.

Next season, Hallmark Channel, hire me as a consultant. You might be surprised at how inexpensive I am!


  1. There was no danger I'd ever watch a show like this--I like sitcoms and sports--but when I stumble upon something that shows the writers didn't do their homework, I grind my teeth and change the channel.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Jordyn, I comment on this all the time to my husband. Just the other day I watched a movie called "Puncture" with Chris Evans, about a nurse who was stuck with an HIV-infected needle. Chris Evans plays a lawyer trying to get the hospitals to use the new "stick-proof" needle. And a character in the movie kept saying "plastic needles" had killed people in Africa. Plastic needles? No such thing. Obviously they had no medical rep on that movie set.

  3. Richard-- not even if your sweet wife asked you to? Maybe if she asked on Christmas Day! Your comment made me smile...

    And Renee-- YIKES? Of course I've just requested this movie on Netflix. Sounds like it would make a good couple of posts!

  4. Jordyn, I watched that movie, too. I agree--pitiful ending! Now I know who to call if I ever write fiction. Actually, I might need you for one of my nonfiction ideas at some point. Love your blog!!!

  5. Now I'm really going to have to watch that movie! I'm happy to help with non fiction, too. Glad you like the blog. I appreciate the support!