The Effect of <i>Quincy, M.E.</i> on American Medicine

In the 1970s, NBC was presented with an idea for merging a cop show with a medical show by focusing on forensic pathology. The show would revolve around a young, attractive medical examiner who solved crimes from the morgue. The premise of Quincy, M.E. was somewhat changed when the production snagged the very popular Jack Klugman for the role of Dr. Quincy. Klugman himself had a vision for the show. He wanted it to focus on people and their problems more than chase scenes and shooting. Klugman won that battle, which is one reason why Quincy M.E. scripts were 50% longer than that of a typical cop show.

Over time, the series focused more on little-known social justice issues, such as child porn and elder abuse. A 1981 episode titled “Seldom Silent, Never Heard” was inspired by Adam Seligman, a man who suffered from Tourette’s syndrome and testified before Congress about the difficulty of obtaining effective medicine. The episode introduced viewers to the idea of “orphan drugs,” medicines that pharmaceutical companies didn’t want to invest in because there were too few people affected to make a profit. Read the story of how Quincy -and Klugman- rallied popular opinion to pass the Orphan Drugs Act of 1983. -via Metafilter

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Source: neatorama

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