Crusher Out of Control in "The Enemy"

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by Clark Terrell, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. Clark Terrell

    Clark Terrell Lieutenant Commander

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    I'm watching "The Enemy" and am reminded (again) of why Crusher bothers me so much. Her handling of the situation between Worf and the dying Romulan was completely inappropriate, not only because she attempted to force Worf into undergoing a medical procedure without his consent but also because she failed to consider the Romulan's wishes. He didn't want Worf's help anymore than Worf wanted to help him.

    Given the way Worf was treated during the episode, I thought he showed remarkable restraint. I don't agree with his choice to let the Romulan die, but I understand his feelings and am appalled that Crusher wasn't disciplined for her behavior.
     
  2. Tosk

    Tosk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    She tried to talk Worf into helping, she's a real monster.

    What disciplimary action would you recommend for this heinous behavior?
     
  3. Clark Terrell

    Clark Terrell Lieutenant Commander

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    No, she tried to guilt him into helping by treating him as though his feelings didn't matter.

    What I think warranted disciplinary action was her insistence on doing the procedure despite the Romulan not wanting Worf's help. Even if Worf had agreed to do it, the Romulan made his own feelings clear.
     
  4. Tosk

    Tosk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    After the Romulan says that he would rather die, we never see Crusher insisting again.

    The next reference to it is Picard pleading with Worf to agree, then the Romulan dies. So should Picard discipline himself?
     
  5. Clark Terrell

    Clark Terrell Lieutenant Commander

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    Picard asked once and then let the matter drop, advising Crusher not to ask again. His behavior was appropriate given that a captain has to look at the larger picture.
     
  6. Tosk

    Tosk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So what's the problem then?
     
  7. LeadHead

    LeadHead Director of Comedy Premium Member

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    I didn't agree with Worf in the episode, but I've never been in that kind of scenario and don't know how I'd react. Was Crusher out of line to try and guilt Worf? No. A: she was his superior officer and has full authority to make him come by sickbay and see the situation. She didn't force him to stay, he could've walked out the door right after he walked in. B: There were clearly going to be real consequences of Worf refusing to help. It's important that he understand them before it's too late.

    As for Crusher being out of line for pursuing Worf about it without the patients consent, there's no issue here until she actually could get Worf to consent to the transfusion. I'd assume she was dealing with one problem at a time, once she'd gotten Worfs cooperation, she would have worked on getting the romulan to consent to the transfusion. It's possible that if Worf agreed and she couldn't get the Romulans consent, Picard might have stepped in and ordered her to do it or they would have contacted Tomalak and possibly gotten him to talk the patient into it.
     
  8. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    As a Starfleet officer, Worf is expected to accept and, more importantly, help others regardless of his personal views. His bigotry is what should be questioned, granted he has a personal grievance about the Romulans (their attack on Khitomer that killed most of his family), but if that was the case either he should have requested another officer take his place or Picard should've insisted on it.

    Crusher was simply trying to be a humanitarian and, as an enlightened and open human being, didn't expect Worf's racism.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2014
  9. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Indeed. Worf has supposedly sworn an oath to serve in Starfleet, and that requires him to do as told. In contrast, nobody swore an oath to give a shit about his feelings. But Crusher by profession is supposed to protect life, even if her oath actually conflicts rather severely with her employment in an agency tasked with killing. Trying to talk Worf into helping is a good way to accomplish her assigned task; ordering Worf to do it at phaserpoint and/or through threat of ruination of his career would be another.

    Worf of course is an enemy agent within Starfleet, fighting against its strategic goals by promoting Klingon agendas. That he is tolerated at all, let alone to the degree witnessed, is in turn nicely in concord with those strategic goals... But sometimes there are limits.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  10. Mutai Sho-Rin

    Mutai Sho-Rin Crusty Old Bastard Moderator

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    Speaking strictly as a fan, I think the OP's perspective is ridiculous. If I were in a situation similar to the Romulan, I would want that level of advocacy from my doctor. If I were the Romulan, I also hope I would accept any source of salvation without the bias.
     
  11. starburst

    starburst Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This isnt such a black and white issue even if the characters see it that way...

    For Worf there is no choice, this man may be dying but he is an enemy to both the Klingons and the Federation and to Worf he cant ignore the fact the Romulans killed his parents. This is a part of Worf's character arc which doesnt start to resolve until much later during the events of Nemesis.

    For Crusher and Picard there is also no choice, they want to help this man, it doesnt matter that he is a part of an enemy nation, they want to provide assistance when ever and where ever possible...

    What they nor Starfleet can do, and this is where the grey comes in, is ignore Worf's feelings (be them right or wrong) and force him to give a transfusion. What if they had said he needed a kidney or a lung and Worf was still the only person who was compatible?

    To change the situation if this had been around the time of World War 2 and trade the Starship Enterprise for the Carrier Enterprise who had rescued a badly injured German do you think it would be appropriate for a Jewish officer/crewman to be pressured into 'doing the right thing' if he felt so strongly against it?
     
  12. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This episode went down some interesting roads. As far as Crusher going "out of control" in this episode, she does seem pushy, which she's been known to do. And it's been addressed before, in a very direct way, that Bev feels for her patients' suffering - and that her professional detachment in this regard is somewhat lacking. But what she's got is an excellent bedside manner, aside from being, probably, the best doctor in StarFleet - serving on its Flagship and all.

    As to a real life situation of forcing someone to do something for someone they don't like, it's usually not life or death, but it happens so much in life. Where we are forced, because of propriety, our own upbringing, or because it's simply the path of least resistance, to do for people we just can't stand and want no part of. And this question of "how far do you let a grudge go" is an intriguing one to have been answered in this episode. Worf hates Romulans because of their ideology and because his parents died as a result of it. But is it more that that? Worse than that? Has he taken his grief too far? He's certainly lost his objectivity, where Romulans are concerned and for him to be forced to examine that more closely was probably an inevitable part of his chosen path. The enemy is not just there to indiscriminately kill, anymore - it's not the StarFleet way. I'm glad they explored it.
     
  13. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    I thought Crusher was a bit out of line. We can say what we ant about the ethical duty she has as a doctor, Worf as another person/Starfleet officer but when it comes down to it Starfleet as far as we know isn't an organization that's going to force a person to undergo a medical procedure against their will.

    And even though the "medical procedure" we're talking about her probably involved nothing more than a hypospray it's still something Worf should have the right to consent to and to opt out of. Once he said "no" that should have been the end of it.

    "His body, his choice." so to speak.

    Crusher continued to harass him about and then played her little game of making him face the dying Romulan. That's just cold.
     
  14. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    The thing that always got me about this episode is that in the end the whole thing is a bit of a non-issue, isn't it. Worf, despite his feelings went ahead and spoke with the Romulan anyway. And the Romulan made it clear he didn't want Klingon blood "polluting" his body. So, at this point Worf is off the hook, he spoke with the Romulan despite his feeling about him, the Romulan doesn't want his blood. End of discussion, matter settled. And yet, the story still drags its ass with Picard having a heart to heart to Worf about it and Worf still professing his hatred of Romulans and then the Romulan dies.
     
  15. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    The whole point of that arc in the episode was to demonstrate how different Worf was from the rest of the crew. For all the ballyhooing about Crusher being too insistent and all these other ridiculous expectations you guys have from a human perspective, you're ignoring what Worf's perspective on the matter would have been. I mean, the title of the episode is "The Enemy." I don't know how much more in your face it needs to be. From Memory Alpha's page on "The Enemy":


    All that said, I've not been in the situation myself, and if I were, I'm 99% certain I'd agree to the transfusion. (there's just about two people in the world I might have to think about before agreeing), but for Worf, a Klingon orphan wronged by Romulan spies and Klingon traitors for nearly his entire life, it made perfect sense. Picard makes the point often that Starfleet and the Federation are all about respecting the morals, culture and traditions of other cultures. It's why he doesn't throw Worf into jail after he kills Duras. It's why he lets Worf come back to the Enterprise after the Klingon Civil War. This is just another piece of that puzzle and though the human characters don't like it, they at least respect Worf and his beliefs enough not to impose their own beliefs on to him.
     
  16. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    And did the Romulan die right when Picard finished talking to Worf? Shouldn't Picard and Beverly had that awkward moment that happens when you just happen to pick up the phone to call someone right when they call you and there's no ring?

    Anyway, it is also odd that Crusher apparently never talked to the Romulan about his medical needs and that he needed to the whatevers from Worf's blood. Unless she was harassing him off-screen.
     
  17. Clark Terrell

    Clark Terrell Lieutenant Commander

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    And this is the biggest why I've such a problem with her behavior. If the Romulan were begging for someone to help him, I'd view her attitude towards Worf differently. But the Romulan made it clear he would rather die than accept Worf's help, so it would not have mattered what Worf did. Unless of course the Romulan was playing both sides of the street in order to manipulate the situation to serve his own ends.
     
  18. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    Well, keep in mind that from Crusher's perspective, her primary objective as a physician is to 'first, do no harm.' Letting the guy just lie there and die seems like it would fly in the face of that objective.
     
  19. Clark Terrell

    Clark Terrell Lieutenant Commander

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    Oh, I agree. But that doesn't mean she shouldn't take her patient's wishes into consideration. Based on the fact that we never see her interact with the Romulan one-on-one, it doesn't seem that she even knew what he wanted (or didn't want).
     
  20. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    True, but if a patient refuses treatment....