Sharing The Blame
Episode 1 (Part 1 of 2)
A medivac has been called: two of the team from Bethlehem West's emergency department, Wayne and Bree, chopper out to the remote Glasshouse mountain range where they winch down to their critically injured hiker. Meanwhile, Dr Harry Edwards, the Director of Emergency, is starting to burn out: he cannot make a decision over a patient. Realising his life as an 'adrenalin junkie' in the fast paced world of emergency is at an end, Harry anoints Dr Julia McAlpine, his current Deputy Director, to take over the department. The only problem is, Harry's replacement has already been secretly chosen by the hospital's Board of Directors. Dr Red Buchanan, a legend in the world of emergency medicine, has been brought in to take over the deteriorating department in an effort to turn it around. The surprise announcement angers Harry, and Arch, a registrar in the department, is most concerned: he's worked with Red before and believes he's both flawed and dangerous. Julia, offended at being passed over for the Directorship, hands in her resignation.
Guest Cast: Paul Mercurio as Roy Fields, Anthony Grundy as Tank, Jean-Marc Russ as Peter, Dirk Hunter as X-Ray Technician, Bridget Costello as Woman [in Family Room], Hayden Spencer as David
Sharing The Blame
Episode 2 (Part 2 of 2)
With Arch threatening to tell the others of Red's past, and Julia having resigned, Red is faced with a department in crisis. Adding to matters, a medivac is called: a ghost train has come off its rails and there are many casualties. The Bethlehem West team race to the fun park where they are forced to work on patients at the site under trying conditions. Julia's decision to remove and injured girl from an ambulance in favour of a more seriously injured person has tragic consequences when the distraught father of the injured girl attempts to drive his daughter to the hospital himself. Back at the hospital, Oopy's decision to aggressively treat a cancer-stricken ex-wrestler upsets Gosia. After arguing with Red over the diagnosis of a patient, Wayne plots against the new director and approaches Julia trying to get her on side. Red eventually talks Julia into staying on with the promise that the department will be hers once he leaves. Outmanoeuvred and humiliated, Harry is left at the department which was once his kingdom, angry and vowing revenge on Red.
Guest Cast: Paul Mercurio as Roy Fields, Anthony Grundy as Tank, Jean-Marc Russ as Peter, Dirk Hunter as X-Ray Technician, Bernie Buikstra as Keith, Martin Challis as Father, Gerry Day as Hercules, Natasha Sakias as Margaret, Peter Kent as Policeman, Julia Fox as Heather
Sharing The Blame
Bethlehem West is at the centre of a medical and ethical storm when a 58-year-old woman arrives in the emergency department suffering complications due to pregnancy. The woman is posing as a surrogate mother, carrying an egg fertilised by her dead son and his surviving wife — her own grandchild. Red and the staff must face the possibility of terminating the pregnancy to save the mother's life. Meanwhile, Arch finishing up at gig, finds himself at the centre of a drunken brawl and must return to the hospital to treat one of the injured. Much to the mystification of Red and Julia, the pregnant woman spontaneously recovers and, against Red's wishes, her insistent daughter-in-law takes her home. Arch jumps the queue with Bree to medivac a patient off Stradbroke Island. It becomes clear that he is trying to impress her. Meanwhile back at the hospital, Harry takes great joy in announcing he has been appointed the new CEO of Bethlehem West. On the return flight to the hospital, Arch and Bree meet with disaster as the patient freaks out and jumps from the helicopter into the river — Arch follows him out the door. Oopy misdiagnoses a patient and when Macy later finds him collapsed in the car park, she performs an emergency tracheotomy on the man, saving his life. In an attempt to cover up his own mistake, Oopy files a grievance demanding that Macy be suspended for exceeding her duties. The pregnant woman is returned to the hospital after suffering a relapse at home. Red, Julia and Marina fight to save the woman whilst performing an emergency caesarean. The mother dies in the operation, but they save the baby.
Guest Cast: Paul Mercurio as Roy Fields, Anthony Grundy as Tank, Jean-Marc Russ as Peter, Penny Brown as Donna Costanzo, Nathan Kotzur as Bassist, Rebecca Riggs as Mary Jessup, Daniel Quigley as Slash, Cameron Watt as Lucas, uncredited as Sandra Logan, uncredited as Bruce (Chopper Pilot), uncredited as Darryl Kickbush, uncredited as Mr. Costanzo
Sharing The Blame
Red's wife, the world famous "Colonel Doom", is coming to town for a brief visit. Tensions build between between the doctors and nursing staff when a patient treated four days earlier returns to hospital suffering a nasty infection. Wayne blames the nurses for sloppy sterile procedure. After discontinuing purchase of a controversial drug, an oily pharmaceutical representative tries to bribe Red to change his mind. Red takes the afternoon off for a passionate reunion with his wife. Julia becomes worried and tells Wayne to inform Red when another patient returns to the ward with the same nasty infection. Marina and Julia chopper out to medivac a farmer trapped under an overturned tractor. Marina helps the accident victim come to terms with his circumstances when it becomes clear that his leg must be amputated in order to free him in time to save his life. The first infection patient returns in a critical condition. Red is furious with Wayne and Julia when he is finally made aware of the outbreak situation. After two patients die, the ward is quarantined and closed down. Gosia is deeply disturbed, suspecting she might be the carrier of the flesh-eating bacteria. To Macy's disgust, Harry upholds Oopy's complaint and formally charges her with "breech of official duties" in connection with the parking lot tracheotomy. Feeling betrayed by an old friend, she punches Harry in the face. The ward is finally re-opened when Red and Julia discover a successful treatment to combat the killer infection. Red approaches Wayne to tell him that his personality may not be best suited to a career in emergency medicine. Red is saddened to arrive home and find that his wife has once again been called away to another disaster zone.
Guest Cast: Anthony Grundy as Tank, Helen O'Connor as Jane "Colonel Doom" Buchanan, Scott Witt as Simon, Russell Krause as Father, Penny Everingham as Woman, Peter Cossar as Don, Bob Reynolds as Cop, Jonathan Atherton as Curtis Armstrong [Drug Rep]
Sharing The Blame
With Macy's disciplinary hearing in session, relations between the doctors and nursing staff is strained to say the least. When the disciplinary board finds against Macy and suspends her for two weeks, it's all-out war. Making matters worse, a medivac brings in a man in the final awful throes of terminal cancer, bringing tensions to a head when he cries out to the doctors to end his life. The doctors will not and can not by law euthanase the patient. The nurses claim that doctors — particularly Wayne — are the denying the patient his rights by pursuing inappropriate, aggressive and evasive treatments that can't save his life, only prolong his pain. The nurses request the patient's wishes be fulfilled, that he be allowed to die with dignity. In the middle of the night, one of the staff steals into his cubicle and delivers a lethal injection. When the body is found the following morning, Wayne goes ballistic, accusing the nurses of murder and wants to call in the police. The nurses vehemently deny murder was committed, instead that whoever did it committed an act of mercy. The argument degenerates into a fist fight between Tank and Wayne. Although Red's efforts to conduct an investigation are stymied by Harry, who want to hush the entre incident up, Wayne's suspicions fall on Gosia. But he can't prove it. Arch loses the lucky drumsticks that were given to him as a child by his violin teacher.
Guest Cast: Anthony Grundy as Tank, Jean-Marc Russ as Peter, Peter Marshall as Marvin Johnson, Jo-Anna Lawson as Catina, Deidre Wallace as Kathleen, Jonathan Hardy as Mr. Rosenthal
Sharing The Blame
Arch tests to become a fellow of the College of Emergency Medicine. His appearance doesn't sit well with the examiner and to make matter worse his test patient arrests in the middle of the examination. Arch rushes the man to Emergency and is able to save the man's life. Macy is back from her two week suspension and Oopy warns the nurses against any acts of revenge. Finding her grandmother collapsed on the kitchen floor, a six-year-old girl directs the staff to her grandmother's house over the telephone. Arch rides out on his motorcycle to rescue the woman but she later dies in the hospital and Arch's appearance again becomes an issue with the little girl who thinks Arch looks scary and is responsible for her grandmother's death. Despite Red admonishing her for getting too emotionally involved, Macy takes the child in until her vacationing parents can be contacted. Bree believes Arch needs to grow up and change his image. Looking for an excuse to get close to her, he talks her into helping him buy a new suit. Arch is given a second chance at his Fellowship exam. He performs well, but fails by the barest of margins. Arch finally reconciles to keep to his bikey image and is forgiven by the dead woman's granddaughter.
Guest Cast: Paul Mercurio as Roy, Anthony Grundy as Tank, Jean-Marc Russ as Peter, Kirsty-Ann Boden as Jenny Garrett, Bev Langford as Grandma (Lily Davidson), David Vallon as Bratchette, David Clendinning as Sir Donald ("Examiner B")
Sharing The Blame
Red, Julia and Tank chopper out to a remote island community to help the victims of a mysterious outbreak, leaving Wayne in charge back at the ward. He becomes power-crazed and begins instituting his own set of reforms with efficiency being the order of the day. On the island, the situation is worse than initially believed. People are dead and it seems the entire population of the island have come down with the bug. Meanwhile, back in the city, Wayne has been snooping through the personnel files and discovers that Marina is a nun and word quickly spreads through the ward. She has been redefined and doesn't like it. On the island, Julia and Red hunt for the bug. They find it in the water supply. The bug, they discover, is cholera. The army is called in and the whole situation is covered up for reasons of national security. Red refuses to play along with the cover-up and so he and Julia are forced to spend the night together on the island. They get drunk, talk candidly, with Julia finally embarrassing herself. In the ward, Marina has called a staff meeting. Whilst stripping off her clothes she explains her life story, how she became a nun and that after everything she is still a person, flesh and blood. And naked for all to see.
Guest Cast: Paul Mercurio as Roy, Anthony Grundy as Tank, Jean-Marc Russ as Peter, Jane Alyson-Rowland as Mother, Rob Doran as Drunk, Hazel Howson as Mrs. Barker, David Letch as Parker
Sharing The Blame
Julia is chilled when patient Danny Haywood alludes, without actually stating it, that he may be considering suicide? that is, after he kills his wife and child. She would like to have him committed to a psychiatric ward for examination but there isn't enough evidence. She asks Red's advice. Should she warn the man's family that they may be in danger? Red tells her not to get involved. It isn't her business and she would be breaking the code of doctor-patient confidentiality. Although she is absolved of responsibility, this does nothing to allay her doubts and fears. She has no choice but to let Danny go, wondering if she's done the right thing, that she's done enough. Arch, Bree, and Wayne are called out on a medivac to rescue an injured skydiver but once at the site, their task is complicated by not only having to rush the man back to hospital, but also locate his detached arm. A stab wound patient arrives on the ward suffering major blood loss. The wallet he carries identifies him as a Jehovah's Witness. According to religious beliefs, a Jehovah's Witness cannot accept a blood transfusion. Julia and Red argue about whether or not to give the man the blood he desperately needs but the man dies on the rescue table. Moments later it is discovered that the dead man was not a Jehovah's Witness. He was a thief and the wallet identifying him was in fact stolen. This leaves Julia deeply upset. Still worried about Danny, she decides to call him at home. The conversation goes badly and alerts the wife to the possibility there might be trouble with her husband. Red admonishes Julia for getting "involved". Julia seeks advise from a priest, but still finds no answers. Oopy is acting strangely and Macy suspects that Gosia has hypnotised him. When Danny arrives at the hospital with his wife, Julia has him forcibly committed, only to be forced to release him once again when she fills out the Section Eight form incorrectly. She watches powerless as Danny leaves the hospital. Will he follow through on his threat?
Guest Cast: Anthony Grundy as Tank, Jean-Marc Russ as Peter, Aaron Blabey as Danny Haywood, Elise Greig as Heather, Norman Steiner as Priest
Sharing The Blame
Arriving at work, Harry collapses in the car park and is sped into the emergency department. Red and the others suspect heart trouble but to everybody's dismay, Harry waves them off and refuses treatment. Wayne and Gosia's ambulance is rerouted to a suburban house where a shooting has occurred. Without waiting for the police to arrive, Gosia enters the home to offer medical assistance and comes face-to-face with the gunman. Deeply concerned for Harry's health, Macy pleads with him to seek treatment for what is obviously a heart condition. Red's attempts to talk Harry around also fail. Macy confronts Gosia and orders her removes the hypnotic suggestion she implanted in Oopy as payback for his complaint against Macy. Roy, contemplating a vasectomy, quizzes Wayne on the subject. Arch and Bree go out on a dinner date. It goes poorly and early in the evening Arch is paged and must return to the hospital. Bree finishes her meal with Wayne who is coincidentally at the restaurant. Once again Harry collapses. This time it's a massive heart attack. Red and the team work to save him. They succeed.
Guest Cast: Paul Mercurio as Roy, Jean-Marc Russ as Peter, Chris Betts as Ambo Phil, Iain Gardiner as Sean, Peter Kent as X-Ray Op, Helen O'Leary as Libby.
Wayne's book: "The Ern Malley Affair" by Michael Hayward
Sharing The Blame
Red and Bree rush out to treat a small boy suffering an acute asthma attack. Against the odds, they save him. Red is concerned to discover that Harry has returned to work so soon after his heart attack. At a crisis Board meeting Harry orders Red to close his Emergency department for one week, citing budget cutbacks and overcrowding as the reasons behind the decision. Red fiercely opposes the decision and disobeys the order. With patients mounting up in the ward on by-pass, they are redirecting patients away from the hospital until they can clear the backlog. Against all reason, Red orders that the by-pass be lifted. He then kicks Harry off the ward. The staff are shocked that Red further stretches the resources of the department by accepting five critically injured car accident victims. The consequences could be lethal. Arch confronts Red. He's seen this behaviour in the Director once before, and time it proved fatal — three dead because Red miscalculated. Red ignores Arch and the five MVA patients arrive. Red leads the charge as the team pull together and work as they've never worked before. All the patients survive, but the staff are drained and in no mood to volunteer when a medivac is called in. That night, when Arch is unable to take Bree to a concert, Wayne fills in as her partner. Although Bree finds Wayne irritating, she enjoys his company when he again fills in for Arch on a date, even getting him to open himself up to life a little bit. At the end of a long and exhausting day, Red cures his loneliness by going bowling with Macy and Roy.
Guest Cast: Paul Mercurio as Roy, Jean-Marc Russ as Peter, Anthony Grundy as Tank, Andrew Buchanan as Head Injury, Jenny Hall as Burns Victim
Note: Homepage of Paco Pena
Sharing The Blame
A needle prick received while treating a patient places Julia in a difficult position when the woman, a recovering IV drug addict, refuses to give her consent for a blood test, which, under the law, can only be taken with a patient's consent. When Julia reveals her plight to Wayne, he commits an assault by forcibly taking a blood sample while the woman is sedated, recovering from minor surgery. The woman wakes and sees Wayne as he leaves the cubicle? Gosia sees him too. The blood sample comes up negative for HIV, but positive for tertiary stage syphilis, and now Julia has it too. Driven by an over-developed sense of righteousness, Julia anonymously informs the patient's GP so the woman and her son can begin receiving treatment. The following day Wayne is questioned by the police — the woman alleging he took a blood sample without consent. A charge which if can be proven, would have Wayne tried for assault. He denies everything but is arrested on the ward, in full view of his peers. While returning to the hospital with a man who has attempted suicide, Arch and Macy's medivac helicopter is forced to make an emergency landing.
Guest Cast: Paul Mercurio as Roy, Anthony Grundy as Tank, Jean-Marc Russ as Peter, Murray Shoring as Pathologist, Clarissa House as Tanya Williams, Joe Lewis as Magician ("The Incredible Bernard"), Noel Sheridan as Pilot, Laurence Hodge as Mr. Wiseman, uncredited as: Mr. & Mrs. Russell and Det. Const. Taylor
Sharing The Blame
As Wayne's court hearing nears, he readies himself to defend the charge of assault for taking a patient's blood without consent. Arch treats a man for what he believes is pneumonia. The man soon returns to the hospital at which time it is learned that what Arch believed to be pneumonia is in fact tuberculosis. All staff and patients exposed to the man must be tested for signs of the disease. Wayne pleads with Julia to testify on his behalf at the hearing. With great reluctance she does. Gosia is subpoenaed to testify as a witness for the prosecution and Wayne is worried that she could finger him with her evidence. But she doesn't. She lies to the court and the assault charge against Wayne is thrown out of court. Afterwards, Gosia tells Wayne that he owes her a favour. She's not exactly sure what the favour might be, but one day she'll call him up on it and he'd better be ready. The temporarily closure of the bathrooms in the ER causes some tense moments for Marina. Oopy's practical joke leaves him with a bad taste in his mouth. Julia confesses to Red that she caught syphilis from the woman when she pricked herself with the contaminated needle. Having the disease inside her has shaken her confidence as a doctor. Red reassures her and in a spontaneous gesture that surprises them both, they kiss.
Guest Cast: Anthony Grundy as Tank, Jean-Marc Russ as Peter, Justin Marsden as X-Ray Op, Clarissa House as Tanya, Chris Betts as Ambo Phil, Jennifer Congram as Susan Ladd, Russell Dykstra as Fitzpatrick
Sharing The Blame
Red's wife phones from Jakarta to tell him that she is pregnant — but his joy quickly turns to horror when she tells him that he's not the father. He immediately jumps on a flight to see her. Meanwhile, a medivac to remote island leaves Arch and Julia stranded by an incoming cyclone with a dying patient on their hands. With no other choice, they are forced to operate on the man in the field. Before having left for Jakarta, Red talked to Harry about his desire to have Wayne and his bad bedside manner removed from the ER, but now with Red out of the picture, Wayne seizes upon the opportunity to endear himself to Harry. Doom arrives at the hospital having just flown in from Jakarta, probably having passed Red on his way to meet her. With three doctors away from the department, Harry is called upon to take over a delicate procedure from Oopy when the ambitious young intern gets in over his head. On the medivac, with dwindling medical supplies, and no hint of the weather improving, Arch must force the pilot to fly them out despite the incredible danger. It's touch and go, but they get out and the patient survives. Red returns from his misadventure in Jakarta. In the time he's had to think, he reconciles to remain with Doom and be a father to her child.
Guest Cast: Anthony Grundy as Tank, Jean-Marc Russ as Peter, Helen O'Connor as Jane Buchanan, Pat Rooney as Lazarus, Malcolm Cork as Pilot
Note: One of two episodes to feature music other than the closing theme (Alice Cooper's "No More Mister Nice Guy") during the end credits
Sharing The Blame
Jane Buchanan is raced into Emergency suffering complications with her pregnancy. An emergency caesarean must be performed and mother and baby are saved. Red is having doubts as to whether he can accept the child as his own and admits to Macy that he may not be ready for fatherhood. While Red is on leave making a home for his wife and child, Julia is left in charge as Acting Director. Arch's commitments to his rock and roll band are interfering with his work in the department and Julia confronts him on the issue. It's also intern assessment time. Oopy is failed by Julia who accuses him of being a danger to patients, not to be outdone, Oopy take the opportunity to tell Julia just what he thinks of her. Marina becomes super worried when she hears of Oopy being failed and believes a similar fate awaits her given the fact that earlier she allowed a patient with an unstable neck fracture walk off the ward. Nonetheless Marina passes with flying colours, Julia even commends her for picking up on the patient's spinal condition as early as she did as it may have saved his life. Arch's dilemma comes into sharp focus when it becomes clear that his band is on the cusp of fame and fortune. What was once just a bit of a lark, now looks to have serious career potential. He must make a choice. Rock 'n' Roll or Medicine? He can't have it both ways and quits the band and chooses medicine. Doom's ex-lover and father of the baby telephones from New York. Red is deeply saddened. Will this 'other' man always be a presence in their lives? In the midst of this uncertainty, he does what he knows best. He goes out on a medivac and saves a life.
Guest Cast: Anthony Grundy as Tank, Jean-Marc Russ as Peter, Helen O'Connor as Jane Buchanan, David Brown as Phil, Rojan Smith as Davo
Note: the fire truck shown in this episode (like those in all later episodes) is one from the fictional West End station, the same station featured in the first season of the Brisbane-based drama series FIRE
Sharing The Blame
While driving a patient home, Marina is involved in a car accident. The patient dies and Marina blames herself. If she hadn't offered him a lift, he wouldn't have died. Her guilt is compounded by the fact that, as she later admits to Macy, she had feelings for the man. She is a Sister of Mercy, married to Jesus. Was it God punishing her for having such earthly desires? Arch finally meets Bree's family. She has been reticent of the meeting as it suggests a sense of commitment between the two, a commitment she is not ready to make to Arch. As a result, Bree calls an abrupt end to their relationship. Marina decides to quit medicine. She believes that it's God's will that she not be a doctor. Despite Julia's attempts to convince her otherwise, Marina remains firm. Red's quiet day with his wife and newborn son (Alexander) ends in tragedy when a young boy falls off a ferry and into the river. A medivac is called to rescue a stranded hiker in the Glasshouse mountains.
Guest Cast: Anthony Grundy as Tank, Jean-Marc Russ as Peter, Helen O'Connor as Jane Buchanan, Steve Nation as Rupert, Aash Aaron as MVA Dad, Elizabeth Ross as Mother, Tim McCunn as Brad Dalrymple, Kevin Hides as Bree's Dad
Note: the medivac to the Glasshouse Mountains at the end of the episode brings the series full circle as it is identical to the call at the start of the first episode.
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