Early Edition: Faith Healing
We already have one case of which it's plausible to say that The Paper deliberately gave someone incorrect information . . . but this episode doesn't make a worthy follow-up to it. It turns out that The Paper is terribly wrong about the hit-and-run accident at the beginning, but how it could have been wrong--and more importantly, why it would have been wrong--is left a mystery.
There must have been a better way to put Gary in hospital and throw him in the way of a little girl with a lot of faith. But I'm not paid to write for TV, so what do I know?
It wasn't just the
So I was pleased to see that the writer of this episode had some real complexity up his sleeve . . .
So who will it be, Gary? The sixteen-year-old boy who dies while attempting to rob a convenience store or the eleven-year-old girl who could drop dead any minute if she doesn't get a new heart? If it had been any other little girl, I doubt Gary would have thought twice about saving the boy; and ironically, he just might have done it with great faith that the girl would have been all right! But he has spent most of the episode getting to know the girl--and suddenly faith doesn't seem enough.
I'm not going to tell you what happens next, but I want to point out that the episode hits the great ethical dilemma of organ donation squarely on the head. For there is no way to give a vital organ to anyone without first taking it away from someone else. Gary's choosing the boy would be saving him from two threats: the bullet that puts him in hospital . . . and the doctors there who have no problem declaring one patient "brain dead" in order to save another.
Now, I've never been easy about harvesting organs from the "brain dead." If an unconscious body is warm, has a heartbeat, metabolises food, produces urine, often moves in response to pain, is capable of undergoing sexual maturation (in the case of a child) or carrying an unborn child to term (in the case of a pregnant woman), I can't see why their simply needing assistance to breathe is enough proof for us to say that that body is dead and not asleep. I can see why there would be incentives for us to say so.
Yet saying so remains very hard, even if we're only speaking in response to a fictional story. This episode may seem to give the audience an easy resolution, but there's no way it can. And so the only one who can walk away from this set up without any guilt is Gary, for he didn't just sit back and let others act for him.
Your Turn to Be the Hero: Are you an organ donor?