The psychokiller strikes againBMJ 2000; 320 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.320.7244.1282 (Published 06 May 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:1282
- Rita Mairead Condren, research registrar,
- Peter Byrne, consultant psychiatrist
- St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin
ER, Channel 4, Wednesday 19 April at 9 pm
E R (Emergency Room), the US television drama of high adrenaline medical heroics, has blazed its way into a sixth series. It has undoubtedly captured the public imagination, with its strong characters, uneasy tensions, and frenetic trauma calls. It presents highly positive images of healthcare professionals, which is perhaps why the BMJ and Nursing Times put two ER characters on the cover of their recent joint issue. The programme reaches the masses. This year, in the week starting 18 January, it was watched in 21 million out of a possible99.4 million US households.
In Britain Channel 4 screened two extraordinary episodes on 19 April, which caused much public excitement, sadness, and even grief. The country watched in horror the double stabbing of medical student Lucy and resident Dr Carter.
In the first episode we saw Lucy working up the case of a young married man, Paul, who had presented with headaches. Carter offers minimal supervision. When the man becomes disoriented she …