Quincy M.E.: Season 7, Episode 13

For Love of Joshua (3 Feb. 1982)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Mystery | Crime
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 17 users  
Reviews: 3 user

When a baby with Down Syndrome is denied medical care after birth and allowed to starve to death, Quincy must determine if the death was from natural causes or if the attending physician had a different agenda.



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Title: For Love of Joshua (03 Feb 1982)

For Love of Joshua (03 Feb 1982) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Garry Walberg ...
John S. Ragin ...
Danny Tovo (credit only)
Joseph Roman ...
Anna Krushevitz
Dr. Ellerick
Larry Krushevitz
Dr. Solomon
Mrs. Marguiles
Jenny Sherman ...
Mrs. Darnell
Howard Darnell
Nurse Melanie Dumont (as Nancy Grahn)
Dr. Barbara Ludow


When a baby with Down Syndrome is denied medical care after birth and allowed to starve to death, Quincy must determine if the death was from natural causes or if the attending physician had a different agenda.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Mystery | Crime





Release Date:

3 February 1982 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

A good episode but one that takes preachiness to new heights.
27 May 2013 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

I have mixed feelings about "For Love of Joshua". On one hand, it's one of the preachiest episodes of a preachy series I have seen. Its message, at times, is quite heavy-handed. But, on the other, the show is one that packs a nice emotional wallop--so have a Kleenex nearby just in case.

The show is about eugenics--the 'science' about improving human breeding stock! It begins with a doctor (Allan Arbus) ordering a sickly baby with Down's Syndrome being refused all treatment. He reasons that the kid has a lot of medical problems and is better off just dying and he convinces the parents that withholding all treatment would be for the best! Another doctor (Colleen Dewhurst) learns about this and is horrified--but she is too late to save the baby. What follows is a show about the value of people with Down's Syndrome. Much of the message is administered with a sledge hammer (it's ain't subtle) and the ending is vaguely unsatisfying. And, there are a few logical errors (such as placing so much importance on one young adult and his transition to independent living). But, the show also brings up some excellent points about the value in ALL people and you can't help but believe it wasn't sincere. Overall, I enjoyed it but wished the show had actually resolved the idea of euthanizing the mentally handicapped and had been a bit more subtle.

A few things to look for are the very nice acting job by the young man with Down's, the profuse use of words that are definitely NOT correct in the 21st century, the third appearance of Tyne Daly on the show as well as the patronizing way Dewhurst's character sometimes refers to the folks with Down's (such as promoting the 'happy children myth'--that ALL such individuals are deliriously happy and almost angelic*). I think the show was a bit ahead of its time--so I tend to forgive some of its excesses.

*In college, I worked in several group homes with adults with various developmental disabilities (including many with Down's). The idea that they are all sweet and happy tends to take away from the humanity of these folks--making them an unrealistic stereotype and making them seem like children not adults with adult needs and adult responsibilities.

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