Gideon's Crossing
The Lottery

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Curing Cancer

Boies is telling Ben about all the problems that Pasty has: enlarged spleen, enlarged liver, various tumors. Ben asks why he made them do an MRI when all of those problems were evident upon physical examination. Boies says they need to know if the cancer had spread to Pasty's brain. Ben asks why they need to know that, but Boies deflects the question by saying that, regardless, Pasty doesn't have much time. Ben starts talking about how he has had to give the "you're going to die" speech many times. Boies figures out that Ben wants to enroll Pasty in the clinical trial, but "cancer in the brain would disqualify him." Ben nods, and they look at the MRI results. Pasty's brain is clear. Ben says he's going to cure Pasty. And they wonder why doctors get God complexes. Can you (if you're not a doctor) imagine the power of being able to cure a formerly terminal disease? Man. Boies offers to do the paperwork, but Ben wants to do it himself.

Cut to Ben's office. Ben is explaining that the clinical trials are to assess the toxicity of the drug, and only a few people are allowed in. Pasty (who is looking even worse today) says he has nothing to lose. Ben explains that they are now at the third stage of the testing, where the drug is considered both safe and effective. Pasty wonders what "effective" means. Ben says that it would cure his cancer. Pasty can't quite believe it, and after a few moments of consideration, he says that he doesn't want to get his mother's hopes up. Ben says that he's never seen a drug like this in all his years of research. Pasty does that "eye wiggle so I don't cry" thing and then says he spent the last three weeks thinking he was going to die, not even wanting to close his eyes at night. Wow. Can you imagine if they really found a cure for cancer?

Ben tells Lab Guy he has a patient for the trial. Lab Guy doesn't think it will be a problem, but he can't make any promises. Oops, Ben just did make a promise. Ben thought their own patients got priority, and Lab Guy says that patients referred through the hospital are all considered their own patients, and if there's a problem, they'll do a lottery. Ben looks after him, probably thinking, "D'oh!"

Ben walks into the hospital holding a newspaper, sees Max, and lights into him for leaking the story about the new drug to the New York Times. Ben says that Max doesn't even know what the drug does. Max claims angrily that he's only saying what Ben told him, and he's promoting the hospital. Ben continues reading from the article in the newspaper. Max points out that the drug could "throw off fifteen million dollars a year in royalties." They get royalties on drugs? I guess that makes sense. I never really thought about it before. Ben says that a third of that goes to the hospital, and Max points out that another third goes to Ben's department budgets and another third goes to Ben's lab. Ben is afraid of looking like a fool, and starts to walk off. Max says that "it's a complicated world" and Ben doesn't want to deal with it, so Max does, and if Ben won't respect him, then he's on his own. Ooh, pissing match. I thought punches might be thrown.

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Gideon's Crossing

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