When the doctor approached them in the waiting room, she did her best to keep an optimistic attitude. At a time like this, it was important for everyone to support the right decision.
“Mr and Mrs Franklin? I’m Dr Stavosky. I’m in charge of the examination of your daughter, Rosalind’s case.
“Yes?” The mother seemed skittish, her hand shaking. The husband looked like you could hit him with a shovel and he wouldn’t even know it. “How is she? How is our little girl?”
“Look, I’ll tell you up front that your daughter is unique. She’s what we’ve classified as a ‘de novo mutation’.” Dr Stavosky bit her lip. Maybe using unfamiliar technical terms had been a mistake.
“She’s a mutant? What does that mean?” The mother stepped closer to the husband.
“I’m sorry, I probably shouldn’t have used that term. She’s perfectly human. In every way human. It’s just that, in her case, her gene sequencing produced results that are modified from expected patterns.” That seemed to help the couple relax. Perfect, follow the human angle as much as possible.
“So she’s normal? She’ll be okay? When do we get to see her?” The mother smiled.
“You won’t be able to see her, I’m afraid. Perfectly normal child, but very sick with a bacterial infection. It’s in everyone’s best interest.”
The father turned, as if suddenly awake to the whole proceedings. “You’ll take us to our daughter. Now.”
Dr Stavosky edged backward, reached for her left wrist, pushed a button on the side of her watch sending a panic signal.
“You don’t understand,” said Dr Stravosky. “Your daughter is exceptionally susceptible this this particular bacterial strain due to her mutation.”
“But you said she was human, not a mutant.” Now the wife looked as angry as the husband.
“Look, we need to all calm down.”
“Don’t tell us to calm the hell down. Take us to our daughter before I smash your head in.”
“Mr Franklin, please. Relax and let me explain.”
Two HHO (Human Health Officers) entered the waiting room, flanking Dr Stravosky. The husband lunged at Dr Stravosky and the two officers knocked him to the ground. They proceeded to subdue him with their batons. He thrashed and struggled to no avail. The officers soon had his hands bound behind his back.
All the while, the wife inched her way around the outside of the room, grabbed the Dr in a chokehold with one arm, and produced a knife which she held at the Dr’s throat.
“Stay back,” the wife said.
“Please, Mrs Franklin. You must understand. It has to be this way. We can’t treat your daughter with antibiotics. It is unlikely they would help her in any case. Any treatment would force the bacteria to develop antibiotic resistance. Your daughter can not be allowed to pass on her susceptibility mutation. The new health guidelines are clear. It is irresponsible for us to treat your daughter. You have to think of the untold suffering you could cause by any attempt to save her.”