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Old 2004-06-08, 05:18   Link #1
dreamless
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Question Equality of lives or Communism?

Today my cousin, who is six years older than me and a doctor, came to visit me, and he wanted me to show him some anime seeing I'm a rabid anime fan and he thinks anime are generally childish. Considering he's a doctor, I showed him MONSTER since I think it's geared towards older/more mature audience and the main character being a doctor may get him relate to the character/situations better.

Well, after watching the first few episodes, he agrees that the series is quite mature and interesting, however he thinks that the scenes at the start where the doctor had to choose between saving different patients are quite stupid and hypocritical, especially when it's supposed to say something about equality of lives. First he said that when there were two patients you could save, and you only managed to save one of them, the relatives of the other patient would always come complain to you, no matter who came first or later. They wouldn't be able to accept the death of their relative calmly no matter what. So why the anime only showed the wife of the worker died in the first case complaining to the doctor, not the relatives of the mayor?

Also the scenes are very fake and artificial in his opinion, that one patient came in first then some minutes later another came who also needed the doctor to save him. It's like the age-old "if both your mother and your wife are about to drown, who will you save first" question. He thought those are just some hypocritical scenes put there to act like how the doctor is so "right" about equality of human lives. Why don't they put a scene where the mayor comes first then some minutes later the director's daughter comes needing the doctor to save her? He thinks that the director will surely order the doctor to save his daughter, and most likely the doctor will save his fiancee first.

Also he said that it's natural to put self-interest into doing your jobs as a doctor. If his wife fell sick and needs his help he will surely put his wife to first priority, and if his superior fell sick and needs his help he will surely put his superior to first priority. And doing otherwise will not make him seem "right", but make him look like a stubborn idiot who can't do anything right. He thinks that doing your job strictly following some rules without any self-interest involved is not about equality of human lives, it's communist.

So what do you think about this?
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Old 2004-06-08, 06:20   Link #2
sarcasteak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamless
Well, after watching the first few episodes, he agrees that the series is quite mature and interesting, however he thinks that the scenes at the start where the doctor had to choose between saving different patients are quite stupid and hypocritical, especially when it's supposed to say something about equality of lives. First he said that when there were two patients you could save, and you only managed to save one of them, the relatives of the other patient would always come complain to you, no matter who came first or later. They wouldn't be able to accept the death of their relative calmly no matter what. So why the anime only showed the wife of the worker died in the first case complaining to the doctor, not the relatives of the mayor
The point is that Tenma had to abandon the one who came first whom he was supposed to operate on and work on someone who came later with a higher stature; he missed the point completely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamless
Also the scenes are very fake and artificial in his opinion, that one patient came in first then some minutes later another came who also needed the doctor to save him. It's like the age-old "if both your mother and your wife are about to drown, who will you save first" question. He thought those are just some hypocritical scenes put there to act like how the doctor is so "right" about equality of human lives.
Well, no shit...thus the drama!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamless
Why don't they put a scene where the mayor comes first then some minutes later the director's daughter comes needing the doctor to save her? He thinks that the director will surely order the doctor to save his daughter, and most likely the doctor will save his fiancee first.
Very good point, but such is not the case. If the mayor came first and the boy came later, Dr. Tenma wouldn't have any complaints. Also, he firmly believes that boy's situation requires his skill whereas the mayor can be operated by the other doctors. The whole point was that Dr. Tenma doesn't want to abandon a patient who came first over another because of stature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamless
Also he said that it's natural to put self-interest into doing your jobs as a doctor. If his wife fell sick and needs his help he will surely put his wife to first priority, and if his superior fell sick and needs his help he will surely put his superior to first priority. And doing otherwise will not make him seem "right", but make him look like a stubborn idiot who can't do anything right. He thinks that doing your job strictly following some rules without any self-interest involved is not about equality of human lives, it's communist.
I agree with everything up to the last clause--it's overly idealistic, NOT communist.

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Oh no, my signature is 651MB and has been edited by a forum Mod. I guess I didn't read the Forum Rules or else I would have known that 50MB is the allowable limit. Wow was I oversized! If only I had paid attention I wouldn't have to deal with this irritation now.
Geez, I sure want to see this 651MB sig of yours.

What was it, by the way?
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Old 2004-06-08, 07:32   Link #3
Yebyosh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamless
So why the anime only showed the wife of the worker died in the first case complaining to the doctor, not the relatives of the mayor?
Because that's the plot device! If it is the other way around (i.e. the Turk arrived later than the mayor), he would not be directed by the Director to operate on the Turk. Hospital procedures (i.e. first patient = mayor) & the Director's desire would match and Tenma would not have as much ground to be the poor suffering man under the oppression of the Director later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamless
Also the scenes are very fake and artificial in his opinion, that one patient came in first then some minutes later another came who also needed the doctor to save him. It's like the age-old "if both your mother and your wife are about to drown, who will you save first" question.
Well that is true but it is like sarcasteak said, "It's a drama".

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamless
Why don't they put a scene where the mayor comes first then some minutes later the director's daughter comes needing the doctor to save her? He thinks that the director will surely order the doctor to save his daughter, and most likely the doctor will save his fiancee first.
How would that fit into why Tenma would later operate on Johan because of his self-guilt and recriminations?

1st scene: Powerful, influential mayor (beneficial to hospital) second to come in, Turk labourer (of no concern/relationship to hospital or Tenma) first to come in. Mayor gets operated.
2nd scene: Influential, popular vocalist (beneficial to hospital) second to arrive, young boy from East Germany (of no concern/relationship to hospital or Tenma) first to arrive. Tenma decides to sooth his guilt by operating on boy first.

How would the a mayor-Eva first scene fit in parallel to the 2nd scene then?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamless
Also he said that it's natural to put self-interest into doing your jobs as a doctor. If his wife fell sick and needs his help he will surely put his wife to first priority, and if his superior fell sick and needs his help he will surely put his superior to first priority.
Well that is true of most humans. Tenma however is the fantasy model (with some realistic edges) of an altrustic doctor who does try to believe in his hippocratic oath. We do see him in more human situations later. Your cousin can be seen as an obvious realistic materialist (majority of humans).

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamless
And doing otherwise will not make him seem "right", but make him look like a stubborn idiot who can't do anything right. He thinks that doing your job strictly following some rules without any self-interest involved is not about equality of human lives, it's communist.
First off, true communism is not an evil system per se. It is a system that can work very well but fails for the human race, due to our own natural characteristics. Going through your job without self-interest is not communistic, it is more appropriate to say that behaviour is robotic/brainless, which is how most people do their jobs these days.

Just some comments, hope you do not take offense. Perhaps your doctor cousin is feeling a little bit threatened by the show? After all, the series is not giving a subtle attack on the mainstream "civilised" hospital & health care system. The commercialised lot are a bunch of mercenaries caring only on their self-interests. Tenma and the rural/ocstracised doctors are portrayed as the compassionate doctors of old. The hospital only gets a "good reputation" under the new guard after the old "selfish" guard gets cleared, a signal perhaps asking for "a major revision of current healthcare practices"? If so, your cousin might be one of the old cadre and felt his own behaviour is called into question by this show.

Uh maybe it was a bad idea to show this show to your doctor cousin?
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Old 2004-06-08, 09:50   Link #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamless
Also he said that it's natural to put self-interest into doing your jobs as a doctor. If his wife fell sick and needs his help he will surely put his wife to first priority, and if his superior fell sick and needs his help he will surely put his superior to first priority. And doing otherwise will not make him seem "right", but make him look like a stubborn idiot who can't do anything right. He thinks that doing your job strictly following some rules without any self-interest involved is not about equality of human lives, it's communist.

So what do you think about this?
First of all, your cousin seemed to miss the point of the anime. They have to set it up like that to drive the plot toward saving Johan 'the monster' so he can go on killing people (which is important) and have Tenma found out, felt guilt and chased after him so we'll have a story about 'Monster' that we watch now.

I'm sure because your cousin is a doctor, his view is affected by his position. Anyways, I say it's natural to put self-interest first because you're human (not necessarily a doctor). People are selfish and inclined. Their actions are shaped by the selfishness and inclination. Ideally when you serve the public, it's first come first serve. I work in public service too and ideally that's how I like to operate (or at least tell people so) but politics really gets in the way too many times to often. I still wonder what does that has to do with communist and everything?

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Old 2004-06-08, 11:50   Link #5
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First he said that when there were two patients you could save, and you only managed to save one of them, the relatives of the other patient would always come complain to you, no matter who came first or later. They wouldn't be able to accept the death of their relative calmly no matter what. So why the anime only showed the wife of the worker died in the first case complaining to the doctor, not the relatives of the mayor?

Actually, they did show the public outpouring of grief when Tenma was watching the news. Yes, I'm sure every family is heartbroken when a loved one dies in surgery, but I doubt all of them go up to a doctor and start pounding on him and shrieking reciminations. Obviously the mayor's family was not of that type. To expect all people to have exact same reaction to a situation is no more realistic than what your cousin is arguing.

Why don't they put a scene where the mayor comes first then some minutes later the director's daughter comes needing the doctor to save her? He thinks that the director will surely order the doctor to save his daughter, and most likely the doctor will save his fiancee first.

No, because that's not the way the show works. Unless Eva is going to turn out to be a mass murder at a later point, all that would do is illustrate a moral question.

Besides, I think the show did a fine job of pretty much crushing Tenma's ideals. He tried to do what he believed was right by working on a first come, first serve basis. In the end, he let a monster run free and let a good man die. The show is not as black and white as your cousin is trying to make it.
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Old 2004-06-08, 14:24   Link #6
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The doctor (cousin) is going by his life experiences and thus most likely never seen anything like this scenario...choosing one over the other. Most hospitals have several doctors, just like Dr. Tenma's hospital and although one doctor may be more gifted, we just don't see (from day to day) anything as the Monster decision that Dr. Tenma had to make.

ALSO, I doubt any doctors get to see or know how a patient turns out after the patients recover and leave their care.

It's anime, It's Drama, it makes us think, and it highly unlikely Dr. Tenma would really have had all these choices in the real world. It's like watching any live action drama on hospital life and such..... the stories ALL may be based on reality but the chances of ALL these stories actually coming together in one hospital or one Doctor's life is highly unlikely but it makes for great Drama.
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Old 2004-06-08, 15:32   Link #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yebyosh
on the Turk
What do you mean by this!!!!!
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Old 2004-06-12, 07:17   Link #8
Sis-con Boya
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Well, actually your cousin is totally right.

It was this close -> [-----] , me not watching monster anymore after seeing this utter naiveness ( sorry , I can't name it in any other way) shown by the author. I couldn't belive it that somebody who wrote 20th CB committed such an act of typical Japanese-anime-and-manga-style greatly over dramatic crap. I decided to go on and found ( in Monster manga ) that later it goes on without such ( I won't spoil ) happenings ( for the most, tolerable part ).

It's not Tenma's "fault" - rather the author's

For making him do something that much out of character for even most idealistic doctors. And what if Johann and Mayor were brought to the hospital at exactly the same time?
If Tenma was really that idealistic later he would have gone through a breakdown because of Mayor dying.
After all is said no one can deny that the Mayor died because Temna did not operate him. I don't care if he was brought 1st, 2nd or 17th - he died because Tenma did not operate, NO EXCUSES. If you want consider all lives equal "to the bone" so to say, you have to accept the consequences.

Because in reality, at some point, it always comes down to choices. In real life equality is not possible. You choose who will you save - you put his life above the other one.

OK, I'll leave the moral questions, discussion over them isn't a great idea on a net forum.

My 2c here is that I really did not like how the plot was tied in the beginning, I found it unrealistic and typically over dramatic and because of that - disappointing.
I expected better from the author of 20th CB....

P.S.

...and I agree with Sarcaksteak, it has nothing to do with Communism. I mean - I know, I live in a post-communist country ( the one that actually has played the most important role in its European collapse, so you see how much did we "like" it )

Last edited by Sis-con Boya; 2004-06-12 at 07:33.
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Old 2004-06-12, 07:46   Link #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sis-con Boya

My 2c here is that I really did not like how the plot was tied in the beginning, I found it unrealistic and typically over dramatic and because of that - disappointing.
I expected better from the author of 20th CB....
Well, 20th century boys was written after Monster, so it'd be safe to assume that he learnt some lessons from Monster which he incorporated into 20th century boys.
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Old 2004-06-12, 08:05   Link #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sis-con Boya
Well, actually your cousin is totally right.

It was this close -> [-----] , me not watching monster anymore after seeing this utter naiveness ( sorry , I can't name it in any other way) shown by the author. I couldn't belive it that somebody who wrote 20th CB committed such an act of typical Japanese-anime-and-manga-style greatly over dramatic crap. I decided to go on and found ( in Monster manga ) that later it goes on without such ( I won't spoil ) happenings ( for the most, tolerable part ).

It's not Tenma's "fault" - rather the author's

For making him do something that much out of character for even most idealistic doctors. And what if Johann and Mayor were brought to the hospital at exactly the same time?
If Tenma was really that idealistic later he would have gone through a breakdown because of Mayor dying.
After all is said no one can deny that the Mayor died because Temna did not operate him. I don't care if he was brought 1st, 2nd or 17th - he died because Tenma did not operate, NO EXCUSES. If you want consider all lives equal "to the bone" so to say, you have to accept the consequences.

Because in reality, at some point, it always comes down to choices. In real life equality is not possible. You choose who will you save - you put his life above the other one.

OK, I'll leave the moral questions, discussion over them isn't a great idea on a net forum.

My 2c here is that I really did not like how the plot was tied in the beginning, I found it unrealistic and typically over dramatic and because of that - disappointing.
I expected better from the author of 20th CB....

P.S.

...and I agree with Sarcaksteak, it has nothing to do with Communism. I mean - I know, I live in a post-communist country ( the one that actually has played the most important role in its European collapse, so you see how much did we "like" it )

i believe the point was not to favour the mayor over johan for materialistic reasons, thats the point of equality of human lifes, sure you can't save both at the same time but you don't favour one over the other for material reasons, johan came first and tenma was about to operate on him, he can't leave him to operate on someone else cause that other person will give him more money/power, and thus by doing so he neglect the patient he was about to operate on and he would have valued one life over the other, if on the other hand the mayor came first tenma would probably opt to save him first not johan, but then wouldn't have the story now would we

note: doctors don't operate on "first come first serve" they operate based on severity but apparently the author choose that both cases were equal in severity.
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Old 2004-06-12, 14:17   Link #11
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Yes, 20th CB came after Monster and it shows. It's better than M. by a narrow margin though (because I like the realistic setting of M. - you know Czechslovakia, NRD 1986 and so on. It gives M. some points compared to 20th CB. I even recognized some of the places shown in the opening especially the Bridge in Prague, after all I was there a couple of times ).
However, as I said I really disliked the beginning of M. and I'm going to stick to this opinion.
It were characters like Junge who saved the story for me.


and
Spoiler:
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Old 2004-06-13, 17:24   Link #12
dreamless
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yebyosh
First off, true communism is not an evil system per se. It is a system that can work very well but fails for the human race, due to our own natural characteristics. Going through your job without self-interest is not communistic, it is more appropriate to say that behaviour is robotic/brainless, which is how most people do their jobs these days.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grifis
I still wonder what does that has to do with communist and everything?
well yup I agree true communism is, or should be, a good system, but my country is pretty anti-communist, also in real world those "communist countries" are mostly like teaching people that their own self-interest is not important and they should follow the rules of the society without any selfish thoughts etc. etc.

Yea I guess maybe it's not really a good idea to show an anime about a doctor to a real doctor... now I think about it, it's like showing an anime about computer programmers to me, which I will most likely find many faults in it
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Old 2004-06-13, 22:08   Link #13
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I think he missed the point of the decision made by Tenma's superiors and the consequences Tenma had to live with from his decisions.

Ask your cousin how he would feel if he was operating on a patient that had an illness or injury that he was only qualified to treat and if he didn't treat him soon enough the patient would die. Then while he's operating on this patient, he gets called out of the operating room (he has no choice, without any hindsight of following his orders) to work on the Mayor who has a mild illness that could be treated by any other doctor on the ward. The only reason why he's called in to operate on the mayor is because, the director wants to make sure the mayor is treated by the biggest names at the hospital in order to assure the mayor keeps supplying the hospital with additional funding. Then the original patient he was operating on dies, due to his replacement doctors not being skilled enough in a particular skill or what ever the hell ever doctors need to do things :P

I don't think your cousin realized that Tenma wasn't acting in his own self interest, the director was and Tenma being naive of the situation followed the orders.

Also doctors are suppose to be professional about things and not act in their own self interest, its not communism its professionalism. If I saw my wife and a stranger get hit on the street by a car I'd probably help my wife get an ambulance before the stranger, but if I saw that my wife had died I'd compose my self as soon as possible and try to assist the stranger. Now if I saw two strangers get hit, I'd do my best to assess the situation the best I could and help out the person who was the worse off of the two.

Tell him that this has nothing to do with the age-old "if both your mother and your wife are about to drown, who will you save first" question. These are just random people who have entered a hospital with an injury and need to be healed. He had no relation to these people in one way or another, until the first one came to the hospital and became his patient.

It has to deal with the decision he made about following orders and then having to live with the consequences.

Also as a side note, I don't think most doctors are allowed to work on close relatives due to conflicting interests, atleast thats how it is at most hospitals, its part of their policy.
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Old 2004-06-14, 22:27   Link #14
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From what your cousin (dreamless) said, that sounds very selfish to me. It sounds more like a police who shot someone and justified it as ďI have to make sure that he is dead; otherwise, he is going to sue me and I certainly canít afford that to happen. I might lose my job and even go to jail!Ē If one values self-interest more than human life, the moral of society crumbles. Yes, as a doctor, relatives of the dead patients are going to blame him anyway; but that does not justify the doctorís ďchoice.Ē It is in time like this when itís even more important that the doctor has to make the right decision; first come, first serve. The doctor is going to be blamed anyway, so what does it matter of the patientís relation to the doctor (or social status etc.)? Yes, I do believe in equality of human lives. This is not communism; this is the base of moral of human society. From what I see, communism is the extreme extension of human moral. However, human equality is the foundation of moral, at least of the modern society. That is why we can say that we are better than people who lived 2000 years ago, or the society has evolved, because they didnít have such foundation in their society.

Yes, I know that putting self-interest away is very difficult. I consider thatís the price to pay to have a high salary job as a doctor. Nothing is perfect. You canít enjoy the good life you lead as a doctor and do not want to take the responsibility as one.

This may sounds naÔve, but itís people like that (or moral like this) who keep the society balanced, i.e., functional. Otherwise, the society we know today would have become like doom-day world as we see in many anime.
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Old 2004-06-14, 23:12   Link #15
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in this case the mayor was the only good choice... hospital gets more money thus saves more lives... trade one for more.
We are better than the people that lived 2000 years ago? We kill and rape children in brutal ways... we do kill without getting our clothes stained now though.
Lives are equal? no they are not... its that simple.
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Old 2004-06-14, 23:38   Link #16
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This discussion is very absurd to me - the issue of that scene has little to do with the overall story of MONSTER...

Either way, welcome to reality.

And I am certain that doctors in a certain Northern part of a peninsula would put their priorities on a certain movie-buff over a peasant.
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Old 2004-06-16, 18:54   Link #17
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I doubt they would, because the law suits would probably out weigh any publicity or donations credited to the hospital.
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