Cleo "Pris" Finch rolls up to Mark on her little castors and tells him that her flu patient wants to see someone higher up. Mark asks what the problem is, because he hasn't paid close enough attention to this episode and hasn't picked up on the "stupid patients who don't know better want antibiotics that won't help them" theme. Finch says that her stupid patient who doesn't know any better wants antibiotics that won't help her, and refuses to leave until she gets a prescription. Mark huffs, "Where is she?" and Finch directs her to a woman on a nearby bed. Mark introduces himself to a congested woman named Sara Dell, who whines, "I've been sick for three days: fever, runny nose, feel like my head's in a vise." Mark curtly tells her that antibiotics don't help the flu. "They always helped mine!" Sara croons. Mark says, "I can assure you they don't." Sara gets shirty: "You're not giving them to me because I'm poor." Mark PSAs, "If we give antibiotics to millions of people who don't need them, a resistance builds which eventually makes them useless to the people who do." Mark? I fucking get it. Sara snarls, "And 'cause I don't have insurance -- that's persecution!" "You think so?" Mark taunts. "I know so!" Sara barks. Mark tells her to follow him. They go to chairs, where Mark calls out to the assembled snotty-nosed masses, "I'd like to see a show of hands of people who have a sore throat. [about half the people there raise a hand] Cough? [about a third raise their hands] Muscle aches? Fever? [basically, everyone raises their hands at some point] You all have the flu. People who have the flu will not be receiving antibiotics today, so consider that while you decide whether you want to wait or not." There is a general hubbub, and several people get up and leave. Finch mutters, "What are you doing?" Mark haughtily replies, "Clearing the board." "Isn't that an EMTALA violation?" she asks. "I didn't discharge anyone," Mark tells her, returning Sara's chart.
By the elevator, Romano stops Mark and demands, "Hey, Greene -- tell me you are not giving free needles to junkies." Mark sniffs, "On a case-by-case basis." Romano snaps, "No, no, no, no -- on no basis. It's illegal." It is? Mark says, "Not if there's a public-health emergency -- which there is." Romano barks, "How much of your brain did they cut out?" "This does not put extra needles on the street," Mark insists. Romano yips, "I don't care! We are not going to have a bunch of low-life junkies parading in and out of here!" First of all, I guess it's been a long while since Romano's been in the ER, because, guess what? They already are. Second, you have a low-life junkie on staff, so whatever. Third, is it really illegal to give free needles to drug addicts? Because that is news to me. What about the drug van Carter told Janice to call? Anyway, Mark asks Romano, "So you're not interested in cutting back on HIV and --" He stutters, and Romano impatiently prompts him, "...and? What? Sounds like?"