Whose Life Is It Anyway? (1981) - full transcript

Ken Harrison is an artist who makes sculptures. One day he is involved in a car accident, and is paralyzed from his neck down. All he can do is talk, and he wants to die. In hospital he make friends with some of the staff, and they support him when he goes to trial to be allowed to die.

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Help me clean this up.

No, I can't come now, because
I'm going to clean this up.

Tie your ladder up there!

How you doing up there?

About done?

Get down.


Hey, watch the sparks!

Hey, give me some
slack, will you?

What the hell is
this thing, anyway?

What do you mean what is it?

It's art.

Hurry up, you turkey!

Do you think you might
possibly be finished

before the dedication tomorrow?

Catch. I can do it.


Okay, people,

I don't want any
of you to forget.

There is no extra
credit for this.

Don't turn into an angry mob!

Now, listen. I want the term
papers in by Wednesday,

and tell Becky that I
want it legible. Okay?

Police the area.

I gotta go. Okay.

You really did it. Yeah?

Yeah. I'm really proud of you.

- It's really something.
- Yeah?

You really made a... - Yeah.

Big pile of sticks.

I used you as a model.

I gotta go.

I'm cooking tonight.
What do you want?

Just a salad or
something. You know.

How about baked Alaska?

Heh, heh, heh. How about
a lobster Newburg, baby?

Give me a break.

How about M&M's?

M&M's sound good.

I'll see you later.

See you tonight.

Fly ball to center.
This will put it away.

A total of five runs, 10 hits

and two errors for the Mariners.

Eight runs, nine hits and
two errors for the Red Sox.

Charlie Snow inviting you...

Out of the way.

Jimmy, Jimmy, come back.

All right, let's clear the area.

Gurney coming through.

Hang in there. Take it easy.

You all right now?

Stay back.

Easy, now.

You gonna be fine.
You gonna be fine.

Whoa, whoa, whoa.
Watch that jacket.


Oh, my God.


All right. I got him. I got him.

This is unit 612.

We got a possible
broken neck here,

acute trauma, multiple
fractures, lacerations.

The man is cyanotic.
BP is 160 over 90.

Move it! Out of the way!

To the right. Off to the right.

Quick, Lissa, I need your
help. Ventilate this guy.

Dorothy, 1 gram of Solu-Medrol.

One gram Solu-Medrol.

Two units of plasma.
Two units of plasma!

Type and cross match.

Possible pneumothorax.

I can feel at least four
fractured ribs on this guy

and a fractured pelvis.

- Who's the anesthesiologist?
- Levinson.

Tell him 15 minutes.
Get him into X-ray, stat.

Right tibia fracture.
Hang in there, pal.

Come on, you gotta fight. Fight!

We have a fractured right
rib puncturing the right lung,

so we have a pneumothorax.

We have a fractured
left tibia and fibula,

fractured right
tibia and fibula.

God, what didn't he break?

This is gonna be our
problem right here.

He's never gonna dance
again, that's for sure.

We'll have to very gently fuse
this spinal column together.

I can do that.

I think the best we can
hope for, though, is a quad.

I want him alive, Tony.

I'll do the best job
I can. Get started?


How you doing on
your side, Betty?

Oh, pretty good. Pretty good.

One more knot to go,
and we are in terrific shape.

Over easy, please.

One, two, three...




Thought I recognized
those shoes.

Well, I wore them just for you.

Dizzy? You want anything?

I'd like a martini.

Ha, ha! He wants a martini.


Now, how's that?

Mm. Mm.

Gin tastes like water.

It is water.

I thought everyone in
Intensive Care got gin.

Well, intravenously.

Hey, honey?


You know that dinner
dance next Saturday?

I think we ought to
tell them we'll be late.



Want to come along, Miss Sadler?

Yes, ma'am.

Good morning, Mr. Harrison.

Good morning, Mr. Harrison.

Morning, Rodriguez.

Here's a new face for you.

Hello, new face. Oh.

Rodriguez, I thought you were
gonna bring me ugly old hags.

Going down.

Orthopedics. Gynecology.

Nurses' station. Rubber
goods. Water sports.

Get the pillows out
from under his arms.

Watch it.

Arms over chest.

Down with the
sheets and the spread.

Neatly, neatly.

Why don't you say
something nice to her?

You need a haircut.

That's nice.

Ready? And...



Hello, darling, my
little flesh pudding.

Align the legs.



Hear the one about
the plastic surgeon?


He melted in front of the fire.


You get it in the
end, don't you?

Terrible. Thank you very much.

Now rub.

I see any bedsores,
gonna be you and me.

I used to dream of
situations like this.

Being injured?

Being massaged by
two beautiful women.

Ah, lay off, or I'll keep my
student nurses out of here.

You think you can manage?

Yes, ma'am.

Well, be careful.

We don't want to
have him on the floor.

Oh, God. Somebody
have me on the floor.

I was once had on
the floor, Rodriguez.

It was incredible.

You are impossible.

Make that improbable.

So, what's your name?

Mary Jo Sadler.

Most of my friends call me Joey.

That's nice. Don't let
Rodriguez hear you say that.

You're supposed to
answer "Miss Sadler,"

with a smile that
is filled with warmth,

but not a hint of sex. Sorry.

Don't be sorry. I'm
gonna call you Joey

when we're alone and,
uh, caressing my backside.

I'm rubbing your
heels right now.

Don't spoil it! I can't feel
a damn thing anyway.

Am I your first back rub, Joey?

Yes, you are.

I graduate in two weeks.


Anybody home? KEN: Uh-oh!

Joey, quick, get under the
bed! It's the other woman!


You going to class?
Uh-uh. Rehearsal.

Does he ever stop?

Stop? I haven't
laid a glove on her.

I don't know. It's my first day.

You'll learn. I'm Pat.

I'm Miss Sadler. And for you...

Beautiful. Beautiful.

Good morning. Good morning.

How are you this morning? Okay.

And how are we doing here? Fine.

Miss Rodriguez, you promised me

you wouldn't send any
more cute ones in here.

You should have
seen the one last night.

After lights out, she snuck
me out. We went skateboarding.

Only trouble was, I
was the skateboard.

No, no, no! No, no, no!

Are you finished, Miss Sadler?

I, um...






Okay. Could you
straighten my hand out

and bend the hand down,
palm down, into the pillow?

That's it. That's it. Now
smooth the fingers out.

That's it. Perfect. Now...

Now bend the
thumb a little bit in.

That's it. That's it. That's it.

Now relax the
hand just a little bit.

That's it. Thank you.

I gotta keep going.
Give me a kiss.

Love you, okay.

I got some steps to work
out before the rehearsal.

How's your knee?

It's okay. If I warm
it up really carefully.

Kallis is coming
to the studio again.

He's still interested
in the large nude.

Kallis always was
interested in large nudes.

Try and make him
behave, Rodriguez.

Nice meeting you.


Tomorrow. Alrighty.

Are you comfortable,
Mr. Harrison?

Rodriguez, you give great sheet.

Go to sleep or something.

What's the "or something"?

Stay awake.

How long has he been like...?

Six months.

Will he ever be able...? No.

John, Mr. Harrison's ready.
You better do him now.

Well, he ain't going
nowhere, man.

What you say, man? Uh-oh.

A black man with a razor.

Okay, fleet-foot, let's
see you tap-dance.

Okay, here we go.

Oh, man, but this
is boring, you know.

Shaving dudes all day. Mm.

They won't let me
near the girls, you know.

All you could get near is
the ones with the mustaches.

Bitchy, bitchy. Envy, envy.


Listen, from where I'm laying...

- -if I could get off at all,

even by myself,
that would be great.

I hear that, man. I hear that.


shake it out.

Dr. Emerson's making
his rounds this morning.

If I shake it any harder,
man, it's gonna fall off.

So how's the punk band
coming? Oh, great, man.

I even added a
xylophone to the band.

Punk xylophone? How
the hell does that sound?

Ah, man, great.

We be jamming
tonight. Jiving. Listen.

♪ A-ching, ching
Ching, ching, chong ♪

Hey, man, this knee
needs tuning up, you know.

♪ Punkette nights
Them pretty lights ♪

♪ I love them ladies
Dressed in white ♪

♪ Thursdays May be awful sweet ♪

♪ But the Friday's
Dancing time for me ♪

♪ On my feet Feet, feet, feet ♪

♪ On my feet Feet, feet, feet ♪

♪ Punkette nights
Them pretty lights ♪

♪ I love them ladies
Dressed in white ♪

♪ The sweetest
thing I ever saw ♪

♪ Was my baby
When she's in the raw ♪

♪ In the raw, raw Raw, raw ♪

♪ In the raw, raw... ♪
Hey, John.

John. John.

This isn't your day.

What's going on here?

He was testing my reflexes.

Uh, yeah, uh, you
see, Dr. Scott, uh,

this man's toe bone
connected to his knee bone,

and I'm just connecting
myself to another patient.


Well, we're all bright
and chipper this morning.

Oh, it's marvelous, the
courage of the human spirit.

Nice to hear the
human spirit's okay.

How's the heart?

♪ Punkette nights... ♪

♪ In the raw... ♪

Then they were in the lobby...

Selling tickets.

You heard that one.

Yes. You told me
twice yesterday.

Our relationship
must be on the skids.

You're looking great
today, Mr. Harrison.

Take a deep breath for me.

Hold it. Let it out.

Okay, I think we can start

stepping up your
physical therapy now.

To what purpose?

To what purpose?

So that you can feel
more comfortable

and start leading
a more normal life.

More normal, huh?
Yes, more normal.

Meaning I can resume
my basketball career?

No. I think you're a little
too short for basketball.

Cute. Thank you.

I see Dr. Emerson is making
rounds again this morning.

Yes, he is.

Is he gonna do it in
the normal fashion,

or is he gonna walk on water?

Look up for me, please.

That isn't fair, you know.

You're very lucky to have him.

He's the best one around.

I'll remember
that in my prayers.

Okay. See you in a few minutes.

With Emerson? Right.

I won't hold my breath.

Miss Rodriguez, um,

Mr. Harrison seems a bit
more agitated this morning.

He's beginning to realize
what he's up against.

That's what I thought.

Okay, I'm upping his
Valium to 5 milligrams.

Valium, 5 milligrams. TID?

Right. Thank you.

What, in your enlightened
opinion, Mr. Hoffman,

was Mr. Holmes suffering from?

I'd say pneumonia.

No, it wasn't pneumonia.

All third-year students
say pneumonia.

It wasn't pneumonia,
and it wasn't arthritis.

How long?

About 12 minutes.

What did you do?

Palpated radial artery,

gave him D5W,
bicarb and epinephrine.

Why didn't you
transfer him to ICU?

Well, his vitals
were stable at 6:00.

He just went sour real fast.

This was Andrew Dryer, age 56,

out of surgery yesterday,

cancer of the colon and liver.

What's your name?

Uh, Everett, sir.

Well, Mr. Everett, how
do you feel about this?

Feel, sir? Yes, feel.

You feel sick when
you look at this?

No, sir. Why not?

I'm used to seeing bodies, sir.

Oh, I see.

You've been here
what, three years?

Cut up cadavers
with the best of them.

Death holds no fear for
you, does it, Mr. Everett?

Sir... Let me tell
you something.

This makes me sick.

It ought to make you sick too.

Look there. That's the enemy.

The enemy has won.

Mr. Dryer was 56 years old,

and I want you, Mr. Everett...

And I want all of you.

To feel sick when you see a body

that hasn't reached its allotted

three-score years and 10.

That's if you
want to be doctors,

not just moneygrubbers.


Oh! Sorry.

Dr. Arlene Franklin,

Station 4 waiting area, please.

Uh, did you say
something to me, man?

I think she likes me.

Hello, hello. Hi.

Is that something
to put into my face?

It's coffee.

No, it's not.

Yes, it is. No, it's not.

It is. It is. It's
not. It's caca.

No, it's not. Oh, really? Yuch.

It's good for you.
You have to drink it.

No. It looks like
somebody already drank it.

Just take a sip. I
don't want any of it.

It's not that...
Oh, shit. I'm sorry.


I'm sorry, Joey.
It was my fault.

It's all right. I
can clean it up.

I'm sorry.

I'll just change the sheets.

Don't panic.

How someone who
can't move a muscle

can screw up a whole bed...

It's just eating its
way through my P.J.'s.

I'm going to pull
you up towards me.

Oof! Oh, God!

I feel like Charlie McCarthy.

Oh, God!

How did the quadriplegic
cross the road?

I don't know. He was
stapled to a chicken.

Joey. Joey. Joey!

Aah! Help me! Oh, God. Oh, God.

Nurse, help me!
Somebody help. Nurse!

Somebody, nurse, help!


Got him. Got him.

Somebody help! I got him.

What happened? I don't know.

Get him on the floor.

Set him down. Just set him down.

Watch it. Watch it!
Watch the head, man.

Get me a clean sheet.

I spilled the coffee!

Okay, get ready for lifting.

It wasn't her fault!

It wasn't her fault. It
was just an accident.

What's going on here?

Get out of here!

They're just
changing the sheets.

All right. That's all. Out
of here. See you tomorrow.

Just easy.

Easy, man. Watch the head, now.

See? Watch me. Gently.

On the count of three.

One, two, three.

Roll the body.

- Slowly. Slowly.
- Easy, now.

All the way up.

All the way up. You dizzy?


Pillow, please.

What happened here?

He almost fell out of bed.

Really? How do you feel?

Great. Great.

It's always good to get
out of bed now and again.

Let me take a look at you.

Now move your head.



Does that hurt? No.

Are you okay?

Oh, yeah.

You'll be fine.

Are you kidding?

Can I have the chart, please?

Miss, can I have
the chart, please?

Just breathe normally.

I see you upped his Valium.

Yes. I did this morning.

The dialysis seems to
be holding him stable.

Continue the schedule.

Four hours every other day.

Right. Okay.

Well, Mr. Harrison,

we seem to be out of the woods.

Now, if we can
keep you in that bed

and off the accident
list, we'll be fine.

Hmph. When do
"we" get discharged?

Pretty soon, now, I expect.

Really? Discharged
or transferred?

This unit is for
the critically ill,

which I'm happy to
say, you no longer are.


I'll send you to a rehab

where you'll be
comfortable. I get it.

You mean you just
grow the vegetables here.

The vegetable store
is somewhere else.

I don't think you understand.

I think I do.

What chance do you think
I have of my ever being

just partly dependent
on nursing?

That's difficult to
say with any certainty.

I am not asking for a guarantee.

I'm asking for a
professional opinion.

Do you think I'll
ever walk again?


Regain the use of my arms?


Or my... Or my hands?


Thank you.

What are you thanking me for?

Your honesty.

Well, we were
wondering when you'd ask.

Why didn't you tell me before?

We didn't think you'd hear us.

Look, I know it's difficult.

It's surprising how we
can come to accept...


You mean, things
like falling out of bed?

Dr. Scott has
prescribed something

which I think will
help. Oh, fabulous.

Get Mrs. Boyle in here.

Let's start some
meaningful therapy.

Right away. Isn't
that a great idea?

It's a great idea. Mr. Harrison,

I'll stop in on you later.

Be sure to phone
first. I may not be in.

See you later.

Miss Sadler, let's get
a clean gown on him.

What'd you give him,
5 milligrams of Valium?

Yeah, TID.

We may have to up it to 10.

You might be right.

I want him transferred out
of here, one month, tops.

I have to go to a
board meeting. Okay.

Talk to some tight-ass
tick-tocks about inflation.

I hope you have
a wonderful time.

I'd rather have my
prostate examined.

Excuse me. Mrs. Cole? Hold on.

Yes, doctor?

Have you given
Mr. Harrison his Valium yet?

No, not until noon.

Um... give it to him now.

Now? Yeah.

Hold on. Let me call you back.

Oh, wait just a sec.

On second thought,
let me have it.

I'll give it to him myself.

Dr. Norton,

report to Hydrotherapy,
fourth floor. Dr. Norton.

Hello again.

Hello. I was just
practicing lying here.

I brought you something
to help you relax.

What for?

What for?

The fall? I'm all
right. I'm just angry.

I don't blame you
for being angry.

I'm changing the nurse
here. She's not experienced.

Don't do that. Why not?

Because it wasn't her
fault. It was just an accident.

At least I should have someone
around here I could talk to.

Here. I think
this will help you.

Don't do that.
Don't give me that.

Why not? It'll make
you feel better.

Quieter, you mean.

Look, Mr. Harrison,

your body cannot
handle all this excitement.

Now, I think you need this. Why?

If I wanna be mad, I'll be mad.

If I wanna make noise, It's...

I'll make noise.

Just because you are also upset

because you can't
do anything for me

does not mean that I'm the
one that has to get tranquilized.

However, it is prescribed...

You haven't heard a
word I said, have you?

Now, you listen
to me, Dr. Scott.

The only thing that I have
left is my consciousness,

and I don't want that
paralyzed as well.

You understand that?

Yeah. I hear what you're saying.

Good. Very good.

So if you want any tranquility,

you eat the pill.

You want me to...

Eat it.

We'll see.

Good. That's what I always say.

If you're ever in doubt
whether to take a tranquilizer...

sleep on it.




That's bullshit.

When he came here
all shaken to hell,

he didn't protest the IV saline.

When he was gasping for breath,

he didn't say, "I don't
want any Solu-Medrol."

No, but those were inevitable
in emergency situations.

So is this.

Look, Clare.

We'll have to help him
to accept his condition.

Then, maybe, his consciousness
will be of help to him.

But how does a
depressant drug like Valium

really help him to
accept his condition?

Listen. Ken Harrison
is an intelligent,

sensitive, articulate,
wonderful person.

Yes, he is.

But he's not gonna
prescribe for himself.

Will the owner of
a blue Cadillac...


Parked in Emergency,
please move it immediately.

This is Dr. Emerson.

I'd like you to prepare
Valium. Ten milligrams, IM.

I'll be right up.

Dr. Jackson, outside call.

Dr. Jackson, outside call.

Uh-oh. They've
sent in the godfather.

Why are you giving my
staff such a hard time?

Dr. Emerson, I must insist

that you do not stick
that needle in my arm.

You don't even
know what's in it.

Well, I assume

that it is one of the
series of measures taken

to keep me alive.

That's right. You,
pal, are a valuable life.

I don't think so.

I've decided I don't
want to stay alive.

You can't decide that.

Why not?

Because you're depressed.


Does that surprise you?

No. In time, you'll
learn to accept.

Until then, let us help you.

Do not stick that
fucking thing in my arm.

Goddamn you.

I specifically refused
you permission to do that.

It was necessary.

I want you to sleep.

I don't want to goddamn sleep.

I want to goddamn think!

When you were sculpting

and things weren't
coming out right,

did you quit?

No, I didn't.

Well, neither do I.

Is that what I am to you?

Huh? Emerson.

Wait a minute.

Wait a minute!

Is that all I am...?

Is a lump of clay?!



Will you come on? I told
you my feet are hurtin'.

And I've ordered three
times already. Don't forget.

Oh, my God.

My chocolates.

You like this one?

It's nice.

How's this?

That's lovely.

Oh, that's it.

That's it. Don't move. This one?

Well, hurry up.

Stay there. Don't... Heh.

Rewind. You got to go back.

You like that one?

Show me the one
that's two steps after it.

With the elbow? KEN: Yeah.

That's nice.

Sadler, you want
to do some rounds?


Okay, let's go.

♪ And good morning to you ♪

Good morning.

Back with the sheets.

And spread.

And voilà.

The night nurse said you
had a good night's sleep.

Well, I had some help, if
you remember, from Emerson.

Like being hit on the head
with a soft baseball bat.

Mm. But your eyes
look bright this morning.

I've been thinking.

Ready? And...

You do too much of that.

What other activity
would you suggest?

Jogging, perhaps?

Hey, Rodriguez, you
remember that lawyer

that came here a few months ago

from the insurance company?

His name was
something, uh, Hill?

Yeah, I remember.

Do you think you could
call him for me? Sure.

Since I'm gonna be
around here for some time,

I think money would help.

Good thinking in there.

His card is in my top
drawer. You'll call him?


Knock knock. Hi, everybody.

Hi. Hi. Great day, huh? Yuck.

I had to park
about 4 miles away.

Oh, you look pretty dry.

Would you ladies
excuse us, please?


I got some new music for you.

How are you today?


You don't seem the same.

You come here every day.

It's remarkable.

What's so remarkable about it?

I love you.

Oh, I know,

and I'm honored
by that and moved.

What's wrong with you today?

I want to ask you a question.

We make cute little
jokes about nurses

and hints of sex, you know?


Now, obviously, I
haven't slept with anyone

for over six months.

Have you?


Why not?

Not interested in other men.

I love you.

Ah, without self-pity,

I am no longer someone to love.

I am an object that has

to be taken care of
for the rest of his life.

I don't know why
you're doing this.

I have to be on a dialysis
machine four hours a day.

None of that matters to me.

It matters to me.


I know you love me,

and when I was Ken
Harrison, I loved you,

but that was a long time ago.

At least six months
and one spine ago.

I am not the man that loved you.

Now, you have been loyal
and you have been loving

and you have
been self-sacrificing.

I don't want any
part of it anymore,

and I want you to walk out
of here and not come back.


I just want you to find
a new life, find a man,

and get married and have babies.

What am I supposed to do?
Go to the Salvation Army?

Patty, if you were laying here

and I was standing
where you are...

I'd leave you flat.

You would, would you?

I may still love you,
but I'd leave you.

Well, you have
got a lot of balls

to lie there and make
decisions without me

about our future.

Everything we've
ever done together,

everything we've
ever had together

or been to each other,

everything you've ever given me,

that's part of me now,
and I won't give it back.

I can't give it back.

Do you know that every time

that you walk into this room,

you remind me of
the way things were?

Every time I look at you,

I see what I cannot do

and what I will never do again,

and I can't stand it.

I know you love me, Patty,

but if you don't
wanna torture me,

you'll go now, please.

Don't do that.

You know, I always say that
if a man can't use his hands,

he's got to be a real dumb
son of a bitch to cry, you know?

I mean, it's just another way
of getting your gown wet, man.

I'm all right now,
John. Thank you.

Well, I didn't do nothing,

except save meself the trouble

of carrying a wet gown
all the way to the laundry.


Dr. Greenberg, please
call Physical Therapy.

Dr. Greenberg, please
call Physical Therapy.


Stop it. Don't do that.

I can't help meself, me dear.

Oh, God.

Now I have to get these
instruments sterilized again.

Don't say things like that.

Just the thought of it
makes me crazy, you know.

Everything to you here
is a big joke, isn't it?

I can't take a place like
this too serious, you know.

I mean, one floor people
dying of poison air and water,

the next floor, ladies
having belly tucks.

Clean shit.

Well, look what they've
done for Mr. Harrison.

Yeah and how much does it
cost to keep him alive, huh?

Thousands of dollars a week.

That's not the point.

Well, the point is, in Africa,

people die of the measles,
you know, little babies even.

Only cost a few pennies
to keep them alive now.

There's got to be something
crazy somewhere, man.

Well, that's wrong too. Check.

So how 'bout going
out with me tonight?

We could discuss it
some more, you know.

I don't think...
Come on. Come on.

We could get something to eat.

Later tonight, my
band is rehearsing.

It would be fun.
We're sounding good.

I have an anatomy
final. It's a real killer.

Anatomy is it? Well, uh,

your problems are
over, you lucky girl.

You see, I'm an
expert on anatomy.

I could come over and
show you the hard parts.

Yeah. I'll bet you could.


Are you out of work?

This man in this place? Never.

I was just about to start
scrubbing down the ceilings,

don't you know?

Miss Sadler,

your job is to lower the
temperature of the patients,

not raise the hopes
of the orderlies.

Yes, ma'am.

So who's my blind date?

It's a real nice lady, man.

Uh-huh. Don't tell
me. She's lots of fun.

It's Mrs. Boyle.

Mrs. Boyle.

Yeah. Do I have to see her?

Well, Dr. Emerson asked
her to stop by, you know.

Oh, well, then I will see her.

If I refuse, he'll dissolve her
in water and inject her into me.

Excuse me.

Mr. Harrison.

I used to be.

Kate Boyle. John.

Come to cheer me up?

I wouldn't quite say that. No?

Uh, would you like to
go over to that corner?

Sure. John.

Anything you say.

How's it going, Ken?

Pretty good. Pretty
good. Stick around.

This lady's gonna cheer us up.

We could use a little
of that around here.

She's gonna saw us in half

or do a belly
dance or something.

Not exactly.

Well, if that's not
what you do, uh...

If you need me,
I'll be over there.

What exactly, uh, do
you do, Mrs. Boyle?

I've come to see
if I can help you.


There is a rumor going around

that you don't want
any more treatment.


Why good?

'Cause I didn't think anyone
around here heard me.

I heard you, and that
is why I want to know

why you don't want
any more treatment.

'Cause I don't want
to go on living like this.

Why not?

I mean, it's a lousy break,

but you'll be surprised at all
the things you'll be able to do

with training and
a little patience.

Such as?

You're gonna be able to
operate a reading machine,

and I think, an
adapted typewriter,

maybe even a calculator.

Gee and wow. The three R's.

Doesn't exactly make for
an abundant life, does it?

Do you realize that
Monet was almost blind

when he painted
the Water Lilies?

Oh. And that Renoir's hands

were so crippled,
they had to tie brushes

Oh, come on. For
him to paint, and...

No, no, no, no. Don't go
on, don't go on, please.

Please, don't go on. I know.
You're gonna read to me

from the Reader's Digest
"My Most Unforgettable Lame."

You're an artist.
Sculpting isn't the only art.

Have you ever thought about

dictating into a tape recorder?

You could write a
book about sculpture,

a novel, poetry.

Wait a minute. Wait a minute.

Do you think that
you change your art

like you switch your
major in college?

I'm a sculptor.

My whole being,
my entire imagination

speaks to me through...


Spoke to me through my fingers.

I was a sculptor

and that was what
my life was all about.

Now, uh, you
people seem to think

that it's about survival
no matter what.

Now, if I'd wanted to write a...

A goddamn novel, I
would have done it.

If I'd wanted to dictate
poetry, I would have done that.

How do you know you won't
want to do that unless you try?

Because trying isn't important.

The work is important.

The work.

And not the credit and
not the... The reward.

And it is the work

that I will never do again.

How do you know you
won't find new work?

Look, just give it a chance.

Let me bring the reading
machine tomorrow.

One try. You might
surprise yourself.

Are there many books
for that machine?

Yeah. Quite a few.

You think I could make a
request for the first one?


How about...

Sculpting With No
Hands, Self-Taught.


You win.

I can see that you are not
ready for this discussion,

so I will just come
back when you are.

You know, you are
amazing. You know?

All you goddamn
people are the same.

Every single time
that I say something

even a little bit awkward,

you just pretend I
haven't said anything at all.

It's amazing.

Why can't you try to
relate to your patients

like human beings?

You know what's happening?

You're getting very angry.

I can understand your anger.

Oh, Jesus. You're
doing it again.

Just listen to yourself.

I've just said something
offensive about you

and you have turned
your professional cheek.

If you were a human being,

or if you were treating
me like a human being,

you would have
told me to screw off.

Now, can you
understand that is why

I don't want to go on living?

And I am more
convinced of that now,

after your visit,
than I was before.

How do you like them apples?

The very exercise

of your so-called

makes me want to die.

What's happening?

I can't breathe.
Okay, what's wrong?

Just go away, please. John.

I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
Please, just relax.

J... John.

Is there a nurse? Is
there a nurse, please?

I'm sorry.

Is there a nurse here, please?

Relax. Watch out, Mrs. Boyle.

Let the nurse take care
of it. It happens all the time.

Watch out! Relax, man.

Relax your body.

Get the hell out of the
way! Back! Nurse Rodriguez!

Nurse Rodriguez,
he can't breathe now!

Call Dr. Scott. JOHN:
He can't breathe, man!

You'll be all right. John.

Slow it down.

Open your mouth. All right.

Come on. Come on.

Jesus Christ, fix him now.

Hold him, John. Hold him.

Hold your head. Hold him.

Breathe in. Breathe in.

Just take it in.

Okay, just relax.


He's gonna be all
right, yeah? Relax.

Okay, yeah. He's
going to be all right.

He's going to
be all right. Okay.

Feel okay? Yeah?

Yeah. Yeah, he feels okay.

Just get him on the bed.

Hey, man's in bed
with his wife, you know.

Turns to the lady and says,

"Darling, why don't
you never let me know

when you're having an orgasm?"

She looks over at him and says,

"Darling, it's 'cause
you're never there."

One, two, three.

I think you got a smile, John.


You got a smile. I hear a laugh.

"It's 'cause you're
never there."

One and...


All right.

This hospital will kill
no quad before its time.

- I - called Mr. Hill for you.

He said he'd be here tomorrow.
Didn't know exactly when.

Well, I'll be in all day.

Is everything okay in here?

This must be Grand
Central Station.

Is there any obstruction?

No, just a spasm. He'll be fine.

Hello there.


Is your breathing okay now?


What was all the fuss about?

I had a run-in with Mrs. Boyle.


I know I should have
just smiled and nodded.

The last thing I want to do

is to get Emerson
down here again

with his pharmaceutical

Yeah. I'm sorry about that.

Well, I don't suppose
it was your fault.

I'll be on the floor
if you need me.

Right. Thanks.

Mr. Harrison,

do you think perhaps I
could give you some advice?


Why don't you take the pills?

The dose is so small
it's like taking nothing.

They're not gonna dull
your consciousness,

not like the injection will.

You have beautiful breasts.

W-what did you say?

I said you have

beautiful breasts.


What an odd thing to say.

Why? I know you're a doctor,

but you're not gonna tell me

that you only regard
them as mammary glands.


You're perfectly safe,
you know. I know.

I'm not going to jump out of
bed and rape you or anything.

Yeah. Did I embarrass you?

No, you didn't embarrass me.

You just surprised me a little.

And embarrassed you.


just a little. Why?

I admit it's unusual for a man

to complement a
woman on her breasts

when only one of them is in bed.

One of the people, that is.

Not one of the breasts.
Not one of... No.

That, uh...

It's not the reason, is it?

Look, I... I don't really
think this is helping you

to talk like this, do you?

Because I can't do
anything about it, you mean.

Well, yeah. Right.

You know, I've noticed you
walking around this room,

bending over me,
examining my body.

It's amazing.

It's amazing how
relaxed a woman can be

when she's not in
the presence of a man.


Look, um... I'm sorry.

I mean, I'm sorry if I have
provoked you in any way

because, believe me,
it was not intentional.

No, no. You haven't
provoked me, as you call it.

But you are a woman.

Even though I only have

a piece of knotted
string between my legs,

I still have a man's mind.

Now, the other things I've
noticed is that I now engage

in sexual banter
with young nurses.

I'm constantly searching
for the double-entendre

in the most innocent of remarks.

Every time they leave the room,

I just go cold with

Is that disgusting?



It's sad.

I'm serious, you know,
about wanting to die.

Ken, come on.

Believe me, you'll
get over this feeling.

How do you know?

I know from experience,

from watching a
lot of other patients

who are much
worse off than you are

who go through the same thing.

We all respond the same,
huh? We vegetables?

I think it's probably
very difficult

for you to know what
you want right now.

Well, Dr. Scott, I do, with
a free and working mind,

and it is your moral obligation

to accept my decision.

No. Wait a minute. Not
according to my morals.

Why? Why are yours
better than mine?

I'll tell you why.

Because you are
more powerful than me.

I am in your power.

Well, I think you should
try to get some sleep now.

You've had a tough day.

I'm afraid I have to get going.

I was just in the middle
of another patient.

Oh, I thought you were
just passing through.

Dr. Scott.


You still have
beautiful breasts.

Well, thank you.

That's it. That's it. Let's go.

Come on.

Good. Way to fire it.

Playmaker, let's go.

All right, good.

That's in! That's in! That's in!

Mr. Hill.

How are you?

Better. I had a
terrible cold last week.

I was, you know,
flat on my back for...

You know, I couldn't move.

Those guys are very good,

just like a real team.

Nah. Their dribbling sucks.

Well, I've got all the
papers here, and...

I don't wanna talk
about the accident.

Well, I can understand
that, Mr. Harrison,

but I'm afraid that
we really must.

No, no, I-I don't wanna...

I didn't ask you to
come here this morning

for the insurance claim.

Do you think you could
wheel me over to that table?


Thank you.

You have to undo the
brake under my right elbow.


Let me ask you a question.

You don't work exclusively

for the insurance
company, do you?

No. I'm with a,
uh... A small firm.

So there's no reason

why you couldn't represent
me independently?

No. Is this all right?

That's just fine. Thank you.

All right.

I'd like you to do
something for me, if possible.

All right.

I'd like you to get
me the hell outta here.

Well, I'm afraid I don't
understand what you,

um, uh, mean.

It's really very simple.

I'd like to be discharged
from this hospital.

To... To another hospital?


Well, they wouldn't,
uh, keep you here

any longer than necessary.

You wouldn't think
so, would you?

Mr. Hill, I can't exist
outside this hospital.

They have to keep me here
in order to keep me alive.

And they do seem rather
intent upon doing just that.

But I have decided
that I do not wish

to go on living like this,

and so I would like
to be discharged

so that I could die.

A-and you want me
to represent you?

Tough luck.


Astonishing request.

My sculpture isn't
very orthodox either.

You mean, just lie there
somewhere, and... And...

And die. Yes. Die.

Well, what's the hospital say?

They don't know about it yet.

But... But do you...?

Do you realize what
you're asking me...?

I do realize that I am not
asking you to make any decision

concerning my life and death.

I am only asking
you to represent

my position to this hospital.

Now, lawyers, as
a matter of course,

represent criminals who they
know to be guilty, don't they?


So don't you think I
have the same rights

as any ax murderer?

Mary Jo! Wait!

She's such a
lovely girl, you know.

We'll go for a little
extra ride, Mr. Forman.

I'm going to Gynecology.

Gynecology. He'll love it.

Where are you going?

Now, why won't
you go out with me?

Oh, God. I can't!

You know, negative thinking
never got nobody nowhere.

Oh, yeah? Well, I'm busy.

Besides, I hardly know you.

Right. That's why I think
we ought to go out, you know.

Oh, yeah? Yeah.

Well, ask me next week.

Next week?

Yeah. After exams. Okay?

Okay, it's a deal.

And I'll ask you this
afternoon as well.

Now, wasn't that fun?

You want me to kill my patient?

No. I-I'm simply presenting

Mr. Harrison's
wishes in the matter.

Would you sign this, please?

But you do represent
Harrison in this matter?

No. No, I told him
I had to talk to you

before I made that decision.

Releasing Harrison to anything

but a full-service hospital

is tantamount to murder.

No, murder's a legal term.

Uh... murder's a
legal term, doctor.

I'm... I'm merely representing
my client's needs and wishes

if I choose to represent him.

You believe in
capital punishment.

Oh, c-come on!

That's what you're
recommending here.

No, I'm not.

I'm not recommending
anything... yet.

Yet? Look, Mr. Hill.

We've spent six months
and a hell of a lot of money

trying to save this man's life.

Good morning.

We're not gonna throw
that down the drain.

That is not the issue, doctor.

We're talking about a man's, uh,

right to determine his life,

not the quality or
expense of your treatment.

Mr. Harrison would like to be

discharged from this hospital.

Will you do that? No.

Why not?

Because it's my sworn
duty to preserve life,

not to destroy it.

I'm not gonna let this man die

through any legal chicanery.

He is a voluntary patient here.

This interview is
at an end, Mr. Hill.

I do not see a-any legal basis

for you to hold him
here against his wishes.

Just try to
understand one thing.

Mr. Harrison is not capable

of making any rational decision

about his life or his death.

He's in a state of depression,

and using his situation
for your personal gain

is the lowest form of banality.

In your opinion, then,

Mr. Harrison is
mentally unbalanced.

That is correct.

In my opinion, he is not.

Jesus Christ!

You're not a doctor.

Well, would you
object to my bringing in

a qualified psychiatrist
who would, uh,

examine Mr. Harrison?

We have several on
staff who would be happy

to examine Mr. Harrison.

I'm sure you'll understand

if I ask my own psychiatrist

whose opinion you are
not so sure of in advance.

Goodbye, Mr. Hill.

Well, thank you for
your time, doctor.

Four, five...

You weren't in the SS
when you were a kid,

were you, Michael?

Come on. You're doing great.

I'm doing just great. Come on.

There we go.


Oh! Gently, gently, gently.

Uh, hello.

Hello, again.

Hello, hello, hello.

Hey, did you find anything out?

Oh, quite a bit.

See if you can find Dr. Jacobs.

Ask him to call me.

And get me the hospital
administrator, stat.

Dr. Emerson does not feel

that you are in a healthy
enough mental state

to make a rational decision,

especially one of this, uh,
seriousness and, uh, finality.

Now, I-I'm not qualified

to decide whether
or not he's right.

Well, what will help you decide?

Well, I'd like to
have you examined

by an independent
psychiatrist... That's fine.

And I will accept
h-his view of the case.

That's fine. Has Emerson agreed?

Yes. He already has.

That's great. That's
a good beginning.

Probably he'll want
the hospital psychiatrist

to examine you too,

and I imagine you'll end
up with two conflicting views.

I would imagine so,

and where would
that lead us, exactly?

Well, that's hard to say.

Emerson was very adamant.

He'll probably use
the mental hygiene law.

Now, that means that if
he can get two psychiatrists

to sign statements saying
that you're mentally unbalanced,

he can, uh, uh, commit you here

and give you any
treatment he wants.

Can he do that?

And I have no say in that?

Some. You can then
request a hearing

and see how it goes from there.


Well, uh, let's get this
show on the road, okay?

Let's, uh, wheel in
your shrink, all right?

Dr. Jacobs, please
call Extension 3.

Uh, now, are you
going to represent me?

I don't know.

I'd like to get the
shrink in here first.

I'll be in touch.

Okay, well, call him,
11:00 on Wednesday.

Oh. Sandy, thanks
for sparing the time.

Never too busy.

How do you feel? You
want a cup of coffee?

No, thanks. Just keeps
my heartburn awake.

Who's your problem?

Uh, I have a 32-year-old man.

Auto accident, severe trauma,

C4 transect, nephrectomy,
dialysis, usual C4 comps.

He wants to be discharged,

to go off dialysis,
to go home and die.

Oh. Would he?

Without dialysis, he'd
be dead in a week.

I gave him steroids, I
balanced his electrolytes,

I stabilized his dialysis.

We just about have a
viable human being again.

Clare, uh, Sandy
Jacobs, Clare Scott.

Good to see you.

You too.

I was just telling Dr. Jacobs
about Ken Harrison.

What about him?
He's gotten a lawyer.

Threatens to sue
unless we discharge him.

If I'm gonna keep him alive,

it seems we'll have to commit
him under Mental Health.

Okay, even if I agree,

you're still gonna
need another consult.

That's no problem, is it?

Depends if he's
clinically depressed, right?

If I walk in, he says, "Hey,
I'm a teapot," you're in.

Depressed? What the hell you
mean, depressed? He's suicidal.

Doctor, I can name you
several prominent psychiatrists

who wouldn't accept suicide
as evidence of insanity.

And I can name you several
prominent psychiatrists

who in themselves
are evidence of insanity.

I'll accept that.

Okay, I will talk to
your suicide for you.

Good. And do me a favor
for the second signature.

Try to find an old
bastard like me

who believes in something
better than suicide.

I wi... Listen, there is an
old bastard at St. Joseph's.

Staunch Catholic.

Thanks, Sandy. I appreciate it.

So will Harrison
when he realizes.

Right. Doctor.

So, uh, you're
committing Ken Harrison

as mentally incompetent?

I don't believe this, Michael.

I know it stinks. Yeah.

But he'll be dead
in a week if we don't.

I don't understand
this. Wait a minute.

Where do we get the
right to commit him?

Isn't this his decision?

Aren't we talking
about his life here?

But goddamn it,
it's our responsibility.

Now, I can't accept
the fact that a man

of Harrison's intelligence
would choose suicide.

I know what you mean,
Michael, but apparently he has.

Therefore, I say
he's unbalanced.

Just because we don't
agree with his choice,

doesn't make him crazy, does it?

I mean, look at him!

Does he look crazy
to you, Michael?

Look at him lying
there. Come on.

I mean, Christ, he's
got no privacy at all.

He's got no sense of dignity.

I'll tell ya, if that
happened to me,

I don't know if I'd have
the courage to live either.

How 'bout you, Michael?

Can you stop playing
doctor for one second

and just tell me honestly:

Would you wanna live like that?

Hey, don't give me
that right-to-die routine.

We're doctors. We're
committed to life.

Don't lecture me, all right?

When a patient is brought
in here in his condition,

I don't stand around
wondering whether his life

is worthwhile or not.

I don't have time for
that. I try to save it.

I'm a physician, not a judge.

That's interesting.

Right now, you're behaving
a lot like a judge. Clare.


I'm sure it's not necessary
for me to say this,

but if Harrison should
suddenly sour and die on us,

I'll order an autopsy,

and I'll act on
whatever's found.

You fucker.

Here we go, off to dialysis.

Oh, dialysis.

Why don't we go to a bar?

Skip the damn dialysis.

Hey, come on, now. Come on, man.

You know I can't do
that. I need this job.

This job's gonna pay for
me xylophone, you know?


Band sounds good, man.
We can make a record, even.

Oh, yeah? Yeah.


Hellooo, baby.

Hellooo, old man.

"Old man"?!

Good morning, Roberta.

Lissa, anybody ever tell you

that you are
absolutely gorgeous?

Got your hair cut, didn't ya?

Ah, I'm not gorgeous.

I have a mirror.


I'm not gorgeous.

Mirrors speak
with forked tongue.

Harrison speaks the truth.

Guess what! What?

I'm being cut down
to once a week.

You're kidding. That's great!

Oh, listen, that's fabulous!

You know what that
means, don't you?

What? That means the sooner

you're gonna be cut down
to once every two weeks.

And then you'll be cut down
to once every none weeks.


You got a hell of a
life ahead of you, kid.

Well, you get better, Ken.

Oh, I am. I will. I have to.

I signed to play shortstop
with the Red Sox this spring.


Actually, I signed to wear
red socks for the shortstops.

Actually... Actually,
I'm dating a shortstop

who was wearing red socks.

Bye, Ken. See you.

Actually, I have to stop
red mark on my shocks.

And I got my red socks.

"Bye, Ken."

Lissa, you ever been to a disco?

See ya, Lissa.

Mr. Harrison.

The very same.

I'm Sandy Jacobs.

You're a psychiatrist.

Oh. Does it show?

Thank you, nurse.
I'll watch him now.

Okay. I'll see
you. I'll be outside.

Thank you, Roberta.

You for me or against me?

Oh, did that sound
like paranoia?

You would hardly expect me

to make an instant diagnosis.

Well, did Dr. Emerson send you?

Would you describe yourself
as suffering from paranoia?


What would you say paranoia was?

Well, I think it would
depend on the person, myself,

but generally speaking,
I think it's someone

who believes that
what they think is right

and will brook no denial.

Now, if this person
were a sculptor,

we would, indeed, diagnose
this condition as paranoia.

If, however, the
person were a doctor,

we would call it

You don't like doctors.

You like your patients?

Uh, some.

I like some doctors.

What is it about doctors, then?

Oh, I, oh, uh...

I don't think many
of them realize

that, uh, many of their patients

can and want to understand
what's wrong with them

and they're capable
of making decisions

about their own bodies.

And what they need,
of course, is information.

Well, a doctor
doles out information

like a kosher butcher
doles out pork sausages.

That's true,

but wouldn't you agree
patients need medical knowledge

in order to make good decisions?


I would be very grateful
for any information

so that I might make
the proper decision.

It would, however,
be my decision.

Now, let's just
say, for example,

that, uh, you
came into my studio

and you took a look at all
my pieces and then you said,

"Well, I think I'll take
the mother and child,"

and I said, "No, no, no, no.

"You don't know a damn
thing about sculpting.

You get the flamingo."

You'd think I was nuts.

But we are not talking

about a piece of sculpture.

We're talking about your life.

That's right.
That's exactly right.

My life. Think about it.

And your obvious
intelligence weakens your case.

I-I'm not saying that
you would find life easy.

I'm saying that
you have resources

an unintelligent
person doesn't have.

No, no, no. Wait a minute.

That's not fair. That's...
That's Catch-22.

If you're clever enough
and sane enough

to put forth an invincible
argument for suicide

that demonstrates that
you ought not to die?

You know, you've
got a nasty little

tidiness compulsion there.

Uh, I was an only child.

But enough of me.

Well, uh,

what about your
parents? Are they living?

No. No. I have
no living relatives,

which really isn't bad,

considering, uh,
birthdays and Christmas.

You know, presents?

After all, how many
hats can you wear?

Uh, listen, I'd like
to do some tests.

Tests? What kind of tests?

I'll tell ya right now,

my time in the
100-yard dash is rotten.

And I'd like to confer
with Dr. Emerson.

Confer. That's when two doctors

support each other's
mistakes, right?

You seem very angry.

No shit.

What are you gonna do?

Put me down as being
in the manic phase

of a manic-depressive cycle?

No, I certainly would
not do that, Mr. Harrison.

Your lawyer, Mr. Hill,
asked me to see you.

If anything, I'm on your team.

My team!?

Dr. Barrows, do you understand

the trap that I am in?

Can anyone prove
that they're sane?

Could you?

I'll come and see
you another time.

No, you will not

come and see me,

because each time you see me,

the more I will get angry
and frustrated and depressed.

Please just leave me alone!



Is anybody here?

Oh, God.



Hi. Hi.

Sorry I couldn't meet you.

That's okay. Rehearse and study

and perform and
take care of the studio

and arrange Ken's
business affairs.

His work's gone up a lot.

Did you get a look around?

Oh, yeah, I did.

It's pretty amazing.

He has an incredible talent.

Yes. He had.

Oh, um, here's your key.

Thank you.

Place is really great.

I'm gonna have to close it up.


Turn Ken's work
over to a gallery.

They're just better
equipped to take care of it.

I wanna thank you for
agreeing to this meeting.

You'll have to excuse my rush.

I'm late. I have a date.

Oh. Well, just go ahead.

I'll just take a
couple of minutes.

Pat, uh, I could
really use your advice.

I'm... I'm looking for
some possible way

to help out Ken Harrison.

Some way to get through to him.

You mean the late Ken Harrison.

What do you mean?
I mean, he's not...

Yes, he is.

He may not be to you,

but he is to me and to himself.

Understand me, doctor.

I loved the late Ken Harrison,

and I grieve for
his death, but...

I'm... I'm sorry.

I don't understand this.

I can't believe you're just
giving up on him like this!

Giving him up?

Ken Harrison is gone, doctor.

You wanna see Ken?

Look around you.

Take a better look.

Yes, I-I know.

He's... He's very special.

That's why we've got to find
a way to change his mind.

Look, Pat,

I know that if we
can just get him

to wait a couple of
months... Dr. Scott,

I respect Ken's wishes
because I respect Ken.

Why can't you do that?

Why don't you respect him?

I do.

Well, then, just let him
do what he wants to do.

Let him go.

Wake up, bimbo.
It's feeding time.

I can't wait.


Mmm. Ah, le diner.

Diner is supreme. Oh,
not leftover Thanksgiving.

Ah! Chicken.

Oh, how creative. Chicken
instead of turkey. I see.

Why are there no
bunny rabbits on my bib?

I want bunny rabbits on my bib.

I want bunny rabbits...

Shut up! Eat.

You eat.

Be good boy.

Mmm. Oh, great.

I'm eating the drumstick,

and you're licking your fingers.

You must be starving.

Why don't you eat the drumstick,

and I will lick your fingers?

How 'bout the peas?
Want to try the peas?

I hate peas. They're all clones.

No, I'm not ready for the
peas. I'm... I-I-I'm not r...

Come on.

I told you I wasn't ready.

Come on, don't be gross.

I want you to make a circle

with your thumb
and your forefinger.

My thumb and my forefinger.

Like that.

Oh, I know what
you're going to do.

Bull's-eye. Right
on the mark, baby.


Here. I put the peas back
in where they came from.

Oh, watch out. I'm a
quadriplegic. You can't hit me.

Yes, you can.

Yes, you can.

I think the evidence
is against me.

But I don't think that we're

talking about...
About, uh, euthanasia.

Well, I'm sorry,
because I think we are.

Well, what would you
think i-if by a sudden miracle

Ken gained the use of
his arms for 30 seconds

and swallowed a-a-a
bottle full of sleeping pills?

What do...? What would
your, uh, reaction be?

Look. I told you I'm a doctor,

and I have a responsibility
to my patient, okay?

No. No. I'm not... No.

You. As you.

You mean, how I would
really feel about that?

I don't know. I guess, uh...

I guess a part of me might...
Might be a little relieved. Why?

Would you try to save his life

with stomach pumps
and, uh, all that?

I, uh...

I don't think I would.

Great. So we're not adversaries.


Well, so... So I-I-I...

I-I've got a bottle of
Rémy, uh, at... At my place,

waiting for two
non-adversaries to open. Huh?

No, thank you. It's very close.

No, it'd be a-a...

A-a nightcap after
a-a good dinner.

No. Thanks very much,
but I gotta... I gotta go.

Oh, it couldn't
possibly be two hours...

I thought I'd change
your position early.

I didn't expect to
see you here tonight.

Yeah. I had some work
to finish up in the office.

You look real nice.

Well, thank you.

You been out?

Yeah. Went out to dinner.

Mm-hm. Good company?

Mm-hm. You're fishing.

Mm-hm. You're right.

Actually, yes, it was
very good company.

I had dinner with
your lawyer, Carter Hill.

Well, well, well, the
horny little bugger.

Didn't take him long.

It was just a dinner.

I know I asked him to represent
me, but this is ridiculous.

It was just a dinner.

Did my surrogate
self behave myself?

Yes. You were a
perfect gentleman.

Oh. I should get
another surrogate.

Could you, please?

Why? Do you really mind?


Ken, um, I might
have done something

that you're not gonna
be real thrilled about.

Something bad.

Man. Yeah.

This I gotta hear.

Well, I went to your studio.

You went to my studio? What for?

I don't know. Um...

I guess 'cause I wanted
to know more about you.

Know more about me?

No woman has ever
examined me so thoroughly.

I'm really glad I got a
chance to see your work.


I think you're...

Well, you're okay.

You're good.

Thank you.

So I was just thinking

maybe you'd want to have
a couple of pieces here.

Well, look, I'll
make you a deal.


You can take any
pieces that you like...

free of charge. What do you say?

You know, I'm very, very
glad you just said that,

because I just happen to have
here with me one of your pieces.

An art thief, on top of it all.

Yeah. It's just so amazing.

You do have excellent taste.

Oh, thank you.

And it happens to be my
favorite piece in the studio,

and I think it's the
best thing in the studio.

It's beautiful. It's
by Michelangelo.

What? This...? This is...?

Yeah. It's a realization
from the Sistine Chapel.

You see, God,

who gives life to
man... Oh, shit.

Ah. Ooh.

This is Michelangel...
Well, it's obvious. Um...

Is my face a little
red right now?

Um... Look, I'm sorry.

Don't be sorry.

Really. Don't be sorry.

Actually, come to think of it,

I wouldn't mind looking
at that now and again.

Ken, I'm...

I'm getting this
very strange feeling

that you're really
enjoying all this.

I'll tell you something, Clare.

This is the first time in months

that I've begun to feel
like a human being again.

Isn't that the whole point, Ken?

I mean, isn't that
what all this is about?

I'm sorry. I just can't believe

you're really
fighting for death.

I just don't buy that.

You're right...

in that I had to be sure

that I really wanted to
win what I was fighting for,

you know, that I
wasn't just doing it

in order to prove to
myself that I was still alive.

And... are you sure?

Oh, yeah.



Clare, could you fix
these pillows for me?


Clare? Mm-hm.

Clare, life for me is over.

I cannot do the
things I wanna do.

I can't even say the
things I wanna say.

So for me,

it might as well be over.

You do understand
that, don't you?




Tomorrow... on with the fight.

Right. On with the fight.

Good night.

Good night.

Clare? Uh-huh?

Are you driving home?

Mm-hm. Yeah.

Use your seat belts.

Good night.

Good night.

Christ. I'm going
to lose my job.

You're not gonna lose your
job, not for something like this.

Hey, man, come
on, cool it, cool it.

Be quiet. We're almost there.

Okay, now. You
got to be ready now.

Yeah, okay.


Okay. Let's go.

What are you doing?

You're not supposed
to be on duty tonight.

There's duty, and
there's duty. Shh.

What are you doing?

Hey, shh.

Keep that blabber
shut closed, okay?

Where are you going?


Hi, Ken. How ya doing?

Pretty good. Pretty good.
But where are you...?

Uh, dialysis.

Okay, now that I
know that we're not

going to dialysis, where...?

Hey. For one time in
your life, man, shut up.

Come on. What took so long?

I came as fast as I could.
Now, shut up, woman.

One, two...

One, two, three, four...

♪ Ba-ri-ba-ri-ba-ba ♪

♪ Ba-ri-ba-ri-ba ♪

♪ Ba-ri-ba-ri-ba-ba ♪

♪ Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba ♪

♪ Shake, shake, shake, Senora ♪

♪ Shake your body line ♪

♪ Shake, shake, shake, Senora ♪

♪ Shake it all the time ♪

♪ Work, work, work, Senora ♪

♪ Work your body line ♪

♪ Work, work, work, Senora ♪

♪ Work it all the time ♪

♪ Senora, she's a sensation ♪

♪ The reason for aviation ♪

♪ Brothers You got to watch it ♪

♪ When she wind up her
bottom She go like a rocket ♪

♪ Jump in the line
Rock your body in time ♪

♪ I believe it ♪

♪ Jump in the line
Rock your body in time ♪

♪ Oh, Senora ♪

♪ Jump in the line
Rock your body in time ♪

♪ I believe it ♪

♪ Jump in the line
Rock your body in time ♪

♪ Shake, shake, shake, Senora ♪

♪ Shake your body line ♪
Shake, shake. Shake, shake.

♪ Shake, shake, shake, Senora ♪

♪ Shake it all the time ♪

♪ Work, work, work, Senora ♪
♪ Shake, shake, shake ♪


Yeah. We was jammin', man.

Shh. JOHN: Hey, Ken,

I want you to meet the members
of the Rebel Rockers, man.

Here on keyboards
is G.T., man. Hey.

Aha. We got Red Locks here.

How you doing? Right
there, man, Teodora.

And tokin' on some
ganja... Rossan, right here.

A little bit of inspiration.

Is that an illicit
narcotic I see?

Nah, this is an herbal.

Herbal, schmerbal.
Get it over here.

On the steel drums there,
man, is Michael, you know.

What about Senora? - Senora?

Ah. I think he like that, man.

Hey, John. John. John, wait.

Play that song
you did last night.

Are you ready?

You want to rock, man? Yo.

Hey. One... two...

One, two, three, four.

♪ Oh, lady in white
She treat me right ♪

♪ She keep me smiling
Night after night ♪

♪ She never, never
lies She never frown ♪

♪ And when she ties a
bow In my dressing gown ♪

♪ She really make me
feel Like getting down ♪

♪ White lady ♪

♪ Feeling good
From head to toe ♪

♪ Nothing to do Nowhere to go ♪

♪ I've been to ladies
Skanking around ♪

♪ So smile ♪

♪ Feeling good
From head to toe ♪

♪ Nothing to do Nowhere to go ♪

♪ I've been to ladies
Skanking around ♪

♪ So smile ♪

♪ Oh, pretty girl in blue
jeans Know what to do ♪

♪ She making me happy
Through and through ♪

♪ Warm and wet Is
a word she knows ♪

♪ She turns on my needs
And my love it will grow ♪

♪ She make me feel a
tingling Down to my toes ♪

♪ Blue girl ♪

♪ Blue girl ♪

♪ Feeling good
From toe to head ♪

♪ All dressed up
And laying in bed ♪

♪ I've been to ladies
Skanking around ♪

♪ So smile ♪

♪ Smile ♪

♪ Whoo Feeling good, go ahead ♪

♪ All dressed up And
laying in bed ♪ Stop!

♪ I've been to ladies
Skanking around ♪

Everybody, stop.


Somebody's coming. Stop.

Stop it.

Somebody's coming.

Hurry, man. Hurry, now.

Get the ganja, man.
Get the ganja now.

Let's go. Hurry it
up. Get the door.

Oh, shit, man. I
forgot my cymbals.

What the hell is going on here?

Who are you? What
are you doing here?

Isn't this dialysis?

Okay. One, two, three.

All the way over. Come on.


Rodriguez, my beloved saint.

Couldn't you spare me three
or four thousand aspirin, please?

How 'bout one Tylenol?

How 'bout two Tylenol?

I got my lawyer
coming this morning.

So, what were you
doing in the basement?

I was on...

My way to dialysis.

Your breath smells like
my whole neighborhood.

Who is that?

Who is that? It
couldn't be a doctor.

They all wear Italian
loafers and silk socks.

Carter Hill.

Ah. The man who sues,
eats and chases girls for me.

How you doing?
Oh, I'm all right.

How are you
feeling this morning?

Just wonderful. Okay. Back over.

Whoa. Turn him slowly.

He gets dizzy because
of lack of circulation.

Yeah, I don't get to
circulate very much anymore.

So, what's your decision?

So how are you feeling
this morning, Mr. Harrison?

You, uh, slept well
last night, did you?

Uh-huh. Like I got hit
in the head by a spade.

Oh, cute, man,
cute... for a cripple.

I'm, uh...

I'm going to, um... Uh...

represent you.

All right.

And when is the hearing?

I haven't applied for it yet.

Why not? Two
reasons. Oh, excuse me.

Sadler, would you get
the Tylenol, please?

Why not? Two reasons:

Commitment judges
usually find for the hospital,

and I... I think I have
something better.


That sounds interesting.


Miss Rodriguez.

Could it be that
Dr. Emerson suggested to you

that you, uh, hang around
while my attorney was here?

I'm just here in case you
get excited or something.

Rodriguez, it's
you that excites me.

Where are you going? Get
away from there, you slut.

You Puerto Rican
flesh pudding, I love you.

Thought I was going to
get lucky there for a second.

So, what's better?

I want to go for a
writ of habeas corpus.

Habeas corpus? I thought
that had to do with criminals.

Usually it does.

It is against the law
to deprive anyone

of his liberty
without due process,

and i-if that happens,

he can apply for a
writ of habeas corpus,

which means, give us the, um...


That's right on the
nose in my case.

And if sufficient cause
can't be established

to detain the individual,

the judge will
order him released.

How long will this take?

Not long. A couple of days.

And will I have to go to court?

I... I doubt it. I would
think that any judge

would allow the hearing
to take place right here.

Well, well, well.

All's well that ends...

Well, I'm, uh, off
to find the judge.

See you soon.

Be an unusual case
for you, won't it?

Making a plea for
your client's death?

Look, I'll be honest with you.

This is a case I
could bear to lose.

Well, if you do, it's a
life sentence for me.

You're new, aren't you?


What's your name?



Well, Stella, you're very kind.

Most of the nurses
just yank you around

till they wake you up,

and then they disappear
for about two hours.

You're trying to be
released, aren't you?

Be taken off your medication?

Everybody knows about it, huh?

Oh, yeah. Sure.

Aren't you afraid?


Is this what you wanted now?

Oh, yes. If you'll put it
behind this desk, please.

Don't I get a special
breakfast or anything?

Not for some miserable jive-ass

moaning on about wanting to die.

Good luck.

Thank you.


Aren't you gonna wish me luck?


Hey, I wish you luck.

Judge Wyler.

Thank you.

Please sit down.

This is an informal hearing,

which I'd like to keep
as brief as possible.

Mr. Kenneth Harrison?

Yes, Your Honor?

Mr. Harrison, I've
decided in consultation

with Mr. Eden and Mr. Hill

not to subject
you to examination

and cross-examination.

Well, Your Honor, there
may be things I want to...

Mr. Harrison, if I
have any doubts,

I'll question you myself.

Dr. Emerson,
we'll start with you,

will you take the oath, please?

Mr. Eden? Thank you.

Raise your right hand.

Do you solemnly swear

that the testimony
you are about to give

will be the truth,
the whole truth,

and nothing but the
truth, so help you God?

I do. Be seated.

Dr. Emerson, what
is your position here?

Uh, I'm chief of
medical services.

Would you give the
court a medical history

of the treatment Mr. Harrison
has received here.

Following an automobile accident

on the evening of
April 27th of this year,

Mr. Harrison was admitted
to this hospital in shock

and suffering from
a fractured left tibia,

fractured right
tibia and fibula,

fractured pelvis,

four fractured ribs... One of
which punctured the right lung.

A dislocated fourth
cervical vertebrae,

which crushed the spinal cord.

He also suffered internal
damage to the spleen and kidney,

for which we performed
a splenectomy

and double nephrectomies.

He remained
unconscious for 30 hours.

As a result of treatment here,

all the bones and
ruptured tissue have healed,

with the exception
of the spinal cord.

And that, together
with the mental trauma,

are all that remain
of the initial injuries.

Will there be an improvement
in the spinal cord?


Kidney function?

I regret not.

And the mental trauma?

It's impossible to
violate the body

to that extent without suffering
severe mental aberration,

depression, even
loss of reality.

In your view,

is Mr. Harrison suffering
from such mental aberration?

He's depressed.

Clinically depressed?

Yes, clinically depressed.

Thank you, doctor. That's all.

Mr. Hill?

Just one second, please.

Doctor, is there any
way you can demonstrate

this clinical depression,

any tests or measurements
you can show us?


Then how do you
distinguish clinical depression,

which might preclude the ability

to make informed
and logical decisions,

from a perfectly sane,
justified feeling of depression

as a result of
existing conditions?

By relying on my 18 years
of dealing with both types.

Are you a psychiatrist,
Dr. Emerson?


Have you any
degrees, credentials,

or have you any specialized
training in psychiatry?


No further questions.

Mr. Eden?

No further questions.

Thank you, doctor.
You're excused.

Dr. Robert Barrows.

Dr. Robert Barrows

to the stand, please.

Dr. Barrows, what
position do you hold?

I'm the consulting psychiatrist

at the Monroe State
Mental Hospital.

Then you must see a
large number of patients

suffering from
depressive illness.

Yes, I do.

Uh, you've examined
Mr. Harrison?

Well, we know that, or
else why would he be here?

Remember the word "informal."

Yes, Your Honor.

Uh, would you say
that Mr. Harrison

is suffering from a
depressive illness?

No, I would not.

Well, the court
has heard evidence

that Mr. Harrison is depressed.

Do you dispute that?

In my opinion,

he's reacting in a
perfectly rational manner

to a very bad situation.

No further questions.

Mr. Eden?


Are there any objective
results that you could produce

that would prove that
Mr. Harrison is capable?

There are clinical symptoms
of endogenous depression:

Disturbed sleep
patterns, loss of appetite,

lassitude and many more.

But even if they were
present, they'd be masked

by Mr. Harrison's
physical condition.

Then how can you be sure

that this is, in fact, a
reactive depression?

By experience,

by discovering
when I talked to him

that he has a
remarkably incisive mind

and is perfectly capable of
understanding his position

and deciding what
he wants to do about it.

Do you think that Mr. Harrison
made the right decision?

Your Honor, is this relevant?

No, not really.

I'd like to answer
that, if I may.

Go ahead.


I think he made
the wrong decision.

Oh, shit. WYLER: Mr. Hill,

when I said "informal," I
didn't mean uncontrolled.

Now be quiet. I'm
sorry. I... I, uh...

Thank you, doctor.

That's all.

Dr. Jacobs, the consulting
psychiatrist for the hospital,

wasn't able to be here today.

I have a sworn affidavit.

He agrees with
Dr. Emerson's position.

Have it entered in the record.

Yes, Your Honor.

Ah, Mr. Harrison, you feel
like answering some questions?

Yes, I do.

I'll try to keep them

You're too kind. Not at all.

No, I meant that. I think I'd
much prefer a hanging judge.

Either way I decide,
I am a hanging judge.

Now, Mr. Harrison,
the medical director

and the consulting
psychiatrist claim

that you're not
capable of making

an informed,
intelligent decision.

That's right. They're wrong.

What does that mean?

It means they're good doctors,

and they won't let a
patient die if they can help it.

Do you think you're
suffering from depression?

Well, I am completely paralyzed.

I think I'd be insane
if I wasn't depressed.

Yeah, but wanting to die
must be strong evidence

that your mental state has
gone beyond simple depression.

I do not want to die.

Then what the
hell is this about?

Make that read, "Then
what is this case all about?"

Uh, there was a "hell," and, uh,

and I think he
said "shit" before,

so maybe you oughta... - Ahem.



I do not want to die,

because as far
as I am concerned,

I am dead already.

I merely want the doctors
to recognize that fact.

I cannot believe that this...

This condition...

constitutes life in any
real sense of the word.

Legally you're alive.

I think I could
challenge even that.

Any reasonable
definition of the word "life"

must include the idea
that it be self-supporting.

Now, isn't it true that
in heart transplant cases

it's legal to take
someone's heart

if they can only be kept alive

by the use of respirators
and other medical hardware?

There also has to be
no brain activity at all.

Yours is certainly working.

Certainly working
and certainly sanely.

That's what we're
here to decide.

Your Honor,

I am not asking
anyone to kill me.

I'm only asking to be discharged

from this hospital.

Which will kill you.

And that's exactly my point.

I'll spend the rest of
my life in this hospital

with everything in it geared

just to keeping my brain alive,

and I'll never have a
possibility whatsoever

of being able to direct
a good goddamn thing.


as far as I'm concerned,

that's an act of
deliberate cruelty.

Wouldn't it be more cruel
for society to let people die

when with some effort
it could save them?

No, because the
cruelty is not a question

of saving someone's
life or letting them die.

The cruelty...

is that the choice is removed
from the person concerned.

I would like to
be able to decide

what happens to my own body.

A man who is
desperately depressed

is not capable of making
a reasonable choice.

Well, as you said, Your Honor,

that is the question
to be decided.

All right.

All right.

You tell me. You tell us.

You tell me why it is
a reasonable choice

that you decided to die.

All right.

All right. All right.

The most important part
of my life was my work,

and the most valuable
asset I had for that

was my imagination.

Now, it's just too damn bad

that my mind wasn't
paralyzed along with my body,

because my mind, which had
been my most precious possession,

has become my enemy
and it tortures me.

It tortures me with thoughts
of what might have been and...

And... And what might
be to come, and...

And I can...

feel my mind...

very slowly breaking up.

Now, you take
women, for example.

I used to... I used to love

what they were

and how they thought
and how they smelled

and... And now I... I...

I dread it when they
come into the room

because I loathe the
way they make me feel.

You know, I am filled

with an absolute
sense of outrage

that you who have no
knowledge of me whatsoever

have the power to condemn
me to a life of torment

because you cannot see the pain.

There's no blood,

there's no screaming.

So you can't see it? Your Honor,

if you saw a mutilated
animal on the side of the road,

you'd shoot it.

Now, I am only asking
for the same mercy

that you would show that animal,

and I am not asking anyone
to commit an act of violence.


take me somewhere...

and leave me.

And if you don't...

If you don't,

then you come back
here in five years

and you see what a piece of work

that you've done here today.

In hearings for a
writ of habeas corpus,

an immediate
decision is mandated,

but I propose to consider
the issues carefully.

Therefore, I request
everyone to please remain here

unless a medical emergency
preempts your presence.


Yeah, I'm still at the hospital.

I wonder if you'd look
up something for me.

A Florida decision,
about two years back.

I think it was Saikewicz.

You look up the holding

and read it to me,
please. I'll hold on.

See this quarter, man?

See the quarter now?

Now, you don't
see it no more, huh?

Which hand is
the quarter in now?

Right hand.

He's gonna take
the right hand now.

Will everyone please
return to your seats?

Well, there are
precedents aplenty

for both sides of this issue.

In re: Karen Ann Quinlan, the
supreme court of New Jersey

recognized the preservation
of a personal right to privacy

against bodily intrusions.

In Belchertown v. Saikewicz,

the court held that the right
to refuse medical treatment

in appropriate
circumstances extends

to both competent and
incompetent persons.

And the law holds that
a deliberate decision

to embark on an action

which will eventually
lead to death

is not ipso facto
evidence of insanity.

If it were,

society would have to condemn
many men to dishonorable burials

rather than posthumous medals.


we do have to remember

Mr. Harrison's mind is affected,

and we must in this
case be most careful

not to allow
Mr. Harrison's intelligence

to blind us to the fact

that he may be suffering
from a depressive illness

which would diminish his ability
to make an informed decision.

We must ignore Mr. Harrison's
cogently argued plea

to be allowed to die

if we believe it
to be the product

of a disturbed or
clinically depressed mind.


I am satisfied

that Mr. Harrison's a
brave and thoughtful man

who is in complete possession
of his mental faculties,

and I therefore order
that he bet set free.

That's it, gentlemen.

Peggy, let me get that.

Hey, you got your hanging judge.

I think not.

Thank you.

Thank you very much, Your Honor.

I hope so.

Thank you.

Goodbye. Goodbye.

Thank you.

Where will you go?

I'll get a room
somewhere, I suppose.

No need for that.
Don't start it again!

You can stay here.

We'll stop all
treatment, no dialysis,

even stop feeding if you like.

You'll be in a
coma in a few days.

Dead in a week, two at most.

But you won't be alone.

There'll be very
little discomfort.

No last-minute
attempt at resuscitation?

Only if you ask for it.

Thank you.

It would obviously be
easier for me if I stayed.

Okay, I'll take care of that.

Why are you doing this?

Because you might
change your mind.

Mmm. Ah.

Oh, don't. Please.

Better not, I think.



Dr. North, you are
wanted in Emergency.

Dr. North, you are
wanted in Emergency.

Dr. Keys, please call
Dr. Fairbanks in X-ray 1.

Dr. Keys, please call
Dr. Fairbanks in X-ray 1.

Dr. Norton, please...