ER
No Strings Attached

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Miss Alli: C- | Grade It Now!
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Abby comes across Chen talking to a guy from Social Services, who is telling her that he can interview Monica's kids, to which Chen adds that if she has customers going home with her, "there could be endangerment as well." Not that Monica ever said anything, ever, that suggested that was the case. Chen chatters with the guy about "removal," and Abby finally asks the obvious question: "Why are you doing this?" Chen snots that leaving your kids alone at night is neglect, and Abby points out that they've seen much worse than that at County. Chen, instead of answering the question, condescendingly says that they're required by law to report it. Abby tells Chen that she still thinks it's wrong. Rather than engage the issue, Chen falls back on what she does best, and coldly declares, "You're a nurse, Abby. You don't have the power to make this kind of decision." Realizing that Chen isn't interested in discussing it, Abby leaves, tossing over her shoulder, "I think this sucks."

Two things about that scene. First of all, it isn't really whether Chen does or doesn't call Social Services that bothers me, even though I certainly believe that if the lady had been leaving her kids alone at night to work as a convenience-store clerk because she was broke, that call would have been a lot less likely. What grates is the satisfaction Chen seems to get out of it, and the fact that she doesn't seem at all interested in doing anything to help the family. She seems to be taking the attitude that the lady deserves to lose her children as punishment for being a prostitute, and that's just not the way you make anyone's situation any better. In that sense, she doesn't seem to care one whit about the kids; it's all about sitting in judgment. Second of all, "you're a nurse"? Please. Doctors aren't mandated reporters any more than nurses are, and any time you answer a question about something you've decided to do with an answer about whether the person asking has the right to ask you, you should assume that in all likelihood, you're full of crap.

Susan and Haleh stand over the old lady, who's struggling to remain alive with the help of aggressive intervention, it appears. With Daughter conveniently in the bathroom, Susan gently tries to inquire into whether the lady might be interested in a Do Not Resuscitate order. Unfortunately, all she can do in response is babble about plums, so she's not in a position to intervene on her own behalf.

Abby is on the roof, smoking, when Gallant walks up. After a minimum of small talk, he offers his help and support if there's anything he can do, but before he can even finish his sentence, Abby asks him if he believes it's possible to die instantly. He looks flummoxed. What follows is some babbling from Abby about how, in some cases, there's a lingering moment of impending death, but she's thinking that if you go nose-first into a lake at two hundred miles an hour, it would actually be instant death. At least Abby hopes so. Again, Gallant is flummoxed, but he finally asks her why she thinks Eric went nose-first. She pauses, says she doesn't know, and walks off. Apparently, Abby suspects suicide, or so it says on this anvil that just fell through my ceiling.

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