ER
The Fastest Year

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The Fastest Year

In Holling's room, Holling accuses Mark of stealing supplies. Mark says he's not stealing, he's borrowing. "I think he's stealing," Holling says to Sarah in a voice of mock astonishment. Just then, Chen comes in and tells Mark she needs his help "with this family." Mark reminds her that he's not on that day; Chen says she knows, but she can't find Kerry. Mark tells Holling he'll be right back and follows Chen.

Carter meets Elizabeth coming off the elevator with Mr. Pooler, a.k.a. HMO Husband. Apparently, he had an attack of syncope in the ICU, and he fell and hit his head. Elizabeth orders tests and films and says that Mr. Pooler has a scalp laceration, but it's not serious; Lily hands Carter a chart from upstairs, which indicates that Mr. Pooler isn't having a heart attack.

Next door, Mark explains to the old woman's family that she can't eat and "she has no quality of life." He tells them that, if they intubate her, she'll go up to the ICU and get hooked up to "tubes, wires, and machines," and she'll die in two or three weeks. If they don't interfere, she'll die that day or the next, "but peacefully." I strap on my football helmet again as Mark says pointedly, "You need to think carefully about what she would want." I sit rigidly on the couch as the footsteps of Emotionally Parallel Plot grow ever closer. Mark: "Mr. Hemmings, your mother is letting go." Clunk. The granddaughter begins to cry as Mr. Hemmings says, "You think that's what we should do." Clunk. Mark: "I think you should spend some more time with her." CLUNK. Sparks fly as skillet meets helmet; Mark leads Chen out of the room, and Chen thanks him. As he says, "Sure," Mark turns to look at the Hemmingses.

Carter leaves the trauma room, thanking Elizabeth for her help; on the way out, Elizabeth runs into Mark and asks how it's going, and he says he's going to "pack up the old man and take him for a spin." Elizabeth nods her approval.

Abby goes over test results with Kerry, only to look up and see that Jessamyn has just walked into the ER. "Oh -- boy," Abby sighs. "What?" Kerry wants to know. "Do you remember that leukemia case I mentioned?" Abby mutters quickly before greeting Jessamyn in a normal tone of voice and introducing her to Kerry. Jessamyn asks if her father and half-sister are still there, and Abby says yes, "they're waiting for a bed upstairs," and Jessamyn says she wants "to do this -- I want to help out if I can, so what do I have to do?" Abby starts to stutter out an answer, but Kerry jumps in to ask if Mrs. L drove Jessamyn to the hospital; no, Jessamyn drove herself. Abby asks if Mrs. L knows Jessamyn's there, and Jessamyn says she's old enough to decide on her own: "My mom is a good person, but when it comes to this subject, there is -- no talking to her." Kerry asks regretfully, "So she hasn't given consent?" After a pause, Jessamyn says that she "wants this" and so does her father, "that has to count for something." Kerry says gently that it does, "it counts for a lot," but it's Jessamyn's mother's decision. Abby's mouth hangs open in consternation; Jessamyn protests that Abby said she didn't understand "how something like this could happen with a life at stake," and Jessamyn doesn't either. Kerry just says, "I'm so sorry," tells Abby to let her know "when those labs are back," and crutches away. Abby suggests going to see Jessamyn's father, but Jessamyn doesn't want to see him, and when Abby says that it would mean a lot to him to know that Jessamyn wanted to do this, Jessamyn says, "I don't care what he thinks. I'm only trying to help Delia."

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