Medicine is about doing no harm, but what does that mean?
Chicago Med Season 7 Episode 19 tackled that issue admirably, along with an unusual question related to surrogacy.
This series is at its best when it focuses on complex medical decisions, and for the most part, this episode hit the mark.
The surrogacy storyline was one of the most compelling Chicago Med has had.
From Ingrid's point of view, the Harrises terminated their surrogacy contract when they asked her to abort her pregnancy, and she might have had a point.
But the contract was never officially terminated, so did she have a right to the baby now? It seemed she didn't, as the Harrises were ready to pick up where they left off once they learned the baby was healthy after all.
This thorny question was made more complicated by Ingrid's 11th-hour admission that she'd known someone else who had gotten a false positive on a test for fetal genetic abnormalities but didn't tell the Harrises because she wanted to keep her baby.
If Ingrid had told the Harrises this, would it have made any difference to their original decision?
They had chosen to terminate the pregnancy because they were given incorrect info about their baby having a severe disability that would impact his quality of life. They might have thought Ingrid was in denial about the baby's condition.
That was a moot point now since the Harrises came to the hospital when Asher called them.
I'd love to know what the legal department said to them over the phone. It seemed weird that these people who thought their baby had been terminated months ago would come running to attend his birth.
At least Asher called Legal, though. She didn't seem enthusiastic about the idea when Will told her they had to bring this to the lawyers to handle, and I half expected her to defy his instructions.
Asher is a bit of a rebel, especially when she thinks she's protecting a patient, and she was firmly on the side of Ingrid having the right to keep the baby, at least at that point in the hour.
The other happy surprise here was that Ingrid didn't sue for custody.
When the Harrises celebrated the miracle of getting a healthy baby, after all, I expected a custody battle. Instead, Ingrid honored the contract but had a hard time turning the baby over to its biological parents.
I wondered if the Harrises might agree to an open adoption so that Ingrid could continue to be in the baby's life. Mrs. Harris seemed close to her despite the confusion.
Asher: The c-section went well and we delivered a healthy baby boy.
Harris: He's healthy? What about the SMA?
Asher: There's no sign of it and his muscle tone looks good.
Harris: But what about the genetic panel we took in the first trimester?
Asher: False positives in these kinds of tests are becoming more and more common.
Harris: But they said it was 99% accurate.
Asher: Big tech got involved and saw a way to increase profits. They promised you accuracy that isn't possible with the tests we have.
Will: They should have advised you to go for a followup amniocentisis.
I appreciated Asher mentioning that certain tech companies were making profits from inaccurate tests that led to problems like this. That seemed to be the ugly cousin of the VAS-COM scandal.
This sideline didn't take up much time and was more or less a PSA, but it was an important one.
If Ingrid hadn't ignored the Harris' instructions, she would have aborted a perfectly healthy baby based on the faulty test. Real-life parents should know to get a follow-up test if they get scary results from a genetic panel.
Dr. Charles' case also presented a dilemma where there didn't seem to be any right answers.
If the doctors failed to insert that feeding tube, Luis would die, and Lonnie was convinced his hunger strike was a suicide attempt. But as Charles pointed out, a psych hold wouldn't force Luis to eat, and he wasn't incompetent to make that decision.
Charles: You know, I wish you had read me in before you went to the court.
Lonnie: Why? So you can talk me out of it?
Lonnie's decision to get a court order could have been a dealbreaker for her and Charles. She not only did it without consulting him, but also suggested that she had more insight into this case than Charles could ever have.
Charles and Lonnie both seem to be able to separate their professional and personal relationships, but that still had to hurt.
After Luis killed himself by setting himself on fire, Lonnie felt guilty and second-guessed her decision, leading Charles to comfort her, so I guess that was the end of their conflict.
I'd have preferred longer-lasting consequences for Lonnie unilaterally making a decision that resulted in the patient's death. On the other hand, she was so distraught over what happened that it would have been cruel for Charles to point out that he'd strongly disagreed with her decision.
I don't understand why Luis set himself on fire. He wanted to make a point about the plant relocation, even if it meant starving to death, but he didn't seem to be actively suicidal.
Somehow, his actual suicide convinced the Mayor to do what he wanted, but why did Luis take such drastic action?
If he did it out of anger that his hunger strike had been artificially ended, Lonnie was right about the protest being a veiled suicide attempt. That didn't seem to be the case for Luis, but nothing else makes sense here.
Finally, Scott had a case that was more interesting than his personal relationship with an undercover cop.
I thought Zoey would turn out to have some rare illness that simulated heavy alcohol use, as has happened on various medical dramas over the years.
Instead, she was finding a novel way to get drunk that made her sicker than ever. Thank goodness she'd come to her senses by the end of the hour and was ready to get help!
Meanwhile, Scott broke up with Melina after his father tried to pump him for info about his "drug dealer" girlfriend.
I know we're supposed to feel bad about the end of this relationship, but I don't. Hopefully, it's really over. This story adds nothing to the show and is a confusing mess.
Scott never established what Melina was really up to, and for all he knows, she could be a drug dealer. But that angle was dropped in favor of the hardship of having to sneak around to be together because otherwise, it would blow her alleged cover.
I'd celebrate the end of this awful relationship, except I'm not convinced yet that it's over. Something tells me Melina will be back soon, one way or the other.
The Choi cliffhanger was compelling, especially considering that the next new episode of Chicago Med doesn't air until May 11.
When Simmons said he and Patrick were close, I realized they were lovers, but I didn't have a clue during the rest of the hour. I'm curious as to how Choi responds to this new piece of news about his father.
And did Simmons seek Choi out merely because he wanted to introduce himself, or is there more to this story?
Over to you, Chicago Med fanatics. Hit that big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know your thoughts on Scott and Melina's relationship, Asher and Charles' ethically thorny cases, and the reveal about Choi's father.
If you'd like a refresher first, please watch Chicago Med online right here on TV Fanatic.
Chicago Med airs on NBC on Wednesdays at 8 PM EST / PST. The next new episode airs on May 11, 2022.