Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Season 10 Episode 5


Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Oct 28, 2008 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (5)

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  • A sick baby left in a taxi leads the detectives to a mother who refused to treat her baby -or herself- for HIV after consulting with an alternative doctor who does not believe that HIV causes AIDS.

    This episode is essentially a propaganda piece for conventional medicine. While it shows cases of people dying from not receiving medical treatment, it doesn't mention the many people who die in spite of being given the latest medicines for AIDS. At the end, this is reinforced by a scene with a young boy with brain cancer. He explains how his parents did not want to treat him but only pray for him. Naturally, he didn't start to improve until he began receiving conventional medical treatment. Again, how many people die as a result of conventional medical treatment? When watching something like this you may want to keep in mind that companies like NBC depend on large advertisers, including pharmaceutical companies for their revenue. I don't pretend to know the whole truth about AIDS -I'm not endorsing the "conspiracy theory" put forth by the alternative doctor in this episode. My point is only that shows like this are biased and only show one side of the debate.
  • Thinking for yourself - regardless of age.

    I found this episode so compelling. Obviously, with the medical background involved there where areas that our team wasn't familar with. But they are familar with the victims. In this case a mother trying to force her beliefs on her children. Those beliefs ultimately costing her the life or her daughter as well as her own. Her son left to his own devices can only function with how and what he's been taught. Unfortunately, that belief is not the truth. He has to find the strength to learn that we have to think for ourselves with the information available for all sources. Not just those thoughts and beliefs within our own family. In this case it was about HIV and the AIDS virus. But as Stabler finally conviences Tommy, it could be about religion or as used in the courtroom the Holocaust. We need to establish our own beliefs.
  • The truth vs. the denial

    Very good and insightful episode about the denial of AIDS: that it is some government conspiracy to scare people (and insurance companies) out of money. That's the one thing the episode did not cover: how the insurance companies would react from people like Susan and the quack doctor in this episode. The way they handled Susan's teenage son was very compelling especially at the end when he finally faces up to the lies his mother and doctor told him after Stabler takes him to see a patient who wants to be cured but whose parents are Christian Scientists. Yes, God did create doctors to help us and a doctor with an agenda is no help at all.
  • Based on a sad story from real life

    This episode reveals the danger of denial. It's natural to wish you didn't have an illness, and most people hope their own serious sickness or that of a loved one is the exception to the rule and won't require treatment. Fortunately, most people don't let their wishful thinking get in the way of common sense. They find a good doctor and get treated.
    Sadly, a very small minority of patients and relatives allow their natural initial denial to become denialism, a mindset that refuses to accept reality under any circumstance. They insist that their condition is not real or that unproven treatments will cure it. They surround themselves with other people, usually found on the internet, who agree with them. They even manage to find doctors who either share their medically ridiculous beliefs or are unethical enough to prey on their patients' ignorance.
    This episode is loosely based on a similar case from California. An HIV-positive woman named Christine Maggiore convinced herself that HIV was harmless after speaking with a scientist who has become infamous for his strange and unsupported idea that HIV doesn't cause AIDS. She took his advice and didn't take medications. She had two children and didn't take any steps to keep them from getting infected at birth. She breast-fed them, although breastfeeding is a major source of mother to child transmission. Her daughter got HIV and died of AIDS-related pneumonia, three years old. Maggiore herself died soon after this episode aired, in late 2008.
    As revealing as "Retro" is, it doesn't quite present what actually happens in cases like these, since the show delivers justice in a much more satisfying way than real life. In the episode, the bad doctor is punished. In reality, the doctors who went along with the mother's denial got nothing but a slap on the wrist. And the bad scientist who initially convinced Ms. Maggiore that HIV was harmless, and also advised the South African government's disastrous AIDS policy that resulted in over 300,000 needless deaths, is still a tenured professor, still telling lies about AIDS, protected at his posh university by administrators who care more about political correctness than human lives.
  • A baby with AIDS is left in the back of a taxi

    In this episode of Law and Order: SVU the following happens. A baby s rushed to hospital, after being left in the back of a taxi cab. Olivia and Elliott are called in when they learn that the baby has AIDS and her parents haven't treated her. Through DNA the team are able to identify the mother. They learn that she left the baby with her down stairs neighbour when she was set back to prison. They learn that the cab driver lived there. They go to see a doctor who believes that people with AIDS do not needs tablets to stop the disease. We learn that the baby is going to be ok in the short term but will not live to see High School.
    The team get a tip through about another one of his patients who has hasn't been treating with proper medication and they head there only to learn that the little girl is dead. She died after an allergic reaction to medication. They track down the man who made the tip and he got HIV from the little girl's mother, Susan. She never she had HIV, but she sees HIV as harmless. The body of little Lisa is dug up in an effort to learn her true cause of death. The manor of death is ruled as a homicide. During the trail Susan collapses and has a seizure. At the hospital we learn that she has a brain disease caused by her AIDS. She admits that Lisa isn't the only child who died because of the doctor she then stops breathing and her heart stops beating, and she dies. Her son Tommy is now left alone in the world. They soon learn of 2 more children who died due to untreated HIV. They soon learn of 7 more family whilst going through the doctors files. We soon learn that Tommy may also have HIV. When they try to test his blood, his lawyer gets a restraining order against it. When Tommy kicks Elliott he breaks 2 of his ribs. Because of this Tommy is arrested for assaulting a police officer. During the trial, the judge rules that if Tommy doesn't want to get tested then they can't force him. The charges against him for the attack on Elliott are also dropped. Elliot takes Tommy to met Kyle who has brain cancer. Kyle parents don't believe in doctors and hospitals and so he went against their wishes and believes to get well. At the end of the episode Tommy decides to get tested and we learn that he does have HIV. He tells Elliott that he doesn't want to die.
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