To clarify, when I say natural disaster, I mean the sort of natural disaster Trek protagonists deal with on a weekly basis - not something like an earthquake or hurricane, but something like an asteroid hurtling towards their planet. I'm not talking about an asteroid that will cripple their civilization or even send them back to the stone age - I'm talking about an extinction level event. If an asteroid or spatial anomaly threatens to destroy an entire civilization, how is letting that happen the moral thing to do? The PD forbids "interfering in the natural development of a less advanced culture." Well, I've got news for you. Extinction is not part of natural development. Once a species is gone forever, they're not advancing or developing anymore, are they? Also, the situation is a little different when someone is actually asking for help. Now, I wouldn't have a problem with the Federation saying "There's some things you have to fix on your own" or "We really can't get involved in this since it's impossible for us to stay neutral and objective in this case." But most Trek fans seem to equate that with allowing something like an asteroid impact to exterminate a species - or a spatial anomaly, or hostile alien life, or any other external force that threatens to wipe out a less advanced culture. In this case, Phlox had the cure for the Valakians, and there was no proof that helping the Valakians would be detrimental to the Menk or vice-versa. I believe Dear Doctor was meant to demonstrate why the Prime Directive is a good idea, but it failed miserably to do so. If the situation had been better thought out, or if it had been proven that only one of the races could survive, that would be one thing. In the end, what's really wrong with Dear Doctor is the writing. I'm not saying the Feds should go around fixing everything for less advanced cultures. I just disagree with the widely expressed oversimplification of the Prime Directive. It's not as simple as "let horrible things happen because you have no right to save people." It's more like "Yes, bad things are happening and we could step in, but we're not sure what the long-term effects would be. We're not neglecting you guys because we don't like you, but we really can't get involved since we're not perfect either." It's not the inaction itself that is praiseworthy - it's recognizing that we don't know everything either. The Prime Directive is a good idea because there needs to be a baseline. Instead of deciding everything on a case-by-case basis, there needs to be a rule that says "Okay guys, 90% of the time, interfering is a bad idea. Trust us, we know from experience that it's better to let these things sort themselves out." Again, that shouldn't apply to external forces such as asteroid impacts that would cause total extinction. As a general rule, it works. As dogma, it doesn't. I think it would have been better to demonstrate why the PD was eventually created by having Archer and his crew monumentally screw up by helping someone out, opening Pandora's Box, and having the whole situation explode violently in their faces. Then the audience would think, "It would be better if they had stayed out of it" and not "Why didn't they help?"