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I just finished watching tonight's season finale and wow, wow, wow. What a powerful one. I have to say it turned out to be the perfect combination between the tabloid predictions (re: Carter) and having a less cliff-hanger and thus annoying ending. I for one thought that it was so great how the only person who got through to Carter was Benton. And how Benton flew w/ Carter to Atlanta to undergo rehab. I am SOOOO happy that the episode did not end with Carter just disappearing leaving the viewers wondering what happened to him, etc.

I thought that Noah Wyle did a fine job -- He has been so great since the stabbing episode -- great acting. When he broke down with Benton I nearly lost it.

Anyway, I would love to hear if people agree with me on all this.

ALso, really spooky storyline with the girl and the 8 month old fetus...Can you imagine what a doctor in that situation would go through to then deliver a dead baby??? Makes me shiver in disgust.

-- Lara (, May 18, 2000


I totally agree...actually just posted a reponse to Benton had to be the one... Talk about connection...those two have such a history, truly Benton is the only one who knows Carter's soul. Fabulous performance. As for Luka...I think all the hype of someone commiting suicide was in possible reference to him. Notice the shot of him, THEN the train, then him...after all he's been through my thought is he was seriously considering jumping. It's obvious he wasn't planning on boarding the train, it never stopped. This episode finally showed some real depth to his charecter...more than that hyped "defining moment show" several weeks ago, that was hardly a defining moment. This episode was moving...I could feel the depth of his pain and loss...and Carter's. I only hope Lucy's memory lives on in Carter. I still mourn along with Carter but everyone seemed to move on without a second thought in the next episode. Emmy to Wyle and Martin this season.

-- Ann (, May 18, 2000.

I am speechless after this episode. Honestly. I agree with all that you said, but my goodness, this eppy was so... WOW! Benton and Carter, I LOVED their scenes together. What a great season finale. I CAN NOT wait for season seven.

-- samira (, May 18, 2000.

Yay for Benton! I was SO happy someone FINALLY hugged him, and it was Benton...he called him "man" then "Carter". Loved that they brought up Carter's past (Chase), even if it was brutal, it got though to him. Did everyone else (Kerry, Mark) know he'd get on the plane with him? The first thing I thought when we saw a very depressed looking Carter was, Oh my gosh, he's all alone, flying there, poor guy!...and then there was Benton, sitting next to him. Very relieved. It seemed very odd that he'd have to go all the way to Atlanta for help, that kind of bothered me, but I guess it's for dramatic effect, so that next season will most likely be his return back to Chicago. That makes the most sense. So will they have him be there all summer? Or will they pick up in the middle of the summer (like the 4th of July epi a few seasons ago) Does anyone know if there really is a specialized rehab for this in Atlanta? Anyways, loved how they had those closest to him confront him (and glad they knew to go to Deb and Benton). Wow, this leaves so much for them to continue with next season, which is great.

As for Luka, I think that last view of him opened up some good ideas for him next season. Some people thought he would be seen in a worse light after this, but I don't think so at all. It was like with Doug and his determination to do things even if they were wrong. Except we never *completely* found out why Doug was like that, but we do know why Luka is. He has a reason to be so determined about saving a boy over a killer, or saving a baby against the mother's wishes, and the final look on his face was so sad. Medically, what he did was wrong, but in his set of mind, it was not. The fact that he was ready to lose his job over saving a baby (and the difference between all other situations is that Cleo spelled it out completely, rationally for him, whereas other doctors, like Doug with Ricky, were not thinking about that at the moment of the rash actions) proves that he has been even more affected by all of this than we even thought. I was almost wondering if he was thinking of the way, does ANYONE know that she's not coming back!?

-- Elaine (, May 19, 2000.

Elaine, there is a post above that talks about the rehab place in Atlanta. It is real and I believe the only one in the US that specializes in doctors with drug addictions. So do you guys think that Carter;s rehab will take place over the summer and he will be back for Oct? Or we will see some of him in Atlanta at rehab?

I totally agree with everything you said about Luka. Everyone probably knows how much I love this character, but after tonight I do even more. He was not shown in a bad light at all. If anything I think he was shown favorably. I can't wait to see what they do with Luka next season. BTW, I am not surprised at all that there was no mention of Carol. i wonder though if we will ever get a mention of her?

-- amanda (, May 19, 2000.

Elaine, that was such a good point about seems so obvious but you're so right, we never really did figure out why he behaved the way that he did. I loved the character of Doug and would defend him six ways from Sunday, but half the time I had no idea what he was doing, and kept waiting for the writers to give a clue...and usually none came. So you end up analyzing and rationalizing and creating your own reasons as to why a beloved character would do certain things that were so destructive, both to himself and those he loved. That the character of Luka is being handled differently is a sign of progress, I think...I remember reading about mayday beforehand and thinking that poor Luka was going to be in the doghouse, not only from irate Doug&Carol fans (of which I am one) but for the God complex the writers seemed to be developing in his character. But this episode managed to portray his struggle in a sympathetic light, in a way that was never really done for Doug. Perhaps comparing the two is taboo, but really...sometimes it must be done.

-- vicki (, May 19, 2000.

Great season finale! I agree with other comments that the emotions between Carter and Benton was like of a brother and an older brother. Great performances between the two actors. Both should get Emmys. Bravo Noah, and Eric. Also Bravo to the writers. This ending leaves many possible directions open for the regulars next season. Al

-- AL JOhnson (, May 19, 2000.

It never crossed your mind that Doug acted the way he did because his fathe repeatedly beat and abused him and his mother, and frequently abandoned them?

-- Phyl (, May 19, 2000.

Vicki, actually, I shoudl have said that we do have *some* idea of what was going on with Doug, and that was his father. We had a glimmer of an idea throughout all of the seasons (that he abandoned them) but we didn't find out until "fathers and sons" that he would leave him alone in hotels and come home drunk or hung over, etc. I don't know for sure if he abused them...I remeember Doug having dinner with his mother once and Doug reassured her "he can't touch us anymore"...but I don't think we ever found out if he meant that he physically abused either of them or not. Someone please clarify this if they know. But anyways, the fact that Luka has these set values because he has lived through the saddness of a war is even more powerful and I think this will play into next season well.

I am thinking maybe JM wouldn't want much mention of her character after she left, but a little mention of the affects of her departure would be nice. And it will seem odd if they bring her up next season.

-- Elaine (, May 19, 2000.

I just got to this posting, and yes Phyl, it did indeed cross MY mind that Doug's awful childhood had a big part in making him into what he was. But since you said it, I won't. :-)

-- S. Trelles (, May 19, 2000.

Elaine I didn't finish reading the rest of your post.

We got a good glimpse of Doug's childhood during "Fathers and Sons". Ray Ross was certainly abusive with Doug's mother and Doug told Mark a few other choice tidbits as well. This was all during the "get your head out of your ass" speech to Mark. Correct me if I'm wrong, Phyl?

-- S. Trelles (, May 19, 2000.

I'm sorry, I did not mean to offend anyone. I did not mean to say that Doug did not have reasons for doing what he did. I loved the character of Doug, specifically because I could not always figure him out...that was part of the appeal. I am such the Doug and Carol fan. There just seemed to be room for interpretation in so many of his actions...and I love to read the messages on this site because it opens me up to new ways of perceiving things. You're very right, Phyl, such terrible childhood abuse explains a lot, and I did not mean to say that it is not relavent. But I felt like Doug got a bad rap from everyone else all the time, and was always misunderstood. I just meant to say that they seem to be taking a different approach with Luka, as well they should, as he is a seperate and unique character. Again, sorry to offend.

-- vicki (, May 19, 2000.

You didn't offend, I just found it odd that you didn't recall the apparent reason which would explain Doug's behavior. He said, finally, that he was doing a good imitation of his father, and the change in him over the seasons was really fun to watch.

Luka is tortured, and I feel sorry for him, but I've started writing the review and I tell you, as much as I hold a child's life to be valuable, I find it disturbing that a doctor would try in any way to hold a patient accountable to his own morals. I don't see things in black and white, but see the shades of gray, and in this gray area, while Luka's intent was humane toward the child, and even toward the young mother, it disturbed me that not once, but twice, was he using his medical skill to either punish or to force someone into doing what HE thought they should do. I'll don my asbestos after the review is complete.

-- Phyl (, May 19, 2000.

i still wonder why the mothers life would not be in danger. wouldnt she be bleeding out of the placenta? i mean, the baby wasnt getting any oxygen, because of the ruptured placenta, right? so, the blood must be going into the uterus, so wouldnt the mothers life be in danger, losing all that blood?

-- ALexis Springer (, May 19, 2000.

I have yet another take on Luka. Besides the war affecting him and making him "different", I also think about him being a European- trained doctor. Ethics and responsibilities are slightly different there and I think had this woman been in Europe or say Israel, that baby would have been saved.

-- maryann (, May 19, 2000.

Alexis, I thought the same thing. I would have thought that the mother's life could have been at risk. My cousin had placenta previa during her pregnancy and at about 8 - 8 1/2 months the placenta pulled away from the uterus and she started bleeding...they rushed her to the hospital for an emergency c-section. I would have thought she may have had the risk of bleeding out. And why couldn't they induce her while the baby was still alive? I am sure they had to induce her after the baby had died.

-- amanda (, May 19, 2000.

There is another rehab place in Atlanta beside the one somone mentioned in a above post that specialises in medical personel too. Someone posted in on another board and I went to their website and read about it. This place has a great national reputation. They said the average stay is 6-14 weeks depending on how bad the drug and other related problems and how well they respond to treatment. I imagine that Carter's won't last 14 weeks because he does not have a long term addiction. I also believe that once they are released carter will probably continue some type of outpatient therapy for awhile. I imagine it will some therapist at county. I guess we will know in four months how ER decides to handle it.

-- Brenda (, May 19, 2000.

I'd love to have seen the stuff between Carter crying in Benton's arms and the two of them on the airplane together. Like did Carter ask Benton to come with him or did Benton just go, etc.

-- Diana (, May 19, 2000.

Diana, I would have liked to see that too (and Benton telling everyone he's going with), but those are the kind of things no TV drama shows. I guess we can just see it the way we want!

I think that Benton would insist on going, after seeing him break down, he wouldn't leave him alone to go off for however long by himself. I picture Carter telling him no at first, but giving in; he would not want to go alone.

* This is totally unrelated, but wouldn't he want to go home, change, pack? (I guess he might have, but it seemed like they just whisked over there and took off) Mark said they were going to take him in his van to the airport. So did Peter take Mark's van? (he was out of a ride later)

-- Elaine (, May 19, 2000.

I don't think it would matter if he took much with him because a lot of it would be taken away during the first days when he's been detoxed, then gradually given back. Gamma could send a package later and then maybe bring more during family week.

-- Diana M. (, May 19, 2000.

Phyl, before you write your review, you might want to consider why the writers had the judge agree with Luka. Apparently, he had a case (with which I agree) in the eyes of the justice system -- now why is that? Also, Luka had a point about his patient being transferred to County because they had pediatric emergency capabilities (and it was further away than Mercy). I knew a pediatric trauma specialist that was adament about unequipped emergency rooms being bypassed for ones that had this kind of specialty. I think that in both these situations, the issues are much more complex, or Luka wouldn't have gotten as far as he did. The writers opened a debate and I commend them for it. You will have to put on the asbestos.

-- Marlie (, May 20, 2000.

Elaine & Diana M. [ & everyone else :) ]---- I was wondering some of the same practical questions . . . like, well, couldn't Benton (or whomever) at least let Carter go home & get some PJ's (if he's going to be in a hospital setting at first) & maybe a good 'ol toothbrush???? Also, I'm confused about the whole detox part of his rehab. How can the clinic take Carter off all pain medications when he really does have serious pain to battle? Wouldn't he be in significant *legitimate* back pain that would merit some medical assistance even during detox???? Thanks for your input!

-- Mary G. (, May 20, 2000.

if he is still in pai, is this normal? maybe they should check on his kidneys again, or they might take him off narcotics altogether and put him on motrin or something. on the other hand, he might not be in pain still, but jsut hooked on the painkillers? which one is it?

-- ALexis Springer (, May 20, 2000.

Marlie wrote: "Phyl, before you write your review, you might want to consider why the writers had the judge agree with Luka. Apparently, he had a case (with which I agree) in the eyes of the justice system -- now why is that?"

You seem to think that will change the reality of the the poor way Luka makes medical decisions. It does not. He is not in the position to assume anything. The court order was issued because the judge had had *time* on his side and had that court order arrived in time, I would have applauded Luka for going against the patient's wishes. I'm not saying Luka was *wrong* in his own moral way, wanting to save the life of the baby. I'm saying Luka was *dead wrong* in his insistence that he and Cleo should act against the wishes of the patient. Dead wrong. And, the court order doesn't change anything until it's in his hands. I am quite able to see the shades of gray, and I understand the dilemma was that there were innocent people at risk. I understand how awful it is that a viable baby was allowed to die. However, the reality of the situation is that unless and until he had a court order, he could not badger or force his will upon anyone, which he vigorously attempted to do. So, the court order doesn't change my argument that Luka was out of line in wanting to forge ahead and act on his own.

Marlie also said: "Also, Luka had a point about his patient being transferred to County because they had pediatric emergency capabilities (and it was further away than Mercy)."

You got it right, the kid needed to go to a pedes emergency room (you remember, the same one Kerry and Mark argued against) HOWEVER, Benton's patient was more critical. I don't dispute the fact that the kid needed to go to the pedes emergency room, I dispute that Luka was self-righteous in his demand that his patient be transported first NOT on the objective examination, but because the child, being innocent, *deserved* it more. As a doctor, he cannot make that moral judgment. He can *think all he wants* about doing it, but he cannot, and he did. Now, you may not like that, but doctors have to treat criminals and child-molesters just like they treat nuns.

Marlie said: "I think that in both these situations, the issues are much more complex, or Luka wouldn't have gotten as far as he did."

Luka got as far as he did because he bulldozed his way into doing it. I never said he was *wrong* in feeling the way he did (they are his feelings) but I maintain his actions were reprehensible.

Marlie ended with: "You will have to put on the asbestos."

As I work in the medical profession, I'm fully confident in what I've written in my review. People may feel in their hearts that only good people deserve medical treatment, but in this country at least, examinations and medical treatment can't only be doled out to the worthy. Luka has a tremendous problem with this, as evidenced in this episode and in prior episodes. Remember the kidney transplant patient that wasn't "worthy" of a kidney? He's a judgmental dude, and as a doctor in the U.S., he simply cannot be. So, my asbestos can handle it.

-- Phyl (, May 20, 2000.

In the end lets not forget that Luka did NOT perform the C-section on that girl. He did the "right" thing. Sure, he needed some prodding from Cleo, but he realized it was the "right" thing to do. I didn't feel that his badgering of the patient was too out of line. Any doctor would have discussed the options with her. I don't have the tape to rewatch but it seems most of his ranting went on to other doctors (Cleo, the OB doctor, etc.) rather than the girl. He is not the only doctor who has done something like this. If I recall, Doug did things like this... didn't he detox a baby without the mother's consent and didn't he do some sort of spinal thing on a little Chinese boy without really explaining to the mother what he was doing because he thought it was best? It seems Carter has done this too. I know doctor's are supposed to treat everyone and they do (although Kerry could not handle treating Paul Sobricki) but I think it must be NEARLY impossible to keep their personal feelings out of some situations. Like I said, lets not forget, Luka did come to his senses and did what was right.

-- amanda (, May 20, 2000.

One line I would have liked in the scene with Luka and the OB doctor (I forget her name, but she's a recurring character) is to have her say to him, "In this country, we don't invade women's bodies without their consent." Sort of a reference to the goings-on in the former Yugoslavia with rape warfare. Luka isn't a Serb, but I could see the OB doctor being vague about where exactly he is from... it would have been interesting to see Luka get a little of what he dishes out, when it comes to being morally righteous and judgmental.

-- debbie (, May 20, 2000.

Amanda, I don't think Luka held off on the C-section because he realized it was the "right" thing to do. He held off because Cleo made him realize that he'd get fired and/or lose his license. He is, as Phyl pointed out, very judgmental and if he had had the slightest bit of support from anyone, he would have gone against that woman's wishes. And yes, Doug pulled the same kind of irresponsible stunts often--and look what happened to him!

-- Cecelia (, May 20, 2000.

Actually, I got the impression that Luka had every intention of performing the C-section no matter what Cleo said to him, and that he only stopped his preparations for it when the baby monitor showed that the fetal heartbeat was lost. I think he stopped what he was doing because he knew it was too late. If the heartbeat hadn't stopped, I really think Luka would have gone ahead with the procedure. He certainly looked grim and determined and as if no one, no matter what they said, was going to get him to change his mind.

-- Annie (, May 20, 2000.

OK...I can see that I am the only one defending Luka here, but one more thing! :) I don't have the tape so I cannot rewatch this epi until it reruns, but I really thought he had stopped his prep to do the c- section while the baby was still alive. I also felt that he came to a realization that he could not do this. And it may have been because of Cleo's telling him that he would get fired and lose his license. I am not a doctor, but I do know some and from other stories on this see this kind of thing alot. Maybe not to the extreme of the Luka storyline. But doctors must face this dilemma all the time. And how many of them back off only because it is against the rules? I can remember other storylines like this...Jing Mei wanting to tell the daughter of the guy (from X-files) of his disease. She tried to persuade him to do the moral thing and even went to Mark. He had to remind him that a doctor could not go against his patient's wishes. Abby had another dilemma with the elderly lady that had been on Be Still my Heart who did not want to be hooked up to tubes and stuff. Carter had to remind her they could not go against the patient's wishes. And just last week, Carol went against the patient's wishes and resuscitated her when there was a DNR in place. This kind of thing happens alot and everyone is coming down on Luka so hard. The writers seem to keep throwing him in these situations and I don't know why. As you can tell, I love Luka and can see that he needs to quit wearing his heart on his sleeve. I am thinking this case may change him a little bit for next season. It may harden him a little. What do you guys think?

-- amanda (, May 20, 2000.

i think its gonna harden him a lot! maybe a good thing, i mean they DO work at county!! they see lots of this kind of stuff there. any by the way, Lka isnt the only one who lets his own beliefs and morals influence his decisions regarding the care of patients, i think they have ALL done it at one time or another! give poor Luka a break! he is not even from this country! he may not have ever seen this sort of case before, where a woman doesnt give much regard as to the value of the life she is carrying inside her. in other cultures, pregnancy is welcomed with open arms no matter what the situation, and is considered a blessing from God.

-- ALexis Springer (, May 20, 2000.

Not to defend this girl, but she obviously has some serious psychological problems. What bothered me about Luka's reaction is that he ruined any chances he may have had in convincing the girl to consent to the C-section by immediately putting her on the defensive. He never attempted to build a rapport with her or understand her real, though we may argue misguided, feelings about her baby. By the end, though I was repulsed that she let her baby die, I was also repulsed by the fact that she seemed to genuinely be afraid of Luka. When she was screaming that she wanted another doctor and he kept on going like he was going to cut her open, it was truly unsettling. Hopefully some of his remorse at the end is not only for the loss of the baby, but for his own actions as well.

-- Christy (, May 20, 2000.

Christy is absolutely right. The woman was obviously terrified, and Luka was trying to give her a guilt trip so he could save the baby! I know that some people must feel that "any means necessary" to save the baby were OK, but badgering a young, frightened, pregnant girl is reprehensible. I had a similar experience in a hospital once myself, where I was going under the knife for the first time (I was 18 myself) and the nurse was giving me a hard time about my "lifestyle" and "the bad choices" I'd made. What kind of way is that to treat an ER patient?

-- Cecelia (, May 20, 2000.

To me, calling Luka judgemental is just getting into name-calling and labelling, and is also passing judgement. There are those that would argue that he was saving the baby from the mother's will. They would argue that the baby was being treated brutally by it's mother to the point of inflicting death. Was he using his power as a physician to inflict his will on the mother, or was he using his power as a physician to save the baby? I think that Orman did a brilliant job of writing here. Her beliefs were certainly inflicted on the baby. This is an issue that has divided this country for 30 years. Regardless of a court order, having it, Luka would be doing the same thing, just with the support of the judge who made the decision. That's not to say that Luka couldn't be sued by the mother, but that he would probably have more power in the courts with it. It could be contested all the way to the Supreme Court and Luka would still have to pay a price. I would reserve judgement on this, because this is an issue of personal belief and comes down to the baby's rights (and whether a baby in utero has any rights) vs. the mother's rights and your own personal belief system, not on medical experience or judgement.

-- Marlie (, May 20, 2000.

Marlie, you are right for the most part--this issue has indeed divided the country for many years. But the Supreme Court still says that abortion is legal, and doctors cannot impose their morals on a woman against her wishes. There are some interesting comments on this in another thread, which is called "Wouldn't the girl be charged with murder?" In that thread I asked about state law regarding abortions in Illinois, and it seems that partial birth abortions are legal there, so Luka probably had no legal basis for his actions. It is a very sensitive issue, and disturbing to say the least, but we live in a country that defines itself by legal precedent much of the time. You have to be very careful that you don't set a precedent that will take away someone's rights in the future. I know, I know-- What about the baby's rights? Well, all I can say is, at this time, the laws in this country are first concerned with the rights of the woman, and whether or not she may choose to carry a child. Luka was the only person in the hospital who couldn't see that.

-- Cecelia (, May 20, 2000.

Cecelia, I agree with you. I'm just looking at both sides of the argument. AND, I don't think that the character of Luka deserves to be labeled because of this (frankly, nobody deserves it). I'm saying that, if I were doing the review, I would be very careful to tread the line of objectivity, because this issue has been argued for many years amongst theologians, politicians, scientists, and legal experts, and none of us can claim to have a "correct" viewpoint. It's an extremely sensitive issue, and I don't want to offend anyone or evaluate their viewpoint, based on my personal opinion. Yes, the law does support the rights of the mother, and a doctor who acted as Luka wanted to would be reemed in court (probably deservedly), but, introducing a court order simply points out the fact that this issue may not as well-defined by the law, and is constantly being INTERPRETED by the courts. I think that the issue of these "late- term" pregnancies is especially sensitive. The review should state the storyline, the issues acknowledged, without passing judgement on the character of Luka.

-- Marlie (, May 20, 2000.

Your point about the court order is well taken. It reminds us that the courts in this country are still made up of human beings, judges and legislators who have their own opnions. And those opnions, like our own, are often divided and controversial. Luka's decision could have been validated by one judge, but if they had drawn another judge he could have been shot down.

All in all, this show has certainly given us pause, reminding us of issues that make us think and sometimes reevaluate ourselves and our personal decisions. We may not agree with the characters' actions, but it forces us to ask ourselves why. I'm sure the reviewer(s) will do their usual job of presenting the story as it occurred, without much in the way of prejudice. Phyl always reminds us to try and see the shades of grey, all sides of each story.

-- Cecelia (, May 20, 2000.

Thanks, Marlie, for setting the boundaries for with which I should be reviewing. However, I can't fathom playing by your rules. I pass judgment on EVERY character and their motivations when I review. Otherwise, it would be a summary, which is objective. The summary WILL be objective. The review is subjective, that is, subject to my opinion.

All during this season, I've heard from fans of Luka how I should write or not write about him, and I'll tell you, it's not been pleasant. The plain, hard facts are that he can, and should, feel whatever way he likes. He can try as hard as he wants to persuade a patient to do what he thinks is medically correct. The other facts are that sometimes people do disgusting, heinous things and as a doctor, he can't force his will on the people that do those things. He simply can't. It's illegal and unethical, medically. In this country, he needed a court order. If Cleo hadn't been there to talk some sense into him, he'd have performed an operation on a patient who, disgusting as her actions might seem to us, refused it. In that, he was dead wrong. Why? Because that's the way the law reads. It has utterly nothing to do with pro-choice or pro-life or abortion, and I will not, repeat, will not go down that road for a million dollars. It has to do with a patient refusing treatment. She refused. He had one choice, that was to wait for a court order and hope like heck he got it in time. He was, until the very end, unwilling to do that.

-- Phyl (, May 20, 2000.

You're right, Phyl. Go ahead and pass judgement, then accuse the character of Luka of being judgemental. You do have the right because it's your review. Yawn. Cecelia, thanks for your restraint.

-- Marlie (, May 20, 2000.

I agree with Luka's opinions, but I also agree with a person having the right to refuse treatment. It is just hard when their is not just one person's life involved when the treatment is refused. The baby story was very heartbreaking to watch because as mentioned above a "viable" baby was lost. I think Luka was trying with all he had to get the mother to change her mind, and when he couldn't he tried with all he had to have her decision overruled. If in his place, I do not know if I could have sat by and see such a thing happen. I believe Luka's background influenced both his decisions/opinions regarding the baby and the shooting victim. Maybe codes of conduct are different from his country of origin, and he will have learn/accept the rules of protocol in making such decisions.

-- SB (, May 20, 2000.

Thank you for your permission, Marlie. Finally, you understand that a review is just that -- being subjective. Glad to see you understand that the job of reviewing is being judgmental of a CHARACTER OF FICTION who has no feelings that can be hurt. Sorry we're keeping you up past your bedtime.

-- Phyl (, May 20, 2000.

Phyl, you can always be counted on to bring the conversation to the level of insult. I thought that Cecelia and I had done a good job of not doing that.

-- Marlie (, May 20, 2000.

*Always?* LOL, okay, if you say so.

Did I insult you by ending the conversation in a yawn?, that was you, wasn't it? We don't agree, and that's fine, but for you to tell me I can't be "judgmental" in a subjective review is really odd. I can judge him all I like, which is the point of a review, and you can choose to not read the review, or rebut it when you do.

-- Phyl (, May 20, 2000.

One other question, Marlie: Since you state: "Phyl, you can always be counted on to bring the conversation to the level of insult," do we know each other from a former life, or did you have a former posting name you used to use here on the web page?

I only ask because you've only posted on one other thread on this site ("Spoiler*Spoiler*Spoiler*Luka")where I did not respond to any posts, and discussed Luka, Vukovar, and other things, and now you're on this thread, the first time we've ever discussed anything. There are no posts of record from you on Usenet. So, I wonder how you make the conclusion that I always "bring the conversation to the level of insult" if we've never conversed before. It leads me to think we have, and that perhaps you've used another name while posting.

Just curious :)

-- Phyl (, May 20, 2000.

Dear Phyl & Marlie -- much as I would enjoy reading your continued snarks at each other, could we please bring this thread back OT? You both make good points on the subject above, but this has really deteriorated into an ad hominem attack, which is neither the point of this thread nor particularly interesting for the rest of us. You both seem to be passionate, intelligent women with much to say on this topic... so let's hear more on that, okay? Thanks so much!

-- Emma (, May 20, 2000.

Dear Emma: You got it. I'm done. Hope that helps ;^D -- I've figured out what I need to. Sorry to cause so much distress.

-- Phyl (, May 20, 2000.

Hey Phyl thanks. Can't wait to read your review, as I truly enjoy your extremely subjective point of view (and your occasional and always articulate OT points, especially the soccer tournament analogy a couple of weeks ago).

The least that could be said is that this topic has inflamed passions! I had a slightly different perspective... I had the feeling the young girl had her own, private, legitimate reasons not to want this baby, for example that it was a child conceived from a sexual assault, incest, date rape, etc. etc. This may explain both her initial denial of the pregnancy and then her adamant but unelaborated refusal to allow any measures to save the baby. JMHO.

-- Emma (, May 20, 2000.

Moving right along...

I have to disagree with something Phyl said above, about Luka's behavior not having anything to do with abortion/pro-life/pro- choice. It seems to me that any medical situation involving a pregnant woman who makes a choice about whether or not to bear her unborn child MUST be about abortion--and any applicable laws. I've discussed this at length on a couple of other threads (So, Who Was Annoyed With Luka, and Wouldn't the Pregnant Girl be Charged with Murder). I understand your reluctance to go down that road, Phyl, and I wouldn't suggest you go there anyway--I've said more than once in these pages that this is not the appropriate forum to get into a heated debate of abortion issues. Regarding THIS episode of THIS television show, however, I can't see that the issue isn't relevant. There are laws in real life that would affect a situation such as Luka's, and I find it interesting to hear what different people think about that.

-- Cecelia (, May 20, 2000.

Cecelia, perhaps you either misread what I meant, or I didn't articulate it. I'm not saying that Luka's decision doesn't have anything to do with pro-life/pro-choice. I was saying that I refuse to be snared into a conversation about same. That's all. Sorry if I was unclear.

-- Phyl (, May 20, 2000.

Oh, BTW, I look forward to the summary/review also. And good points, Emma. The incest idea was also mentioned on the other threads and discussed somewhat there. Too bad we didn't get to learn more about her--Carol would have been able to coax her story out of that young woman, I'm sure.

-- Cecelia (, May 20, 2000.

I don't blame you at all, Phyl. In real life, I usually avoid those debates myself.

-- Cecelia (, May 20, 2000.

Thanks Cecilia. Gosh I think even Abby would have gotten more coherent answers from this girl than Doctors Bulldozer and Wood (!).

I only mentioned the assault/incest possibility since this actually happened to a relative of mine (ick!) Being a very religious woman she chose to keep the child and raise her as her own daughter. She was fortunate in that the parents of the man who assaulted her were very remorseful and have helped her in every way with the child. She is now 19 years old and is completely regarded as a member of our extended family. This might seem strange to some people but we chose to respect the choices made by the families and to not be (there's that word again!) judgemental.

In fact, this entire episode reminded me of Abby's failure to discuss all the options available to the overextended mom of four a few epis back (sorry, can't remember which one....) and just aim straight for the termination. In both cases, these young women would have benefitted enormously from a more compassionate, rational discussion and a clear presentation of ALL the choices available to them. Mark quite rightly scolded Abby for not doing this in the previous ep.

I believe it is ultimately the mother's choice, however. And Luka (I can't believe I'm saying this!!) was wrong to force HIS moral imperative on one of his patients.

-- Emma (, May 21, 2000.

Ooops that should be Cecelia. Sorry about that.

-- Emma (, May 21, 2000.

Oh, Emma. You are SO fortunate to be part of such an understanding family. I don't think it's strange, I think it's wonderful. If only the rest of society could learn that compassion...

As for the storyline about Abby, I agree that there's a parallel here. I said this on another thread and I'll say it here: the termination of a pregnancy, whether you like it or not, is a personal choice and no one has the right to force their view on another. If a woman is religious or pro-life, they shouldn't be badgered into an abortion, just as a pro-life woman shouldn't be harassed by those who insist she keep her baby. (And yes, it happens both ways, I speak from personal experience.)

However, it is also surgery that should not be performed lightly, at the drop of a hat, especially if the mother is distraught or stressed out, which is why most states have waiting periods. (Illinois, BTW, does not.) Luka's case involved a much more emergent situation than Abby's, but in both cases the mother was put under undue pressure to do what the doctor/med student felt was the right choice. Very disturbing. Very VERY disturbing.

[Thanks for spelling my name right Emma! :)]

-- Cecelia (, May 21, 2000.

Absolutely right Cecelia. I feel this storyline was so disturbing precisely BECAUSE there seemed to be, as Phyl said earlier, "shades of grey" rather than black-and-white issues. I couldn't really think of ANY solution to the poor girl's dilemma that wouldn't either take away her freedom of choice or seriously risk her mental, physical and emotional health to an extreme degree. These are issues that ER presents spectacularly, in my opinion, and the crowning achievement of this show is in the presentation. The resolution is often left to individuals (or to communities like this one :) to discuss long after the pictures have faded from our screens. It gives us an inkling of the ethical and medical situations faced daily by real-life doctors in real-life hospitals, striving to operate within the law as well as honouring their oath.

And as for being fortunate to live in an understanding family... thanks so much. I guess we were raised to believe that pro-choice means EVERYONE gets to choose for himself/herself, and it's not always our place to pass judgement on others' choices. Wouldn't want it done to me, so...

Wouldn't it be nice for our Luka to have a straightforward, "open-and- shut" case from time to time, rather than all of these complex ethical dilemmas?? Somehow I still see him as a pediatrician...

-- Emma (, May 21, 2000.

if she was a victim of rape and/or incest, there was options long ago that she should've taken that would be much more responsible than letting an almost full term baby die. so, please dont excuse her behavior by saying she "might " have been a victim, that is speculation, and would not hold up in court

-- ALexis Springer (, May 21, 2000.

Alexis, this entire thread is speculation! We don't know much about the background story of the young girl (hence the speculation!), and I don't excuse her behaviour with that poor poor baby one iota. I also believe she could have taken many steps along the way, and Cleo even mentioned that she could give the baby up for adoption once she gave birth.

All I'm saying (and I don't believe I used the word "victim") is that perhaps if the child was conceived under horrifying circumstances, it might explain both her refusal to help the baby and also to talk about the reasons for her choice in doing so.

-- Emma (, May 21, 2000.

My, this thread has certainly taken a trip to the dark side.

It sounds like Alexis is saying, "If this girl is REALLY a victim, why didn't she say anything before?" Alexis, if that is what you meant, I hope you never know what it feels like to be raped. Well, I hope you never know anyway, OF COURSE, but I hope you see what I mean. True, it's all speculation, and she was an adult, and we can't excuse her behavior, but a person of compassion would try to understand her and help her. Unfortunately the storyline was not that deeply delved into on the show, so all we can do is speculate.

The fact is, victims of rape and incest often don't know what to do, they are in denial (as this girl certainly was), they are frightened, and they may just try to pretend it never happened. Can anyone honestly say they would have known just what to do in those circumstances, at such a young age? And Luka's badgering did not help this girl's mental health. Whether she was a victim or not, she was young, pregnant, and terrified.

Sigh...Strong feelings abound on this, I know. I'm pleased that there are so many people who are able to talk about it like rational adults, though. As Mike says (somewhere), insulting people is not a good way to effect social change.

-- Cecelia (, May 21, 2000.

Gosh, I was off line for a day and look what happens! I just said this in another thread but want to repeat it here, had the time factor not been an important (and overlooked) element, Luka might not have pressed so hard, but it was. I think he was totally right to try to save the baby (who at 8 months was viable) up to the point he did, but not to perform the surgery. As I watched Dr DeRaad leave I that's it?...his exam didn't seem thorough enough for me to justify his decision (that she was capable of making her decisions).

Mary G. asked above about Carter's pain and detox. I have friends who are in recovery and they keep a list of prescribed and OTC meds that they cannot take, including cough syrup (contains alcohol). When the possibility of surgery or some procedure requiring pain killers comes up for one of them, it strikes a deep level of concern in all. They tend to go to recovering doctors or those familiar with the field so they can have a deeper level of understanding than with others (so there is a blessing in disguise about doctors having addiction problems). I think with Carter they'll do what they can for his physical pain (if it really still exists), but also consider that his deeper pain is emotional. It certainly is a tricky situation but one the professionals have seen before and can handle.

-- Diana (, May 21, 2000.

Phyl, you always seem to have amnesia when it comes to the fact that you previously posted a combative, sarcastic statement. "Thanks for defining the parameters of my review." Many people are willing to take statements under consideration, at least, and then blow people off in private. It's called diplomacy (Thank you for your input, I'll take it under consideration." Instead of "Sorry to keep you up past your bedtime" -- and BTW, that was more of a comment on your maturity than mine). My foolish thought would be that you might demonstrate some sensitivity to the people who are on the opposite side of the pro-choice/pro-life argument than you are. Fully realizing that Luka is a fictional character, (you know, the "one judgemental dude"), I was pointing out that he was viewed by many as trying to save the life of a baby, not badgering the mother (which he didn't do until the situation was hopeless). It's interesting, that if this had been any other state than Illinois, this mother would have been in trouble. Jack Orman portrayed a member of the justice system of Illinois as not being entirely comfortable with it either. These issues are not as concrete as you would like to think, or have you somehow unexpectedly and suddenly received your law degree.

What the heck does it matter who I am? Is this or is this not a public forum? This argument is self-contained. Is there a need to bring up past issues? Are you having too many problems with other posters?

BTW, I worked for many years in a hospital with high-risk medical patients and the physicians that work with them. I know that this does not in any way qualify me over anyone else posting on this forum to comment on situations where experienced physicians make split second, life-or-death decisions. It's simply, my viewpoint. As yours is simply yours, and your "medical" background doesn't make you any more qualified either.

-- Marlie (, May 21, 2000.

At the risk of invoking anyone's anger, I feel I must respond to your post, and I apologize in advance to those who want to stick to the subject at hand. What you said in your previous post was that I "always" become combative, and if you are who I think you are, I understand this perfectly now. My "sarcastic" comment was in response to your inability to discuss the subject and you're putting a "yawn" in your comment. Hence, my response that it must be past your bedtime.

You could have responded differently, but your apparent defensiveness when it comes to Luka's character may have made it difficult to do just that. Again, you invoke the "always" phrase, when you state: "Phyl, you always seem to have amnesia when it comes to the fact that you previously posted a combative, sarcastic statement."

Again, "Marlie," where does this "always" come from. Have we talked before, or is "always" a phrase that you use to mean "on this thread"? Apparently, you have posted to two threads under this e-mail address here on this site, and have no Usenet posting, so I ask again, where *else* have I done this, or are you indeed someone I've encountered before with a different name and e-mail? I don't really *care* who you are, but your accusation makes me wonder where all this combative, sarcastic talk from me actually occured.

You quoted me in saying, "Thanks for defining the parameters of my review." And then you commented: "Many people are willing to take statements under consideration, at least, and then blow people off in private. It's called diplomacy (Thank you for your input, I'll take it under consideration."

Instead of blowing you off privately, my intent was to show you that I felt you didn't understand what a review was designed to do. It is, by its very nature, subjective. My opinion. Not yours, and not anyone else's. You seemed to be somehow "warning" me that if I weren't totally objective, that was wrong. As I stated, the summary is totally objective, and is meant to be. A review is not.

You stated: "Sorry to keep you up past your bedtime" -- and BTW, that was more of a comment on your maturity than mine).

Who yawned during a discussion? Not me. I rest my case.

You state: "My foolish thought would be that you might demonstrate some sensitivity to the people who are on the opposite side of the pro-choice/pro-life argument than you are."

And what side *would* I be on? Please, please don't disappoint me, answer this one. Kindly attempt to tell me what my views are on pro-life matters, because you can't POSSIBLY know this! :) I never discuss it publicly, and my opinions about Luka's actions have *nothing* to do with the rights of an unborn child or the rights of a mother. So, whatever your assumption is, it's an assumption, plain and simple.

You state: "Fully realizing that Luka is a fictional character, (you know, the "one judgemental dude")-- (Phyl, duly noting your sarcasm. Just pointing it out for future reference) I was pointing out that he was viewed by many as trying to save the life of a baby, not badgering the mother (which he didn't do until the situation was hopeless). "

Sure, he was, and he was repeatedly told that he could not violate the patient's wishes. Right?

You state: "It's interesting, that if this had been any other state than Illinois, this mother would have been in trouble. Jack Orman portrayed a member of the justice system of Illinois as not being entirely comfortable with it either. These issues are not as concrete as you would like to think, or have you somehow unexpectedly and suddenly received your law degree."

See, here's probably another instance where *I* am *always* sarcastic, right? Or is that you? I think Orman wrote it perfectly, but you seem to think I'm equating this plot with a pro-life/pro-choice argument. I am not. I am stating that the laws of the state of Illinois, as presented in the television show ER and as repeatedly demonstrated by the many characters who discussed this with Luka during the episode, stated that he was not permitted to do one blessed thing to that woman, including administering the ketamine, without her consent. I didn't need a law degree to winnow that out from this program. It was plainly stated. DeRaad said, paraphrasing, "You can't touch her without a court order." Luka did touch her, indeed administered medication without consent.

If you want to discuss this further, post it to my e-mail. Thanks for pointing out how combative *I* am.

Oh, and your statement: What the heck does it matter who I am? Is this or is this not a public forum? This argument is self-contained. Is there a need to bring up past issues? Are you having too many problems with other posters?

In fact, there's only one poster I have ever had real problems with on this board, and I think you're her :)

-- Phyl (, May 21, 2000.

I'm going to make this short and sweet. Personal attacks will not be tolerated on this forum. This is only a public forum as long as the moderator decides to let your post remain. As stated below we will delete any post for any reason.

From the "About" section of the Discussion Area:

The forum administrator and moderator reserves the right to delete any message within this forum for any reason, including "because he was in a bad mood." Typical reasons for deletion include duplication of posts (you should have found a more appropriate thread), improper formatting (don't post in all caps), blatant threats, flaming, and off-topicness (go somewhere else), and because your name contains the letter "E" somewhere.

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-- Paula (, May 21, 2000.

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