NBC Show ‘Chicago Med’ Should Be Ashamed Of Its Handling Of A Deadly Childhood Disease

Published in Forbes, 3/7/2016


NBC should be ashamed. Last week, in a post about two remarkable young women with rare genetic diseases, I mentioned my outrage at NBC’s Chicago Med for the disservice they did to the mitochondrial disease community. The very next day, my young patient, “Rose,” died.

Especially given this young woman’s tragic death, I want to further explain why what NBC did is so wrong and destructive.

Chicago Med is a 2015 television series created by Dick Wolf and Matt Olmstead. It focuses on a group of fictional emergency room doctors. A number of the episodes have a significant psychological theme. Some also are thinly veiled fictionalized adaptations of news stories. The episodes receive a surprising (to me) 9-12 million viewers, which is why it is so important that their portrayals of disease be fair to patients and, ideally, be educational.

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