One of my fears was that it would look "light" even with the real damage that happened. I didn't want to play it for laughs or in any kind of non-serious way.
I think that sometimes the prejudice against Cardassians seems to be hardest on my Cardassian doctors. I think that "even" on Cardassia, a real
doctor is someone who swears to be the absolute opposite of the Cardassian stereotype...a compassionate, caring person. So while they are at once very sensitive to the wrongs Cardassians have done, and ashamed, they also want to be seen for who they are. I think they want it to be known that they
are Cardassian too--that not all about Cardassia or Cardassians is terrible and monstrous. There is another kind of person who has those scales and ridges, too--one who cares deeply about the life force that all six of his senses bring to him. (Seven, if you count his compassion and empathy for others.)
So yes, there is a very upset part of him that is thinking, "Why did you do
this to me?" But you're also right about how guilty he feels. He knows now that he should've communicated better with his patient. And for him as a doctor, causing harm to his patient--to include emotional harm--is deeply mortifying. I think it makes him feel he has been dishonorable. I believe the clinical terminology for it is that he feels like crap.
The other thing that was hard for me about writing this was zh'Thessel. That was honestly more
frightening to me because here we have a woman who believes she has been sexually threatened and as it turned out it was a misunderstanding. I was very afraid of coming off as belittling those who are victims of both real assaults and bad miscommunications. I guess I was also afraid there were those who might react viscerally to the idea of the man being "right" and the woman being "wrong" in such a situation. But I do think that sometimes these kinds of miscommunications happen and the result is exactly like this, where both parties end up hurt.