Law & Order Criminal Intent - Attempted Suicide by Anaphylaxis

Posted on: Sun, 11/16/2003 - 12:27pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I never like seeing shows where anaphylaxis has been shown as a way to murder someone, but it's always been the consensus here that at least people are becoming aware of food allergies.

Tonight, watching Law & Order, Criminal Intent, one of my favourites.

A young man with a group of three female followers, all 17 years of age. They have committed a horrendous crime and one of the girls decides to commit suicide to take the fall for everyone. She is allergic to shellfish. She works at a dog shelter where one of the ingredients in an arthitis supplement for the dog food is shellfish.

She decides to ingest it, go into anaphylactic shock and die.

The detectives figure it out and rush to the scene of where it is happening. The girl is found, barely conscious, but still breathing.
That was all that was really covered. No mention of an Epi-pen, etc.

The next scene, she's in the hospital with a mask over her face to facilitate breathing but she is able to speak with the detectives.

I didn't care for it.

I understand it's TV. I understand that even if it wasn't TV, this was a very troubled young woman. But still..... [img][/img]

Is a positive message really getting out there or are there some really horrible images coming into people's minds that they might not have had before (i.e., murder, suicide)?

As always, when I see anaphylaxis on a show, I feel mixed.

This is the second time in my watching of this particular Law & Order - Criminal Intent, that anaphylaxis has been included in the story line.

Best wishes! [img][/img]


Posted on: Mon, 11/17/2003 - 12:57am
Kathy L.'s picture
Joined: 07/30/1999 - 09:00

I knew you'd be the first one to comment on this! I watched it too, and it bothered me about no mention of an epi-pen. But worse yet, it gives people an idea - murder by food. The other thing that bothered me - this girl handled this dog food additive made with shellfish yet was anaphylactic to it. When the detectives were at the station looking at medical cases involving anaphylaxis, the female detective mentioned the case of a woman who died after her boyfriend kissed her right after he at shrimp. So it would stand to reason that the dogs would lick her and she could be contaminated by it.
Only people who really know about food allergies would notice these things. Even if the producers had someone on staff that would point these things out, they might not mention it in the storyline for whatever reason. Then the misinformation gets perpetuated again and again.

Posted on: Mon, 11/17/2003 - 11:59am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Kathy L., why would I be the first one to notice/mention this? Because I am a TV addict? [img][/img]
I'm actually glad that you remembered the parts that I didn't - the discussion at the police station and the reactions that other people had had.
The very first time I saw anaphylaxis in a show was on Nash Bridges where someone put peanut oil in a PA person's liquor drink to kill them. I was aghast.
However, each time I post about these things here, it has been the general consensus that at least it gets people talking about anaphylaxis.
Me, I'm just really uncomfortable. I don't know if it gets them talking in the wrong way about anaphylaxis (i.e., how to kill someone or worse yet how to kill oneself).
Also, you made some other excellent points that I hadn't made. The girl was working with the supplement daily despite her allergy.
I'm glad you saw the show as well because you posted a heckuva lot more information than I did about what actually was said in the show.
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Fri, 11/21/2003 - 3:00am
Kathy L.'s picture
Joined: 07/30/1999 - 09:00

I knew you'd post about this show because you're always very observant. I agree too that while these shows raise awareness, they always leave out crucial bits of information that perpetuates the mis-information.

Posted on: Sat, 11/22/2003 - 5:59am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Kathy L., I agree with you. It's like the post I made about The District last week and how the parents of the PA child said that he was allergic to peanut butter. Cam's Mom has posted her response in that particular thread and it does show how our families/friends can maybe not "get it" particularly if they're mis-informed not only in their lives but then through watching television shows.
The Law & Order Criminal Intent last year where anaphylaxis was mentioned, the person just dropped dead on the spot. I forget what he was allergic to (it was an FA), but he just dropped dead. Nothing else. And to me, to see that was frightening.
I think if you're going to mention it, mention it well and perhaps yes, get people talking about it.
Now, the shows that I mostly post about seeing PA mentioned in are dramas, cop shows, etc. so I guess that's why I'm seeing it as a murder thing or in this case a suicide thing whereas the sitcoms handle PA in a much different manner (and not all of them are doing a great job either IMHO).
It's difficult, but I do wish they could get the information correct.
I still have to find the website for people to write to re The District. I really do feel that it is a show that may handle food allergies well. I can't remember now if they handled Nancy's Huntington's Disease when she was first diagnosed well or not.
I'll see if they have a particular *issue* tonight when I watch it where they provide stats or further information.
Best wishes! [img][/img]

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