I loved it when Dr. Park told off that slimy lawyer and his patient who was suing him because her life-saving operation activated her sex drive. I also love Gato not backing down from Hooten's inquisition. It's about time. Just 2 small critiques: 1) the Jehovah's Witness turning down life-saving treatment plotline has been cliche since the Dr. Kildare days. Grey's Anatomy even did that a few weeks ago, and 2) how many of us would sit down for a friendly drink with our boss who earlier reamed him out in front of his colleagues? C'mon, get real.
The latest Monday Morning bullying was actually on a Thursday. Yes, I do know the episode was broadcast on Monday, but El Gato's cross-examination was on Thursday. Not that it actually matters but I thought I would point it out, just for the record. Do not get me wrong, I do like the series, I love Alfred Molina's acting, I still remember seeing him years ago in a magic National Theater production of the Night of the Iguana, where he simply made Shanon, Shanon. Ving Rhames, Jamie Bamber and Keong Sim produce some sort of split Gregory House that is probably closer to an actual human being that anything House ever was. The idea of doctors challenging each other in a rather brutal way is just reassuring. Sadly I am not sure it actually ever happens, at least not in an honest way. The episode one "Licence to Kill" quote from Grey's anatomy was played perfectly. A doctor killing a patient and having to answer for it in front of his peers is definitely the way things should be done. The comic malpractice suits appear to come from Boston Legal, Is that just a coincidence?
In any case the series has started well, even very well, were it not for the fact that we seem to have forgotten that the main reason doctors should challenge each other is actually on medical decisions, and not really on moral or religious grounds. Medical choices ultimately kill or save patients. The other themes might make good after diner discussions, but frankly speaking, they belong more to a legal series than to Monday Mornings. So please stick with medical cases as much as possible, and on those be as brutal as possible. Those cases are not for the courts, money should not be the reason surgeons heal us properly. If you ever think that winning a malpractice suit will make you healthier, I do honestly recommend a good shrink.
But now, back to the cases of episode 4
a) The Moral ones: should a doctor let a patient die because of the patient's religious beliefs. Just for the record, with the exception of the USA, every country in the world would probably prosecute El Gato for manslaughter had he not saved his patient. Many zealous countries would have prosecuted her parents as well. Are those countries less respectful of religious beliefs than America. Hardly! They just have this rather original idea that saving lives is a physician's first role in life. Not doing anything as the parents suggested was doing harm, (leading to death as would have put it) which contradicts the Hypocrtic Oath. Case closed! The second moral dilemma is a rather funny one. Every hospital in the world makes every pre-operation patient sign a complete disclaimer that always will include unforeseen circumstances. It is usually not read, and in any case it is unreadable, but no lawyer, even in the USA could attack it as was the case in this episode. Furthermore having a stronger libido instead of no libido at all as was implied is hardly a medical condition. Let's accept it as the comic relief part of the episode, though I admit I am still missing the laughs.
b) The only true issue coming out in this episode was actually resolved within the first act. Doctor Ridgeway gets a truly Monday Morning Challenge. "To what extent her private life, her marriage collapsing, is actually influencing her medical decisions" It is a true pity that we did not get more into it. As professional and competent as all TV doctors can be from Dr. Kildare through MacDreamy, this is a serious point. Our private difficulties DO influence our work, whether we like to admit it or not. As long as it is a marketing or an accounting decision, life will go on. Now, when it comes to making a dramatic decision regarding a medical procedure, well I think not only the question needs to be asked, but it needs to be properly answered. Let's face it, had that 19 year old boy died, there was a brutal, and justified, malpractice suit looming over the hospital. An A for having raised the issue, but an F for avoiding it altogether!
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