Grey's Anatomy

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Lauren S: B- | 3 USERS: B+
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Death Defying
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

This episode, we shake things up and get some Huntover: "Dying isn't easy. The body was designed to stay alive. Thick skulls, strong hearts, keen senses." The clock shows that it's just after three in the morning, and he is wide awake while Cristina sleeps soundly next to him. He gets up and proceeds to do a bunch of pushups, make some toast, and watch the news. After chasing the toast with some OJ he gets carefully back into bed at 4:59, so that when the alarm rings a minute later Cristina wakes up and thinks he's been there the whole time. She then proves to be a far better woman than I and, instead of hitting snooze fifteen times and cuddling with her hot boyfriend, gets right out of bed. He stares forlornly at the ceiling.

"When the body starts to fail, medicine takes over." Teddy is at the hospital and walks in to her patient Kim's room and greets her and her husband Sean, asking how they are doing. Kim, obviously a cancer patient with the scarf on her head, pulls her oxygen mask away and tells Teddy that she's ready and today is the day. We don't know yet for what (unless we've seen the title of the episode), but Teddy pointedly asks Sean how he's doing and he numbly and fairly unconvincingly says that he's fine.

"Surgeons are arrogant enough to think that there is no one we can't save." Teddy pages Hunt and explains to him that Kim has stage four lung cancer that has spread to her lymph nodes and liver -- basically, all sorts of bad stuff is happening and breathing is getting really difficult. Hunt asks if Teddy is going to have to intubate but Teddy carefully says that Kim doesn't want that, and as Hunt muses about how he's not sure what else to do, the camera zooms in close to her face so we know she's about to say Something Big. She tells him, "She wants us to help her die." Huntover finishes: "Like I said, dying isn't easy."

He goes back to Kim's room with Teddy but looks troubled as she explains to Kim how this works: The state requires that two doctors sign off, hence her bringing in Hunt. Teddy tells us/Kim that she has less than six months to live, she has informed Kim of all of her options, and psych has declared her mentally fit. Kim just has to make a second oral request to Teddy, at least 15 days after her first request, which would be now. Kim jokes ruefully that it's like she's applying to die, and Sean hopefully jumps in to suggest maybe she's having second thoughts. Kim immediately reminds him how bad she was the night before and how things will only get worse, and then says -- as firmly as someone who can't breathe very well can -- "I would like to end my life through physician-assisted suicide." Hunt can't take it and after a moment, excuses himself and flees. Teddy excuses herself to go see what's going on but Kim calls after her to ask how long it will take to die after she takes the barbituates. I assume the really formal way she asks this is so that all of us learn exactly how this process works, which is actually legal in the state of Washington. Sean absolutely doesn't want to have this conversation yet but Kim assures him that it's time, and Teddy answers that it takes about 45 minutes to die.

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Grey's Anatomy

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