“Professor, have you ever cried when your patient died?”
Saito is currently undergoing training at the Cardiology department as an attending physician for a patient with unstable angina. After he’s been ordered to hide the fact that the patient requires immediate surgery, distrust begins to grow between them. From there on, a desperate fight for resistance inside Saito begins, asking himself over and over again about what it means to become a doctor.
Give My Regards to Black Jack is not an uplifting, ‘feel good’ medical manga. Saito Eijiro, a resident at a large university hospital, spends his time mired in ethical dilemmas and the dark side of practicing medicine in Japan (at least when this was published in 2002). The first volume looked at inadequacies built into the heath care system, and here Sato examines how doctors can be corrupt within that system while concentrating on the cardiology department.
Doctors withholding needed care, asking for bribes – it’s awful, gut-wrenching stuff. The volume does end on a high note, but I don’t fully believe the one good doctor’s character arc. His reasoning for refusing to operate any more makes sense, but the reason he comes back is mushy.
I have to spread these volumes out to give my (figurative) heart time to recover, but I’m definitely picking up the next volume. Saito is going to pediatrics, eep. I should stock up on tissues now.