Monday, December 7, 2015

Grey's Anatomy: Disability Representation Series: 2x04 - Deny, Deny, Deny

Yesterday, I picked season 2, episode 4, Deny, Deny, Deny just because sometimes it's good to see a random episode.  At this point all the surgeons were still interns and the amazing Miranda Bailey was their resident.

In this episode, Bailey introduces Meredith to her longtime patient, Jeremiah Tate, a 26-year-old with Cystic Fibrosis.  Jeremiah was one of Bailey's first patients during her intern year, and she knew nothing, at that point, about treating CF.  Bailey and Jeremiah have a warm relationship and it's clear Bailey really cares about him.  Jeremiah admits to having some pain, then to having seizures.  He thinks his pancreatitis is acting up again.  Bailey asks him where his parents think he is this time, and he says, New Jersey.  Meredith is shocked that Jeremiah hasn't told his parents where he is or that he's sick.  Bailey responds that he understands the reality of his condition but chooses to ignore it.  That "denial works for him."

It turns out Jeremiah will need exploratory surgery.  This is difficult because without it he will likely go into multisystem organ failure, but his body doesn't handle anesthesia well either.  If they don't operate, he will die, and if they do, he has a chance of still dying.  Jeremiah seems at peace with needing the operation, having lived with CF for 26 years,

Just before surgery, Jeremiah appears to be struggling more, and fights to even sit up.  Bailey's explaining paperwork to him.  He signs D.N.R. (Do Not Resuscitate) papers and tells Bailey, "You should probably call my parents."  Bailey responds, "Call them yourself when you walk out of here," and both smile.

In surgery, though, Jeremiah's body seems to be shutting down.  Despite the D.N.R. and a fellow doctor's warnings, Bailey performs C.P.R. on Jeremiah for several minutes.  She eventually calls time of death.  And later, Bailey is the one to call Jeremiah's mother and tell her he has died.

I'm not sure how I feel about this storyline to be honest.  On one hand I always prefer the doctors to care too much rather than not enough, but the fact is that Bailey didn't honor Jeremiah's wishes.  So this one's probably going to stay in ambiguous territory for me, which is annoying, as I have a very black or white/right or wrong personality.  Also, I'm kind of bummed I wasn't able to find video of Bailey and Jeremiah for this post.

We'll see what I get out of whatever episode Tara picks today.

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