Thursday, January 22, 2009

Life and Death, Justice and Morals: The Theme of Thursday TV

Grey's Anatomy had a two episode main storyline that delved quite deeply into a moral gray area. (Grey's/gray, kind of fits.) A prisoner on death row had to have some sort of brain surgery (I am fuzzy on the details) even though his execution was scheduled in five days. This prisoner somehow finds out there is a child who needs an organ transplant. And (in the wonderful world of tv) they happen to be a match. The prisoner wants the doctors to let him die so he can give his organs, but should he be allowed the redemption? McDreamy doesn't think so but Meridith wants to show the prisoner compassion in his final days (despite his crimes) and Miranda wants to ignore her doctor's oath to save the young patient in need of the organs. In the end, the prisoner will be dead. But what of the means? Do they matter when the outcome is the same? In this moral gray area, I thought they should let the prisoner die; perhaps, for what I saw as the greater good: the boy in need of the organs. In the end, they didn't have to kill one to save the other but what if that other choice wasn't there?

In Private Practice, two doctors squared off in the debate over assisted suicide. A double edged sword; can you let someone suffer though the only alternative is helping them die?

Another patient in "Private Practice" had behavioral issues and wouldn't go outside because she was "afraid of everything." I think that could be my biggest fear: not being able to overcome your own self-doubt and the judgment of others to enjoy what is good and joyful about life. Because why live if you're scared of every minute?

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