Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Nip/Tuck's Moral Conundrum

Nip/Tuck tonight was nicely done. I'm not going to go into too many specifics other than to discuss a moral conundrum the show posed. One of the doctors, Dr. Christian Troy, the one who slept/sleeps around a lot, learned that one of his former partners had recently tested positive for HIV. He immediately had himself tested but it would take 2-3 days for him to get the results.

Q: Knowing that it would be 2-3 days before learning whether or not you are HIV positive, would you preemptively call and alert your recent sexual partners?

On the show, Dr. Troy does so, mostly at the urging of his friend and fellow surgeon, Dr. Sean McNamara. But it got me thinking, if I were in the same position would I do the same? Knowing full well that it could be a false alarm and a knowable quality with only a few days wait, would you want to upset those women and ruin what shreds of your reputation remain? And, of course, the $25,000 question, which is the "correct" moral choice of action?

I suppose Dr. Troy's course, that of calling up the women and confronting the issue early, is probably the more moral of the two. Still, I am unsure whether I would do the same if in his shoes. Whether I could ignore that voice in my head saying "wait the 2-3 days and learn the truth before you go (potentially) needlessly upsetting those women" is by far not a certainty. I suspect I might be inclined to wait the time out and learn of my own status before informing or calling others, should that prove necessary.

And so I ask you, faithful reader, what do you think you would do in that situation? And do you think Dr. Troy did the "correct" thing? Did he do the "moral" thing?

(Btw & fyi, in the end, and this may be an "ends justify the means," Dr. Troy turned out to not be HIV positive.)