What a heartbreaking story!
Chicago Med Season 8 Episode 8 featured a homeless man who was given unnecessary procedures while his cancer was left untreated so that it could ravage his system.
This infuriated Choi — could this be the beginning of his exit story? And even the hard-to-like Archer was sympathetic during this one!
Working in a hospital isn’t for the faint of heart. These doctors regularly see death and destruction, and the hardest cases are the preventable ones.
Buddy’s was doubly infuriating because he’d had the bad luck to cross paths with doctors who wanted to commit fraud instead of being interested in saving his life. As Choi said, his cancer would have been treatable if the original doctors had treated it instead of using him to line their pockets.
Choi sounded like he wanted to become the Chicago equivalent of New Amsterdam‘s Max Goodwin, fighting the good fight against an increasingly bureaucratic and inhumane healthcare system.
It wasn’t just one doctor who failed him. There were a lot of bad actors. The system failed him. Buddy is going to die of one of the most survivable types of cancer with early intervention because the people who need us most don’t come through our doors until it’s too late. How did this happen? When did we decide that this is okay, that this is just the way it is?
He said he wouldn’t allow the way Buddy was treated to be okay, but what did that mean? We know Choi is leaving Chicago Med very soon (he has one more episode to go!); could he be eyeing a position that will allow him to work on healthcare reform?
Buddy is going into hospice and is going to die. There is nothing that Choi can do about that, whether or not he thinks the healthcare system’s treatment of Buddy is okay.
Hopefully, he will become an advocate for others like Buddy. It would be awesome if Choi worked with a nonprofit to get proper healthcare for homeless people!
Archer was surprisingly likable during this story. He was angry that doctors did unnecessary procedures on Buddy to line their pockets and that Buddy was dying because of it.
Archer’s often a jerk, but he did go into medicine for the right reasons. He wants to help people; the problem is, his idea of helping often involves imposing his will on patients who don’t want to follow his treatment plan.
And what the heck is going on with him and his injuries? He refuses to admit to anyone that he has significant pain and secretly takes painkillers. That can’t be good.
Choi tried this already when he had a post-surgical infection and kept working until he collapsed. Let’s not have Archer make the same mistake!
Asher aggravated me with her attitude toward her sexual assault survivor patient.
Cuevas: You can tell her until you’re blue in the face that the system will protect her just like anyone else, but Gloria’s probably seen enough evidence that that’s not true that she doesn’t trust it.
Asher: I’m not asking her to do this just for other people. I’m doing it for Gloria, so that she won’t have to carry the burden of this trauma. I’m not insensitive, but I’ve seen this before. My college roommate Annie was raped at a party and she didn’t report it. I think she told herself that it didn’t matter, and she convinced herself it didn’t, that SHE didn’t matter. She carried the burden for as long as she could and then she took her own life.
As Cuevas pointed out, the issue was more complicated for Gloria. Gloria was likely undocumented and may have had run-ins with the police before. In many ways, it might have been more traumatic for her to report this rape than to keep quiet.
Furthermore, reporting is not the antithesis of silently bearing trauma. Many survivors don’t report for many reasons, but that doesn’t mean they don’t do anything to help themselves heal.
Every survivor’s story is different, and each one has different needs. Telling the police is not a prerequisite to healing; in addition, laws exist for a reason requiring the survivor to give the hospital consent to share evidence with the police.
One of the ways this particular type of trauma impacts survivors is that it removes their sense of control over their own lives. By giving the patient control back in the exam room, doctors take the first step toward helping them overcome these feelings of powerlessness.
That is why the doctors were careful to get Gloria’s consent for each step of the rape exam and to emphasize that it was up to her whether or not to continue the procedures. Pushing too hard for her to report or to do anything in particular to help herself would have undone that.
Gloria needed doctors who were trained explicitly in assisting sexual assault survivors. Cuevas was better equipped than Asher for this, but I wish a practitioner who specialized in these exams had been involved.
That would have lent some extra realism to this storyline, although it was well done despite that detail.
Marcel and Will’s story was interesting despite being resolved far too quickly.
Will got Marcel on board with the trans-organ exchange, Marcel spoke to his patient, and after one conversation, everyone consented. The end.
That wasn’t much of a story! The stakes were high for the patients, but everything went far too smoothly.
Roberta’s objections added some much-needed conflict, but it didn’t last long enough to make a difference. And despite Marcel’s insistence that they had to loop the legal team in on this, nobody objected or tried to get in the way.
The entire purpose of this story seemed to be for Marcel to realize that sometimes quid pro quos aren’t bad. It would have been better if the writers had slowed down and told a full story rather than rushing through it to get to that point.
Finally, let’s hope Sharon talked some sense into Maggie.
She should never have let Grant talk her into going for a drive in the first place. She told him she was busy, then caved when he pushed. She then decided to get in the car “for old times’ sake.”
All of that was bad enough, and she came to her senses and realized that hanging around with Grant was a bad idea, given that she’s married to someone else.
But now she thinks it’s a good idea to keep this secret from Ben! Has she never watched a soap opera? Deciding there’s no reason for him to know guarantees that he will find out. And when he does, it will be ugly.
That’s a fight waiting to happen that’s as preventable as Buddy’s stage 4 prostate cancer. I do NOT want Maggie’s marriage to explode because she’s decided to be stupid. Ugh.
What do you think, Chicago Med fanatics? Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know!
Chicago Med doesn’t return until December 7, but you can watch Chicago Med online any time you’d like.
Chicago Med airs on NBC on Wednesdays at 8 PM EST / PST.