A baby who doesn’t have a frontal lobe—like Amelia’s baby—will have no semblance of a life, but because it has a working brainstem, it can’t officially be declared brain-dead in order to harvest its organs. While technically the organ donation of a baby without a frontal lobe is murder, for Sam and Charlotte to be so outraged about “killing a baby” to save the lives of several other babies is lacking in compassion.
This is juxtaposed with Pete’s display of utter empathy for a patient of his whom he assisted in suicide and received a murder charge for his trouble. The shades between right and wrong might be slightly grey in these two scenarios, but when death is a better option than a life not worth living, organ donation (a procedure which I registered for this year) and euthanasia, respectively, couldn’t be more right.
I really like the way Private Practice continues to show the abovementioned light and shade in the medical issues they tackle: reproductive rights, sexuality and assault, death. But I still stand by the notion that you can’t be a doctor and not understand when life begins and that after it has, that it’s not always worth it.
Related: My Week in Pictures 1st March 2012.
Image source unknown.