When a man dies during bypass surgery, Quincy believes the operation was performed by resident instead of the renowned heart surgeon who was contracted to do the procedure.




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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Garry Walberg ...
John S. Ragin ...
Joseph Roman ...
Dr. Herb Martin
Al Werbin
Ted Markham
Sarah Markham
Dr. Stanley Royce (as Jose Ferrer)
Nurse Jane Mathers (as Carol Russell)


Eminent heart surgeon, Stan Royce, M.D., is one of an elite group who developed a special new procedure for patients where a plaque is inserted in the heart in an area where a side-branch divides off an artery. When the doctor's cutting-edge procedure does not save patient, Hal Markham, the Markham family asks for an autopsy. Dr. Quincy is shocked to find Markham was not treated with the new procedure, as promised, but an older version. Quincy is certain the new procedure was not done because the plaque he and Sam found in Hal Markham was in the wrong place. Dr. Quincy believes Dr. Royce is allowing one of his more gifted, but less experienced, residents (played by a young Jonathan Frakes) to perform Royce's procedures... but without Royce's supervision. Quincy is very unhappy about this state of affairs and sets out to hold these doctors to the standards to which they once swore an oath, just as any professional would do. Written by LA-Lawyer

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Drama | Mystery | Crime




Release Date:

6 October 1982 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Recycled plot with no mystery
10 January 2016 | by See all my reviews

Ghost of a Chance begins with a man undergoing heart surgery and then dying shortly after the procedure is completed. His family doesn't understand what went wrong and requests an autopsy from the Los Angeles coroner's office which Quincy (Jack Klugman) performs. During his investigation, Quincy learns that the renowned surgeon (Jose Ferrer) that was scheduled to conduct the operation was called away for another patient and a less experienced surgeon (Jonathan Frakes) acted in his place, a substitution known as a "ghost surgery". Quincy becomes very concerned by this practice and confronts the doctors and hospital where this has been taking place.

My initial reaction to this episode was that it is a recycled plot with similarities to previous episodes, one in particular being the Season 5 episode Cover-Up where an inexperienced doctor was substituting for another in an emergency care setting. In that episode we also saw a nurse acting as a whistleblower which is the exact same thing that happens in this story. For this reason and the fact that there is no crime whatsoever and very little mystery, this episode loses points in my book and makes it below average. While there are no gaping plot holes or anything actually wrong with it, it just isn't very original or interesting.

Overall this is a pretty disappointing second episode of Season 8 which features a recycled plot along with no crime or mystery and not one that I would recommend viewing.

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