After a month-long hiatus, Chicago Med had better give us something worth the wait!
When we left off, the hospital's fate hung in the balance, along with Archer and Asher's newfound friendship. Asher told Sean about his dad's condition even though Archer asked her not to.
According to Chicago Med Season 8 Episode 19 spoilers, we'll get the dramatic next step in these stories along with the usual high-stakes medical scenarios.
Asher and Archer's conflict may take up a substantial portion of the hour. For one thing, the spoiler video suggests that Archer is mad as hell that Asher broke his confidence, while Asher insists that Sean needed to know his dad's condition.
For another, the two will have to find a way to put all their anger aside -- they need to work together on a complicated case.
Archer and Asher work with a mother, daughter, and not-yet-born baby. The mother has a rare stem-cell disease, likely leading to an ethical and emotional dilemma.
Stem cell therapy has long been controversial because it often uses cells from aborted fetuses. Thus, people who oppose abortion tend to also be against using stem cells to treat disease.
In this case, we have a mother with a disease and a pregnant daughter. If the mother's rare disease is killing her, might she pressure her daughter to abort her baby so that she can use its stem cells?
That would lead to a thorny conflict, especially if the baby is healthy. The mother would be asking her daughter to sacrifice the birth of her granddaughter for the sake of Grandma's health!
If the baby is not viable, it's a less thorny dilemma. Still, there's also the middle ground: testing suggesting the fetus has genetic defects that could make its life difficult but which don't make the fetus entirely non-viable.
In that case, deciding what to do also raises questions related to eugenics -- specifically, the ethics of using genetic testing results to determine whether to carry a fetus with a disability to term.
Asher and Archer aren't likely to see eye-to-eye on this. Archer will work with the sick grandmother while Asher takes care of the pregnant mother. Asher will likely think abortion isn't indicated in a questionable case, frustrating Archer because he wants to save his patient.
His anger at Asher over disclosing his health status to Sean might cloud Archer's judgment, making this conflict even more dramatic.
That conflict involves Sean's decision to offer to donate a kidney after learning about his father's condition. Archer's anger comes partially from a protective place; he doesn't want Sean to have extra stress while trying to adjust to life outside of prison.
Archer fears that Sean offering to donate or even knowing about Archer's advanced disease will trigger a relapse, and Sean will use drugs and end up in prison all over again.
Technically, Asher didn't break any HIPAA laws because she isn't Archer's doctor; he told her his status as a friend. However, he did tell her in confidence, and she violated that trust.
That'll cause serious problems for their friendship no matter how well-intentioned Asher was.
Meanwhile, the whole hospital is in for a wild ride thanks to Jack's plan to turn Gaffney into a for-profit medical center.
None of the doctors will stand for that, but with the decision-making board member incapacitated, how can anyone stop this?
Marcel's in the best position to speak against this nonsense. Jack is his friend who became involved with the hospital after Marcel saved his life and his engineer's.
So if anyone can convince Jack this is a bad idea, it's Marcel.
It's not clear why Jack made this move, other than evil corporate overlords taking over hospitals has become a medical drama trope. Jack has always had a conflict of interest due to wanting to promote his cutting-edge medical technology, but up til now, he hasn't seemed particularly soulless or greedy.
Now, he suddenly only wants that tech to be available to his rich buddies; furthermore, he wants poor people to miss out on ALL medical services at Gaffney.
He was angry that Sharon didn't allow his videographer to bother a patient during private moments, but there has to be more to his decision than that. Surely he's not THAT petty, is he?
Marcel might remind Jack that if he had had this profit-only mindset when the air train crashed, Jack and his engineer might not be here.
It also appears that Marcel and Tanaka-Reid will again butt heads. (What else is new?)
It's unclear yet what the problem is, but Tanaka-Reid probably again thinks he knows better than a top-rated surgeon how to treat a patient.
Can someone exile him to the same island for banished arrogant first-year residents as The Good Doctor's Powell?
Since a board member is incapacitated, could the patient Marcel and Tanaka-Reid argue over be that person?
What do you think, Chicago Med fanatics? Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know.
Don't forget you can watch Chicago Med online while waiting for the new episode to air.
Chicago Med airs on Wednesdays at 8 PM EST / PST. It returns with new episodes on May 3, 2023.