Law & Order (1990) Episode Scripts

N/A - Remains Of The Day

NARRATOR: In the criminal justice system the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups, the police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders.
These are their stories.
You want to explain to her this ain't the Four Seasons? I swear, she hits that button again, she's going to feel awhole new source of pain.
Hey! Her son, Michael! He's on the floor! (PANTING) He's not breathing! I don't know what happened! He just collapsed.
I don't know.
Come on! Hurry! ASHLEY: Michael, baby! Please, talk to me! Come on, baby! Please talk to me! Help him! Help him! Ma'am, I need to look at him.
ASHLEY: Wait! Let the nurses see him.
Code blue! Code blue! Four Benson, 322.
Get a crash cart now! Michael, talk to me! WOMAN ON INTERCOM: Code blue.
Code blue.
Breathe, Michael! Breathe! Breathe! He said that his head hurt and then hejust collapsed.
Oh, my God! He's dying! Oh! It's okay.
Michael, breathe! Breathe! Breathe! Breathe! MAN: Oh, my God.
DR.
HAVENS: His name is Michael Jones.
Just the two of them in the room when he died? No.
Her publicist was there as well.
He's waiting to talk to you.
So, what makes you think foul play? Well, there's no obvious trauma.
But he was fine one minute and dead the next.
Well, that happened to my Uncle Harry.
They called it a heart attack.
A 19-year-old kid? It's not likely.
DR.
HAVENS: As soon as we pronounced, we got everybody out.
Nothing's been touched in the room either.
CASSADY: Is that blood coming out of his mouth? Pulmonary edema.
His lungs filled up as he was dying.
That can happen with a poisoning? Absolutely.
Where's his mother now? Down the hall.
Sedated.
She was in a pretty bad way.
Change of clothes, some books, cell phone.
Who would have been in and out of this room tonight? Nurses on shift, an attendant maybe.
Regular traffic.
What time is dinner normally? Um, 1:00, I think.
She's the patient.
Food was for her.
Maybe the kid wasn't supposed to be the victim.
That son of a bitch killed Michael.
I know he did.
Now, what are you gonna do about it? Who are you talking about? Miles Foster, my husband's son.
He and his sister, Hillary, are contesting the will in court.
I have a legal right to that inheritance.
William signed the papers.
How much money are we talking about exactly? Forty-six million.
I can't believe Michael's gone.
He was my baby.
We didn't get any time together.
Why did he have to hurt him? It's possible that you were the target here, Miss Jones.
Oh, my God.
These people think they can do anything.
This Miles Foster, has he ever threatened you before? That's all he's done.
He's had men follow me home, crank phone calls.
Okay.
We'll look into that.
Now, what's the state of the settlement? There is no settlement.
All the money's tied up in probate.
What happens if you're not around? Under the terms of the will, everything goes to Miles and Hillary.
I want that man arrested.
Ashley Jones is accusing me of poisoning her son? This nightmare won't end.
Well, we believe someone intended to poison her.
I applaud them for the effort, but I assure you I had nothing to do with it, Detective.
You and your sister stood to gain.
We're about to win our lawsuit.
We have no reason to do something like that.
She can appeal, can't she? She can take it to the Supreme Court, for all I care.
The woman's been exposed as a first-rate con artist.
How did she manage to stake a claim in the first place? By manipulating my father.
Ninety-two, in declining health, she tricked him into marriage and contrived a way to amend his estate plans.
Maybe he was in love.
I know she certainly wasn't.
My father died less than a year after they were married.
She's used every scheme in the book to get her hands on that money.
Knowing her, she probably killed her own son just to accuse me.
She said you threatened her in the past.
People following her home.
We hired private investigators to document her lifestyle.
It was never intended as athreat.
Talk to my attorney.
Allow her to enlighten you.
HEATH: William Foster was halfway senile.
Miss Jones worked on him until he didn't know which way was up.
Within a month, the prenup was negated and she was a heartbeat away from retirement.
That's not gold digging, that's a grave rob.
You do understand how this looks? Detective, Miles Foster has no motive for getting even.
This lawsuit is wrapping up quite well for us.
Because of something you have on Ashley? A signed affidavit from her personal trainer, courtesy of Mr.
Simon, my investigator.
He was sleeping with Ashley from the day she married William Foster.
Why did the trainer tell you about it? Because she used him like toilet paper.
He thought he was moving out of the gym and up to the penthouse.
Are there any more like him? Plenty.
She was a kept woman for years.
How does her son figure into all of this? He didn't.
She shipped him off when he was a kid to live with relatives upstate.
GREEN: Any idea why he came back? Let's just say the tire doesn't roll far from the mobile home.
Money? She's been working men since the age of consent.
Her own son shows up, he starts working her.
Call it karma.
CASSADY: Drug buy.
I shot those photos outside Ashley's apartment last week.
GREEN: Hey, Lou.
Yo.
The toxicology report from that hospital food came back negative.
No poison in the ravioli? So, maybe the kid did die of an overdose.
His mother and her publicist say he was acting totally normal before he died.
What about that photo? Cassady's at narcotics seeing if they can identify the dude.
And what'd the M.
E.
say? She's still not done with the post.
She has to order more tests to verify the cause of death.
Look, I don't want to keep spinning our wheels if this isn't a homicide.
Call her again.
Light a fire.
You know, you're gonna have to call her because she's sick of talking to me.
Our wannabe player is Marco Penzler.
He's had a couple of run-ins with narcotics, mostly low level heroin deals.
He's got a bench warrant on a marijuana summons.
Yeah, keep reading.
He also has an attempted murder charge.
What's that about? The D.
A.
declined to prosecute because of lack of evidence, but the word is, he pushed a burn bag with roach poison.
Put a kid in the hospital.
He could have done the same thing to Michael.
Any contact with Marco before the kid died? Not that I could tell.
GREEN: You know, it's possible, though.
There was a call on Michael's cell records that we couldn't link up.
It could be a disposable cell phone.
Which has dealer written all over it.
Pull Marco in.
Okay.
I can read the sign on the door.
You're homicide.
What's that got to do with me? Michael Jones is a client of yours, right? I saw he died on the news.
Yeah.
He died.
Now, here you are.
Right.
Here I am.
You know they said I burned that dude, but it ain't true.
That's why the D.
A.
dropped the charges.
Except maybe it's happened again and it's coming back to you again, Marco.
We know that Michael talked to you that day.
And we know that you dealt to him in the past.
Did he O.
D.
? Did you sell him heroin? Didn't have any to sell.
Fashion week cleaned me out.
Must have scored some gutterjunk that messed him up.
You know what I think? I think he owed you.
Came to you for another favor and you gave him the bad stuff.
Ugh, Mikey didn't have any problem coming up with cash.
He got it from that fine MILF of his.
CASSADY: Then who did he hook up with? You're the dick.
All I know is, he didn't die from nothing I gave him because I didn't give him nothing.
Autopsy's done.
M.
E.
's waiting for us.
Perfect.
Well, Marco, in about 10 minutes, we'll know if you're on the level.
RODGERS: His tox showed moderate levels of heroin and a couple prescription medications.
He died of a drug cocktail? That probably helped him along, but the actual cause of death was a golf ball-sized metastatic tumor in his brain.
Well, he complained of a headache before he collapsed.
Yeah, I bet he did.
He probably had a massive seizure.
So, he died of complications from cancer? Uh, not so fast.
I'm ruling it a homicide.
How you figure? The non-recreational pharmaceuticals in his blood were cyclosporin and prednisone.
Immunosuppressants.
People take them when they get a new kidney or a new heart.
Ooh, what did he get? New legs.
See here and here? He got cancer from bone grafts.
You got it.
You're looking at first-class surgery with third-rate donor material.
How'd that happen? It shouldn't have.
The bones should have been screened and sterilized.
No way this came from a legitimate tissue bank.
Are we talking about black market body parts? I typed the cells in the tumor, even called in a neuropath consultant for confirmation.
This young man died of ovarian cancer.
Rodgers thinks the surgery is legit, but it's anybody's guess where those donor bones came from.
Well, what are we talking about here? Illegal chop shop? Stolen body parts? That would explain why the cancer wasn't detected.
Any real tissue bank would screen for diseases.
If this stuff gets into the distribution chain I don't want to hear about it.
Who's been notified so far? Well, the M.
E.
's office reached out to the health department.
They are issuing bulletins to area hospitals.
Look, do we have any leads on who performed this operation on the kid? We got nothing.
There's over 100 medical facilities in New York City that can do bone grafts.
What about when it happened? Rodgers thinks that, judging by the healing of the bone, it's about a year and a half ago.
At that time, Michael was a heroin addict living on the street.
I doubt he was insured.
Yeah, well I doubt any transplant hospital would even take your temperature without proof of insurance.
Meaning somebody came through for him in a big way because that procedure was not cheap.
Talk to his mother again.
See if she knows anything.
Michael admitted he'd been homeless and used drugs.
I said so what? We were making a fresh start.
I didn't want to dwell on the past.
His or yours? Look, I may not have always been there.
I had a substance abuse problem of my own to deal with, okay? Miss Jones, help us out.
We don't know anything about what happened to your son when he was on the street, except he had major surgery.
Seems pretty unusual, considering he was a homeless drug addict at the time.
What do you want me to say? I don't know anything about it.
Can you tell us anything? Old friends he might have mentioned? Places he used to hang out? Anything? Um A few weeks ago, Michael had a girl in the apartment.
Um She looked like she'd been crying.
She left pretty quickly after I came home.
Did you get a name? Natasha, I think.
She was an old girlfriend.
Um I didn't press on the details.
Anything else? Um Her shirt There was a name on her shirt, uh Delancey's.
Delaney's.
Me and Mike, homeless junkies.
I can't believe I lived that way.
I hadn't seen him in almost two years.
Then we reconnected.
It was obvious that he was still using.
I told him I didn't want to see him again if he wasn't going to get clean.
Do you know how he broke his legs? Back then, we were doing little rips to keep up with our habits.
We got caught boosting an airbag.
Mike took off across Queens Boulevard.
A taxi hit him.
GREEN: Where'd they take him? I don't know.
The paramedics wouldn't let me go with him.
I figured he was dead.
I mean, he looked halfway there when they put him in the ambulance.
If he got hit on Queens Boulevard, do you think maybe they took him to Queens City Hospital? I checked right after it happened.
They didn't have him listed as a patient.
Well, is it possible that he was admitted under another name? What name? Well, maybe he had somebody else's insurance card or ID or something? (CHUCKLES) Now I know why I couldn't find him.
Yeah.
Um, we found a wallet in the glove box of a car that we had ripped.
The ID sort of looked like Mike.
He kept it in case we got busted.
Do you remember the name? We used to make fun of it because it sounded rich.
Huvey Wilson.
(CHUCKLES) AMIRI: Mr.
Huvey T.
Wilson, A.
K.
A.
John Doe.
Two shattered femurs.
Looks like we treated him about a year and a half ago.
You did bone grafts on him to repair his legs? Uh, not according to this.
The kid had insurance issues.
The card probably came back stolen.
All right, so if he can't pay, what happens next? Well, if you can't pay, you get the blue-light special.
In this case, double amputation.
You've gotta be kidding me.
Hey, blame the bean counters.
We don't take any pleasure cutting off someone's legs.
Look, Doctor, up until two days ago he was walking upright.
We know he got bone grafts on both legs.
Maybe he transferred out.
But there's no way he got that kind of charity here.
Well, what does his chart say? Um Missing a couple of pages.
It happens.
Okay, do you have any idea where this surgery might have been done? Uh, there's a non-profit orthopedic clinic in Manhattan.
They've taken some of our hard-luck cases in the past.
Uh, Dr.
Vaughn runs the program.
Guy's practically pining for sainthood.
This way! You're sure about this? Ovarian cancer? And the M.
E.
thinks it came from the bones you used to fix his legs.
I'm sorry, I highly doubt that.
The M.
E.
seems pretty confident it came from the graft.
Doctor, we need to know where the donor bones came from.
We use several procurement companies and tissue banks.
It could have come from any one of them.
Well, how do you cover your uninsured patients? Through grants, fundraising.
Our clinic has an operating budget of almost $15 million.
Most of that goes to subsidizing patient care.
$15 million? And all that comes from financial donations? People give generously to help us care for the working poor and indigent.
To help a patient like Michael who almost lost his legs because he was homeless.
And you don't occasionally cut corners? We may be a non-profit clinic, but our quality of care is on par with any university hospital.
Look, Detective, it's extremely rare for cancer to metastasize to bone.
Michael must have contracted the disease some other way.
Now, as far as the graft bones are concerned, I'm telling you I don't know which company procured them.
Don't you at least have the donor's name? The provenance has to be tracked somehow.
I have a copy of the donor's death certificate.
That's it.
Karen Kendall.
Twenty-one years old.
You'll also notice the cause of death.
It wasn't ovarian cancer.
Karen was driving home from college for spring break.
A truck cut her off in the tunnel coming into Manhattan.
The doctors said she was brain dead.
We took her off life support six days after the accident.
Did you donate any of her organs or tissue at that time? No.
No, we never consented to anything like that.
The hospital asked us to, but it was too much with Karen dying so suddenly.
Which hospital? Chase General.
They said they'd take care of her.
But you're saying they did it anyway? We think that somebody did.
Oh, my God.
Had your daughter been diagnosed with ovarian cancer? Cancer? No! She was in peak health.
She ran marathons! (SOBBING) Mr.
and Mrs.
Kendall, we're going to need to verify what happened to your daughter's body, so the medical examiner is gonna want to look at her remains.
She was cremated.
Who handled the cremation? Uh Bicks Funeral Home.
Uh, Tony Bicks helped us with the arrangements.
(CRYING) TONY: Talk to the hospital morgue.
They're the body butchers.
GREEN: The hospital says you picked up Karen Kendall's body within two hours of her death.
Apparently, it would have taken too long to harvest her remains there.
I'm sorry, I don't remember.
You signed her out.
We have the time.
Well, if that's what it said, then that's what I did.
CASSADY: What was the rush? I was probably there on another run.
She was the only body that day.
What are you getting at? What she's getting at is there's a small window of time to harvest her remains before they're unusable.
CASSADY: Unusable and worthless to a paying tissue bank.
And you think that's what I did? That body was cremated, which means you could have taken anything you wanted and nobody would know the family didn't give their consent.
I think you're making a lot of unfounded accusations here, Detective.
Cool.
How about we have a look at your records? We can straighten this out right now.
I think you can take it up with my attorney.
We can get a warrant if we have to.
Myers, Prescott and Mandelbaum.
They're in the yellow pages.
You call them.
We'll wait.
GREEN: Two hundred and seventy-eight bodies went through Bicks Funeral Home last year.
Of those, 213 did not consent to donate tissue or bone.
And most of those names are now showing up on the donor list.
Who did Bicks sell to? There could have been any number of tissue banks or brokers.
Every company I talked to was not willing to admit that they bought directly from him.
Yeah, well, worried about liability.
This stuff could be scattered across the country.
CASSADY: I pulled the LUDS from the funeral home.
Bicks called Vaughn's clinic on a regular basis.
You think Vaughn knew what he was getting? CASSADY: He said he didn't.
And he might not have if Bicks was forging consent forms, death certificates He wasn't exactly helpful when we talked to him.
How much money are we talking about? Okay, you want the list? Now, these are non-organ parts, veins, cartilage, tendons, bones.
One body is worth over 200 grand.
Do Bicks' financials bear that out? He's got a little something in the bank, but nothing like this kind of cash flow.
He's gotta be hiding it.
Even still, we can't pin him for the murder of Michael Jones.
But we can get him for grand larceny and forgery, right? Only if you can prove that Bicks was the one who pillaged the corpses.
A lot of those bodies didn't get cremated.
Talk to the families.
We need to start digging people up.
RODGERS: This was pure slice and dice.
I've got corpses missing bones from their legs and arms, major veins and tendons are also gone.
Now, take a look at this.
Are those pipes? PVC for plumbing.
To maintain the shape of the limbs for the viewing would be my guess.
I also found bloody aprons and gloves dumped inside a couple of abdominal cavities.
Can we trace any of this to Bicks? Here's a preliminary.
CSU pulled two latents off the inside of a pipe.
Guess who? You go.
Tony Bicks, step this way, please.
(WHISPERING) Keep your voice down.
You're under arrest for grand larceny and forgery.
What are you doing? I'm right in the middle You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law.
CLERK: “Docket number 8357.
2.
People v.
Anthony Bicks.
"Charge is grand larceny in the second degree, forgery in the second degree.
" Mr.
Bicks pleads not guilty, Your Honor.
People on bail? The defendant altered official state death certificates to facilitate an illegal trade in stolen body parts.
I'm sure that forging his passport isn't beyond his capabilities.
People seek remand.
That's absurd.
Not one of these charges is over a C felony.
RUBIROSA: Your Honor, we are still exhuming bodies.
The full scope of this criminal enterprise is expanding.
The victims in this case were already dead, correct? Not true.
Mr.
Bicks' actions implicate him in the homicide of Michael Jones.
Mr.
Jones contracted ovarian cancer from illegally harvested bones he received during atransplant.
Lot of dots to connect there, Counselor.
There is a murder indictment pending, YourHonoL Then let's revisit bail if they file.
I'm not letting Dr.
Frankenstein, here, off so easy.
Bail is 300,000, cash only.
He can't make that, Your Honor.
Maybe he's got something he can sell.
(GAVEL STRIKES) RUBIROSA: Looks like Bicks will post tomorrow.
His lawyer wouldn't discuss a plea.
She's waiting to see if we make good on our murder indictment.
Judge Goldberg's betting against us.
We know Bicks harvested Karen Kendall's bones.
We know Dr.
Vaughn transplanted them into the victim.
I find it hard to believe that Vaughn was totally in the dark.
It's circumstantial.
If we can't link them together with shared intent, we can't make a case.
Phone records aren't proof of complicity? It would be easy to say the calls were related to fundraising.
Bicks has given money to the clinic in the past.
Illegal profits could have been disguised as financial donations.
We still haven't been able to trace where the money went.
What does Dr.
Vaughn have to say for himself? I was referred to his attorney, Dave Seaver.
He's not malpractice, by the way.
Strictly criminal law.
That should tell us something.
We still can't prove that Vaughn knew where the body parts were coming from.
Not without flipping Bicks.
The clinic's records might shed some light.
Do you really think we're going to get a subpoena for medical records? Half the judges on the roster have had hip replacements.
Given the issue, I don't think we'll have a problem.
Not bad.
Yeah? Not bad got me a full ride to Georgetown next fall.
You're Jason Carter, right? Man, I must be dreaming you came here looking for me.
I'm Connie Rubirosa with the district attorney's office.
I needed to talk to you about Dr.
Adam Vaughn.
Yeah, what's up with Dr.
Vaughn? Did he, uh, perform surgery on your knee last year? Yeah.
I wouldn't have been able to play ball if he hadn't.
Why you want to know? Jason smashed up his knee at the end of his junior year.
Yeah, he called it atibial plateau fracture.
I shattered my kneecap, basically.
Now, you're saying the bone they used to fix him up was stolen out of some other body? As far as we can tell, Jason was one of two people who received parts from this donor.
Ayoung man, about your age, died of cancer.
He contracted it from the bone that Dr.
Vaughn transplanted in his legs.
Dr.
Vaughn wouldn't do nothing like that.
What do you want with Jason? We're building a murder case against the man who illegally harvested the body.
We need to be able to prove that the cancer came from this donor and not another source, like a blood transfusion.
How do you do that? Jason would need to undergo a biopsy of his knee.
Yeah.
I don't know about that.
I understand this is an unusual request.
Unusual? You're coming in my home telling me he might have cancer.
We need Jason's help to make this case.
No.
I'm calling Dr.
Vaughn right now and getting to the bottom of this.
Miss Carter, Dr.
Vaughn is a suspect in our investigation.
Excuse me? That man gave Jason a second chance at going to a top college.
He's getting the benefit of the doubt from me.
You need to know that if he refuses, I will have no choice but to get a court order to compel him.
Then I guess you'll have to do that.
Jason Carter is not under any obligation to help Mr.
McCoy.
Except that the bone in his knee was illegally obtained.
The notion that the state has no recourse in an investigation is not right.
Mr.
Carter is not a target of the investigation, YourHonoL It's a major intrusion on an innocent third party.
Mr.
Carter may be a victim of the crime.
Maybe he'd like to know.
As his Fourth Amendment rights are flushed down the toilet? Your Honor, my client would prefer to handle any health issue privately.
The Supreme Court held in Winston v.
Lee that compulsion of minor surgery to obtain evidence of a crime was not unreasonable.
I'd hardly call the procedure minor.
Mr.
Carter would have a piece of his bone tissue removed, which could destroy his knee all over again.
Winston concerned surgery on a patient who was also a suspect in the crime.
The decision wasn't based on that.
It was based on the level of intrusion and the court ultimately denied the request because of that.
The court left the door open in those cases where the public interest outweighs the intrusion.
And this is one of those cases.
The New York Department of Health and the CDC are involved due to the potential for a major health crisis.
We're not making this request lightly.
Is there no other way around it? We don't believe so.
From a search of Dr.
Vaughn's records, Jason Carter is the only other patient we know of who received remains from Karen Kendall.
And what's a biopsy going to prove, Mr.
McCoy? That the bone graft Michael Jones received gave him cancer and caused his death.
I'm reluctantly granting the request.
Mr.
Carter, I understand this court is asking a lot of you with this order.
If I didn't feel there were larger public health issues here, I would not have decided this way.
And frankly, young man, I think you ought to know one way or the other.
They're saying it's the same thing? RU Bl ROSA: Yeah .
I don't feel bad or nothing.
Doctors say it's still early.
You can treat it, beat it.
How am I going to pay for this? Think Medicaid's going to give him what he needs? You'd have a solid civil case against anyone we convict.
It could mean a large settlement.
JACK: Jason, I can't imagine how hard this must be for you right now.
What do you want me to do? Testify at trial.
Dr.
Vaughn didn't mean to do this, did he? Damn right, he knew! I'm not going down for what Vaughn did.
Not for murder.
You were an active participant in the crime, Mr.
Bicks.
You knew full well that Dr.
Vaughn would use the bone and tissue you illegally harvested.
That I harvested? Hold on, Tony.
I want assurances you'll reduce the charges.
Your client proffers the information.
Then we can discuss what it's worth.
Mr.
Bicks? I didn't take anything out of those bodies.
All I did was get a finder's fee and fix the paperwork.
Dr.
Vaughn did the harvesting? My hands shake.
You don't cut those tendons out right, they're worthless.
How many bodies are we talking about? Five hundred, maybe.
Maybe more.
He said his patients couldn't afford anything else.
This was only for his clinic? No.
He sold some of the parts to tissue banks around the country.
As long as the paperwork looks good, they don't ask where the stuff came from.
Lot of people walking around with that stuff in them.
PRESCOTT: Heard enough? You won't file murder charges? If he testifies, I'll agree to concurrent sentences for the grand larceny and the forgery.
He does at least 10 years.
Tissue or even an organ MILLER: I asked them to wait, Doctor.
This can't wait.
Dr.
Vaughn, please stand up.
I'm in the middle of a consultation.
You'll have to reschedule.
Excuse me.
You're under arrest for the murder of Michael Jones.
Doctor! Every/thing's okay.
Call my lawyer.
You have the right to remain silent Anthony Bicks has agreed to testify, Dr.
Vaughn.
He's going to tell ajury about your gruesome enterprise.
Let's not confuse the issue here, Jack.
Illegal procurement of body parts is one thing.
How you get to murder It's called foresight.
Dr.
Vaughn knew the risks.
He evinced a depraved indifference toward his patients.
You're wrong, Mr.
McCoy.
I gave my patients consistently excellent care.
Tell that to Michael Jones or Jason Carter.
He's sick, too, by the way.
SEAVER: This is a malpractice case.
This is a public health crisis.
Man one, 15 years, and he surrenders his medical license.
There was no way of knowing Karen Kendall had ovarian cancer.
It wasn't diagnosed at the time of her death.
Dr.
Vaughn didn't have access to her medical records because the harvest was illegal.
He couldn't have known either way.
There are always complications in transplant medicine.
But weigh that against the fact that those butchers were going to amputate Michael's legs because he was poor.
People like Karen Kendall have so much they can give and they don't.
I did what I had to do for my patient.
Our offer is on the table.
Then I guess we're done.
Even the noblest crusaders aren't beyond a little hypocrisy.
It usually involves money.
Well, that was my initial hunch, but I pored over his financials, nothing.
If Vaughn sold surplus body parts on the open market, there should be some evidence of a profit.
The only explanation I can come up with is that he sunk the money right back into his clinic.
How's that for noble? Well, I stand corrected.
We don't need a financial motive to hold Vaughn accountable for murder.
There's a clear chain of events that led to Michael Jones' death.
Well, they'll counter your causation argument by citing the statistical risk of any surgery.
It's about consent.
Michael Jones wasn't aware of the risk.
Vaughn gambled with his life.
Well, no pun intended, but I think the doctor has another bone to pick.
Which is? Well, vilifying the insurance companies, turning this trial into a referendum on the inequities of the American medical system.
The haves and have-non.
Even the have-nots wouldn't want what Vaughn was selling.
There are 46 million uninsured people in this country.
In ajury pool, that's one in six.
Well, then you better make Dr.
Vaughn seem like a worse choice than no doctor at all.
Dr.
Vaughn never told me I might get cancer.
JACK: What did Dr.
Vaughn tell you? He just said he'd fix my knee.
Where did he tell you the new bone came from? He didn't.
He never told me nothing.
How did you feel when you learned you'd contracted cancer? Scared, I guess.
Angry- I just sort of thought Dr.
Vaughn was more on top of it, you know.
I started chemotherapy last week and hopefully that'll do the trick.
I just want to live my life without having this hanging over my head.
Nothing further.
Would you have gotten your tibial plateau fracture repaired without Dr.
Vaughn? No.
My mom couldn't afford it otherwise.
Because you and your mother don't have any health insurance? That's right.
So, Dr.
Vaughn treated you for next to nothing.
Basically.
Without that, would you be playing basketball for Georgetown next fall? No.
If he wouldn't have fixed my knee, they never would have given me a scholarship.
Recruiters had to see I still had my game.
Means a lot for you to play, doesn't it? Just about everything.
Jason, I want you to think about this.
If Dr.
Vaughn had explained that, under very rare circumstances, an undiagnosed cancer can transfer itself through the donor bone, would you have said no to the surgery? Probably not.
You'd still have the operation? If it would have fixed my knee, I would.
Do you blame Dr.
Vaughn for your cancer? I know he didn't mean for it to happen.
I actually feel bad he's in trouble, you know? Nothing further.
Seaver scored points today.
I'm worried we've lost our leverage to deal.
Don't be.
I'm not offering one.
Jack, Jason Carter basically said he'd be willing to endure chemotherapy for a college scholarship.
Risk versus reward, understandable.
It doesn't change the circumstances of Michael Jones' death.
Well, maybe not.
But informed consent is beginning to sound irrelevant.
Especially after Vaughn makes his pitch to the jury.
What? What date do you have for Michael's surgery? Um April 28th.
This is odd.
This medication log shows the dispensary gave Michael his first anti-rejection drugs on the 23rd, days before the transplant.
Could be a clerical mistake.
The same nurse signed the daily charts, Valerie Miller.
She signed the medication log, too.
Might be worth asking Nurse Miller for a clarification.
It gets hectic at the clinic.
I'm sure I wasn't paying attention when I wrote it down.
So, when did Michael Jones have his surgery? The 28th, like it says.
I checked with the dispensary.
Their records show that they issued the medication on the 23rd.
Patients don't start taking this kind of drug before they receive a transplant.
Miss Miller, did he have his surgery on the 23rd and not the 28th? I just did what I was told.
Don't put me in the middle of this.
(SIGHS) But it looks like you already are.
Dr.
Vaughn asked me to change the dates in the file after he heard Michael Jones had died.
Why did he do that? Karen Kendall was still on life support on the 23rd.
She wasn't the real donor.
Who was the real donor? A woman named Tina Sadowsky.
JACK: People's 22.
This is Tina Sadowsky's death certificate.
When did she die? April 22nd.
The day before Michael Jones had his surgery.
What's the cause of death noted? I'm so sorry, Dr.
Vaughn.
I didn't want to do this.
They told me they were going to take my nursing license if I didn't testify.
Your Honor? The jury will disregard the witness's comment.
You're out of order, Miss Miller.
Answer the question.
What's the cause of death noted on Tina Sadowsky's death certificate? Ovarian cancer.
Nothing further.
(CLEARS THROAT) Your Honor, we have no questions for this witness.
I was notified by the hospital that they had an uninsured patient who'd shattered both femurs.
They intended to amputate his legs.
I knew I could help him.
And did you? Absolutely.
After his recovery, Michael Jones was able to walk again.
And why did he die, Dr.
Vaughn? It's a painful fact, but there are risks in medicine.
If you give a million patients penicillin, a small but predictable number will always die of anaphylaxis.
But who questions the benefits of antibiotics? What did you use to fix his legs? I used two six-inch pieces of human bone that I harvested from a donor.
I took them without consent.
SEAVER: Why did you do that? Because we have a system in this country that favors the wealthy and insured.
They expect that if they need blood, tissue or even an organ, it'll be there for them.
Truth be told, it usually is because they can pay.
How many of those people do you think become donors themselves? I'll tell you.
It's less than 10% percent.
I took an oath to care for my patients.
I had to do everything I could to help them.
How does that square with harvesting bones from a woman who died of ovarian cancer? To the non-medical eye, I agree it looks reckless.
That's why I stupidly tried to cover it up.
It wasn't reckless? It's extremely rare for ovarian cancer to metastasize to bone tissue.
How rare? Put it this way.
Michael Jones had a greater chance of getting struck by lightning or even dying in a plane crash, than developing ovarian cancer from that donor's bones.
And what were his odds of walking again without your help? Zero.
It's a noble argument, Doctor, but it glosses over the reality of the crime, don't you think? You stole human remains from unwilling donors, correct? Perhaps they were unwilling.
There's no question they were needed.
You had no way to determine their suitability, correct? The medical histories of the donors were never vetted.
Parts you procured were never screened for disease.
Isn't that right? I made the best evaluation I could.
I believe I chose good candidates.
So confident, you even sold the parts that you didn't use to other tissue banks for a profit, correct? The money was only to keep my clinic running.
You confidently chose good candidates, like Tina Sadowsky, a woman who died of ovarian cancer.
As I said, the risk of transferring the disease was extremely rare.
Except in this case, you were wrong.
Michael Jones died.
Jason Carter now has cancer as well.
And I tremendously regret that.
JACK: You knew with any illegal donor you were getting a loaded gun, correct? My patients wouldn't have gotten the treatment I provided anywhere else.
So, in other words, you didn't think you were risking much? I'm saying I weighed the risk against helping people who desperately neededit But you never told your patients what those risks were.
They never had a choice.
Isn't that right? Do you think Michael Jones would have chosen to lose his legs? In a perfect world, Mr.
McCoy, I might be guilty.
But I practice medicine in the real world.
Where you're also bound by laws.
Which support a medical system that does not operate in the best interest of people in need.
It's dictated by money.
Or more often, in the case of my patients, a lack of it.
Except that the system is not on trial here.
You are because you gambled with a young man's life and lost.
What would you have me tell someone like Michael Jones? Too bad? As a doctor who swore an oath to help my patients, that's not acceptable.
He depended on me to save his legs, so I did.
You saved his legs.
You lost the patient.
And given the odds, I'd do it again.
Which is why, Dr.
Vaughn, your cure is worse than any disease.
Objection! Sustained.
(EXHALES) Nothing further.
Has the jury reached a verdict? We have, Your Honor.
On the count of murder in the second degree, how do you find? We find the defendant, Adam Vaughn, not guilty.
Take comfort in the fact he's losing his license to practice.
I'm not sure people like Jason Carter feel that way.
Jack, you were right on the law.
Does that mean that Dr.
Vaughn was wrong?