N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

Dr. Harris: You've put me in a difficult position. It seems you know everything.
Dr. Wheeler: You're George.
Dr. Harris: I wonder if you can understand, if you can take the long view, the view of a person in my position.
Dr. Wheeler: You did it.
Dr. Harris: No decision is easy, Sue. It only looks that way when you're young. When you're older, everything is complicated. There is no black and white, only gray. But our society faces momentous decisions. Decisions about the right to die. About abortion. About terminal illness, prolonged coma, transplantation. Decisions about life and death. But society isn't deciding. Congress isn't deciding. The courts aren't deciding. Religion isn't deciding. Why? Because society is leaving it up to us, the experts. The doctors.
Dr. Wheeler: You're crazy.
Dr. Harris: Americans spend $125 billion a year on health. More than defense. Because Americans believe in medical care. These great hospital complexes are the cathedrals of our age. Billions of dollars, thousands of beds. A whole nation of sick people turning to us for help.
Dr. Wheeler: You, you ought to see somebody.
Dr. Harris: They're children, Sue. They trust us. We can't tell them everything. Our job is to make things easier for them. I'm sure you agree.
Dr. Wheeler: You're killing people.
Dr. Harris: We must always take the long view. Not of the individual, but of society as a whole. Because medicine is now a great social force. The individual is too small.
[Susan begins to lose focus and feels pain in her abdomen]
Dr. Harris: That's the drug. It produces abdominal spasm and peritoneal symptoms. It must be very painful. It's too bad. But look at it from the practical standpoint. Somebody has to make these decisions. We can't wait around forever. If society won't decide, we'll decide. We'll make the hard decisions.
[Susan collapses]
Dr. Harris: [picks up the phone] This is Dr. Harris. Schedule an emergency appendectomy in O.R. 8. It's a member of the house staff, Dr. Wheeler. I've examined her. She requires immediate surgery.

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