Baerbel Haddrell wrote:
I understand that a CMO can give medically related orders to anyone. Nevertheless, I am sure (or at least, that should be the case!) an officer also has the right to refuse a medical order that is illegal. There should be limits. In the past a captain could order a Vulcan to force a mind meld with someone else. This is finally illegal now. Deanna didn`t have cancer and refused to get the tumour removed. We are talking about an unborn baby. From Dr. Ree`s point of view it is doomed, badly mutated and first of all a danger to its mother. Nevertheless, it is still a baby that isn`t dead yet. I most definitely would classify Dr. Ree`s order as an illegal order. If he would have pushed her any further I am sure she would have resigned and Riker would have done the same. I just wish this would have been spelled out in the books – at least I haven`t seen it yet.
His order (had he made it one) would not have been illegal. "Illegal" strictly means against stated laws i.e. Not legal. Your personal classification can't be that it is against the law, it might be that it should be, but it isn't. You classify it as immoral not illegal. Immoral is a personal thing, Illegal isn't.
Your use of Vulcan mind melds is actually a good example. Before they were illegal they could be made an order without being illegal. Then morals kicked in and later it became against the law so it is now illegal to force vulcans to mind meld, where it wasn't before. This situation is the same. There (as far as we know) isn't a law saying that Ree can't force this upon her. In fact as mentioned she's a commissioned officer and can be forced to undergo treatment or procedures that a doctor has deemed necessary for her to continue to function. Now, of course she has every right to resign, but that doesn't change the legal nature of the order.