This is a full recap and review so avert your eyes now to avoid spoilers.
This episode was one of the best ones IMO. I cried like a baby through much of it. It did make me mad on a few counts though so that is good too.. it really riled me up and that is the sign of a powerful show.
It started with a young man who jumps into a pile of leaves and has a respiratory attack. When he gets to the hospital Dr. Lee tells him that his lungs are in bad shape. After years of ER visits he had no money or healthcare coverage to be able to follow up with doctors and now his lungs are giving out. He refuses to be admitted to the hospital because he is the guardian of younger siblings who he fears will be taken by social services and split up if he is hospitalized or dies. He asks Dr. Lee to write him some prescriptions and let him go. Dr. Lee has no choice but to comply.
And ALS patient, Mr. Stone, gets in a car accident and needs surgery to repair a tear in the sac around his heart. While operating Dr. Andy discovers a tear in his diaphram as well and tells him that he will need to be intubated, possibly for the remainder of his life, in order to breath. The idea that he will be bedridden and lose the quality of life he had prior to the accident is hard for Mr. Stone to hear.
Mr. Stone meets Kuol, who visits him in his room, and they talk about baseball. Mr. Stone takes a liking to Kuol and is saddened to hear that the young man is waiting on a heart so he can live. Mr. Stone, whose blood type is universal, decides to have himself taken off of life support so that he can die and give his heart to Kuol. Dr. Andy and many of the other doctors think this is a very bad idea and would be a form of assisted suicide. He and the other doctors meet to discuss the issue but Andy is outvoted and Three Rivers decides to allow the donation to occur. I admit I was a little mad at Dr. Andy in this scene. I am a BIG proponent of euthanasia so his stubbornness about Mr. Stone choosing his own death kinda made me a little mad.
Meanwhile word has gotten around to other patients about Dr. Stone donating organs and they start seeking him out trying to get him to donate to their loved ones. I was PISSED when a mom brought her daughter into Mr. Stone’s room trying to get the man’s liver. I am a mom too but I would NEVER be a vulture lurking outside some man’s room trying to get one of his organs. It was GROSS. And what about HIPPA regulations?? How in the world can this hospital let word get around like that? It was very unprofessional and unethical. BUT it set the scene for the last scene in the show which was good.
Dr. Foster treats a woman who got a transplant the previous year and is at TR to attend a donor party. What looked like rejection ends up being far less serious and the woman gets to attend the party.
Dr. Lee’s lung patient comes back in and must be put on a respirator to live. A lung transplant is his only option now. Dr. Lee arranges to have the lung patients wards set up in a hotel so they won’t have to be in hiding then he approaches Mr. Stone to try and get him to donate his lungs to the young man. I agreed with Miranda that the whole premise was disgusting. BUT in all honesty it would be nice if you were going to die, to be able to get to choose your donor recipients and see the good you are doing BEFORE you die. I just wish he could have pursued them.. like he did with Kuol instead of them lurking around him, ya know?
In a nail biting twist Mr. Stone’s daughter pulls rank and tells the hospital she is using her power of attorney to override her father’s decision. I wanted to slap her silly when he ripped up the donation forms he just signed. I mean this was her FATHER and she knew what his dying wish was and she basically gave him a virtual “screw you” when she did that. It REALLY bothered me… if one of my parents was dying and wanted to have the plug pulled I would be the one yanking it out of the wall for them! It was so selfish of her.
But Mr. Stone finds and unlikely ally after he speaks with Dr. Andy and tells him that he will now die powerless and angry. Dr. Andy begins to see how important it is to this man to be able to choose how he dies and Dr. Andy takes Mr. Stone’s daughter to the donor party going on in the hospital so she can see what her father wants to do. She explains that he wants to hold on to her father for as long as possible but Dr. Andy tells her she is denying him the legacy he wants to leave behind by taking away his right to choose his own destiny. She consents to allow her father to be taken off life support per his wishes.
The last scene is of Mr. Stone be wheeled into the OR where they will terminate life support and then procure his organs once he is gone. All the families of the patients he is helping are standing in the hallway to thank him. It was VERY touching as Mr. Stone gets to see the lives he is saving and the families he is putting back together. It was an amazing moment as I think there could be nothing more awesome then getting to see all the good you did with your life BEFORE you die. But those patients that pursued the poor man made me want to slap them silly. It is a good sign when a show has me in tears or wanting to strangle my screen, LOL.