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This page has been created as "fair usage" entirely to allow assessment and appreciation, by those concerned with the subject, of the unique and unprecedented portrayal of childhood transsexuality in the drama episode, especially by young people affected themselves, their relatives, friends, medical personnel, policy makers and academics. All copyrights are wholely acknowledged. Reviews

ER - Series 9, Episode 9 - Next of Kin
First transmission in USA:
  NBC, Thurs 5th December 2002, 10-11pm ET. 22.7 million viewed.
First terrestrial transmission in UK:
  Channel Four, Wed 14th May 2003, 9-10pm BST.

NBC Network, Constant C Productions, Amblin Television, Warner Bros Television;© 2002


    Noah Wyle as Dr John Carter, Chief Resident

    Mekhi Phifer as Dr Gregory Pratt, Intern

    With Michelle C Bonilla as Mary Harkins, Medical Student

    Alex Kingston as Dr Elizabeth Corday, Surgeon


by cast member Paul McCrane

One story line, transcribed, from


    Written by Dee Johnson













13 14






20 21


23 24




























49 50

51 52


Megan Ryan Vint was Morgan Brenner

It's a few weeks before Christmas in Chicago

One of the nurses from the reception desk
  of the ER calls to Dr Carter and Mary
  Harkins, a medical student.

Nurse: Double MDA. Twelve year-old kid
  with ankle deformity; driver in shock
  with abdominal trauma
Carter: Kid's vitals OK?

Nurse: Find out, they're rolling up right

In the arrivals yard a patient strapped to a
  stretcher is being taken from an ambulance

Female Paramedic: He's vomiting;
  Mr Brenner, roll over T-bone; poster boy
  for blunt trauma. BP one hundred over
Carter: Any yellow suit?

Female Paramedic: Weak at the scene. GCS 14
  so far but he keeps heaving

Nurse: Blood and urine in his pants.

Carter: Mr Brenner, I'm Dr. Carter.

Father: Morgan?

Female Paramedic: His kid's in the next rig.

Carter: Your daughter's right behind you.
  Hang in there.
Mr Brenner is wheeled into the ER.

Mary Harkins and Dr Pratt rush past to tend
  the patient in the next ambulance.

Harkins: Hi, I'm Mary. What's your name?

Morgan: Morgan.

Pratt: Where was she?

Male paramedic: Ankle deformity, no other
  injury, truck hit the driver's side.

Pratt: Where was she?

Male paramedic: Straight in the back

Morgan: Daddy says he can keep a better eye
  on me that way.

Pratt: Why, do you get into trouble?

Morgan: No, he's a worry wart.

Morgan is wheeled into the ER.


Mr Brenner is on an ER operating table.

Carter: Lateral C, spine, chest and pelvis
  to start

Father: It's just Meg...

Nurse: Normal heart sounds but decreased
  on the left

Carter: Mr B, will you open your mouth fo

Nurse: Good radio pulses

Carter: No ... fractures, mandibles stable.

Father: Mother's got...

Nurse: Vascular clamp

Carter: Oh, he's got a left veticular

Father: She doesn't understand...

Corday: This the MDA?

Carter: Yes... drop the... Check the billing.

Nurse: It's on the cite

Corday: I'm Dr Corday.I'll be assessing your 
  need for surgery.

Father: I hope not.Urg...

Corday: Tender abdomen. Hypertensive.

Nurse: Tubes going in.

Corday: Mr Brenner, you probably have damage
  to your internal organs which we will need
  to repair quickly. Is there is anyone
  you'd like us to call? Your wife?

Father: No.

Carter: His daughter's next door

Nurse: We need a cell saver for the

Nurse: I'll get it.

Father: Is it bad?

Corday: Stay with us Mr Brenner.

The nurse walks through int the adjacent ER
  treatment room where Morgan is on the
  table being tended by Dr Pratt.

Nurse: Is there a cell saver in here?

Nurse: Catch...

Nurse: BP and pulse is strong

Morgan: Is he going to be OK?

Nurse: Your father is in good hands honey.

Pratt: Yea, that's right, we've got our
  second best doctor working on him.

Morgan: Second?

Pratt: Number one is working with you isn't
  he? Looks like a distal tube fit. Let's
  get her down to X-ray.

Morgan sees her father being moved.

Morgan: Where are they taking him?

Pratt: For tests we cann't perform in ER

Harkins: Or surgery.

Dr Pratt grimaces at Harkins tactlessness
  and tries to distracts Morgan.

Pratt: You got a favourite color?

Morgan: Yea, why?

Pratt: Well, we need to put a cast on your
  ankle and we've got all the colors in the

Morgan: I like pink.

Pratt: Me too.


Nurse takes a picture of Morgan from her
  father's hands

Corday: Let's give Mr Brenner another twenty
  five .. of Phentinol.

Nurse: You've got it.

Corday: Are you comfortable?

Father: No. How long will I be out...?

Corday: First we need to identify then stop
  the haemmorage, then we may have to remove
  your spleen.

Father: No... I mean out of commission..

Corday: There's a possibility you may
  have injured your bowel. If that's the
  case it may require a pull down to
  reattach your intestines after the damage
  has healed.

Father: My daughter...

Corday: Morgan has a fractured ankle. I
  understand she's doing fine. Are you sure
  we cann't contact your wife for you?

Father: ...her...

Corday: Sorry?

Father: She left us.

Corday: Your wife passed away?

Father: No, no. She couldn't be there for
  us. She left it to me to be a Mom and Dad.


Pratt is lightly carrying Morgan in his
  arms down the main corridor, accompanied
  by Harkins. Pratt talks playfully.

Pratt: Hey, precious cargo, watch it!

Harkins: We're putting you in another bed,

Pratt: Yea, one in which we can keep an eye
  on you. From what I hear you are a

Morgan: Is there a bathroom anywhere?

Harkins: Yea, it's down the hall but I need
  to find a wheelchair.

Pratt: What she means is that they've been
  getting stolen lately.

Morgan: But I think I need to go bad.

Pratt: You better get her a bedpan then.

Morgan: And go here?

Pratt: Don't worry. We'll close the door
  and give you some privacy.

Harkins: Need some help?

Morgan: No, I think I can do it by myself.

Harkins: OK

They close the door behind them. Pratt hands
  the clipboard of notes to Harkins

Pratt: Here, ...and find the mother's
  number. Father's going to be in surgery
  for a while.

Clatter of bedpan falling.

Morgan: It's alright.

Pratt motions for Harkins to check. 
Harkins knocks on door.

Harkins: Hey Morgan, I'm coming in.

Morgan: No! Don't!

Harkins: My God! You're a boy!


Pratt: A twelve year-old crossdresser?

Harkins: All I know is that anatomically
  she's a he.

Pratt: And you're sure about that?

Harkins: I've seen my fair share of penises.
  Anyway, she's, he's pretty upset and I
  think you should speak with him.

Pratt: You called the Mom yet?

Harkins: I'm working on it.

Pratt: No, work faster.

Pratt enters room where Morgan lays on bed.
  His tone is quite different.

Pratt: Hey. How are you doing?

Morgan: I wanna see my Dad.

Pratt: He's still in surgery.

Morgan: How much longer?

Pratt: I dunno.

Pratt sits on bed.

Pratt: So what's the deal? Why are you going
  around dressed like a girl?

Morgan: Because I am one! I have the wrong

Pratt: You're a bit young to be thinking
  that way, aren't you?

Morgan: No, I always have.

Pratt: Is your dad in on this too?

Morgan: He moved us so that I can start over
  at a new school. Nobody knows.

Pratt: Well, they're going to find out
  eventually, don't you think?

Morgan: Not if we keep moving. And when I'm
  old enough I'll get the operation.

Pratt: What's your Mom have to say about

Morgan: She has a different family now.

Pratt: Look... erm... Your Dad's going to be
  a while, and we need someone to come and
  get you.

Morgan: My Dad's friend lives near us.

Pratt: No, I think your Mom would be more

Morgan: She thinks I'm a freak! Just like
  you do! Please!

Pratt: What's this friend's name?

As Pratt leaves the room Harkins is
  excitedly awaiting him just outside. As
  soon as the door is shut she demands:

Harkins: So what do we do? Who do we call?

Pratt: Don't do anything.

Pratt get's distracted and leaves the
  hospital on family business.


In the OR. Corday looking at monitor above
 body of Mr Brenner on the table.

Corday: Got to fight. Clear... Clear... You
  have a daughter who needs you, dammit.
  Charge to 300. Clear... Change the leads
  to make sure.

Nurse: It's not the leads.

Corday: Just do it. Clear.

Nurse: Still flatline.

Nurse: Leads are fine.

Corday: Milligrame of atrophine. Five more
  of ephine.

Nurse: He's oozing everywhere. No pulse.
  No pressure.

Corday: God, I hate this.


Corday walks into ER

Corday: John, I'm afraid Mr Brenner didn't
  make it. Where's his daughter?

Carter: Pratt was treating her, she might be
  in Exam.1.

Corday: Does she have family here?

Carter: Hey, Harkins, you worked on
  Brenner's kid, right?

Harkins: Yea.

Carter: Did you reach the mother?

Harkins: Dr Pratt said he was going to
  handle it.

Carter: Did he?

Harkins: I don't know. He's on a break.

Corday: Well the girl's father just died.

Harkins: Boy.

Carter: What?

Harkins: Boy. Morgan's a boy. I guess the
  proper term is transsexual.

Corday: Wait, I'm sorry?  His daughter is
  actually his son?

Harkins: Yes. I wanted to call the mother
  but Dr Pratt didn't.

Carter: Do you have the number?

Corday: Mr Brenner mentioned an

Carter: Harkins?

Harkins: Yes, I have it.

Carter: Then call. She's next of kin.


Carter goes to a woman sat in the ER
  waiting room.

Carter: Mrs Garting?

Mother: Yes, what happened?

Carter: I don't know how much you were told
  over the telephone.

Mother: Next to nothing.

Carter: Your ex-husband and your son were
  involved in a car accident. Morgan has a
  broken ankle, it's relatively minor...

Mother: Thank you Jesus.

Carter: Mr Brenner's, however, injuries
  were far more extensive...

Mother: Did he die?

Carter nods.

Mother: Oh My God.

Carter: I understand it's been some time
  since you've seen Morgan?

Mother: Three years.

Carter: And are you, erm... Are you aware
  that he's been living as a girl?

Mother: His father and I disagreed on how to
  handle that. Morgan wanted to live with
  his Dad, so I didn't fight it.

Carter: Morgan hasn't been told about
  his father's death.

Mother: I cann't be the one. I'm sorry..

Carter: It's OK, I can take care of that for
  you. I do think it would be better if you
  were there.

Mother: OK. Ah...

Carter: Morgan's going to need crutches for
  about six weeks. There's chance he may
  require a little physical therapy.
  Otherwise he should recover fully.

Mother: Good.

Carter opens door to examination room.
Morgan sees Mother.

Carter: Morgan...

Morgan shakes her head.

Morgan: What's wrong?

Mother: Honey...

Morgan: What are you doing here? Where's
  my Dad?

Carter: Morgan, your Dad was hurt very badly
  in the accident.

Morgan: No!

Carter: We did what we could for him here
  and then he went up to an operating

Morgan: No!

Carter: They worked on him for a very long
  time in the hope that his heart would
  start pumping again...

Morgan: No!!

Carter: But it didn't, and he died.

Morgan: No! No! No!!!


Mother moves to hold Morgan.
Mother: It's going to be OK. I'll take care
  of you. I'll take care of everything.

Carter looks on as Morgan weeps.


Pratt returns to the ER.

Pratt: Hi Perry, talk to me, what did I

Perry: Security stopped a guy with a cross-
  bow coming in, Yosh forgot to put Connie's
  icecream cake in the freezer and Carter
  was wondering where the hell you'd been.

Pratt reads the case allocations board.

Pratt: I had business to attend to. Hey
  the diabetic ulcer in one?

Harkins: And Mr Burns got moved up to the

Pratt: Perfect. And Mr Brenner back
  from surgery yet?

Harkins: He exsanguinated in OR.

Pratt: What?

Harkins: He died about an hour ago.

Pratt: Where's Morgan?

Harkins: With his Mom, I think.

Pratt: I thought I told you not to do

Harkins: You weren't here! What was I
  supposed to do?

Pratt: You were to follow simple
  instructions Harkins.

Harkins: I did, from Carter!

Pratt pushes open door to examination room

Pratt: What are you doing?

Camera pans to show Mother cropping Morgan's
  hair. Morgan is in tears.

Mother: I cann't take him home this way.

Pratt: Please, put down the scissors.

The sound of the scissors cutting
  hair continues.


Mother: His stepfather will never accept

Pratt: You do not need to do this.

Mother: It's my right. He's my little boy.
  I'm doing this for him. It's the best


Morgan looks at Pratt. Pratt looks back,
  rocking on his heels. Stricken.


Fade to black.


In the doctors' restroom. Carter is writing
  notes. Pratt enters.

Carter: Taking off?

Pratt: Have to make up time. Seems I took
  too long over break

Carter: Cann't just leave.

Pratt: I signed out.

Carter: The break sheet said for ten minutes
  in the hospital You were gone for over
  an hour. Look, you weren't here, so I over
  rode your order to Harkins, but it's not
  like I had much of a choice.

Pratt: No, you could have waited. You could
  have paged me. You could have respected
  the kid's wishes.

Carter: He's a minor.

Pratt: You could have called social services

Carter: To do what, remove him from the
  home? Hey, I feel bad about what happened
  too. Like it or not, she's his only

Pratt: Define family.


Pratt emerges into corridor to see Morgan
  being pushed in wheelchair by mother, with
  step-father and step-brother dourly at her
  side, leaving, with cropped hair, dressed in 
  boys' clothes. A blue flannel shirt and dark
  blue bodywarmer so different to the cerise
  and flowered jacket, and lavender tops
  in which she arrived only hours before.

The reception staff watch, clearly aware
  of everything that has happened.

Pratt stands, hands in pockets, deeply 

Morgan's eyes follow Pratt as they pass.
  The look is of infinite sadness, emptiness, 


Megan Ryan Vint, credited as Megan Vint, has previously been seen in the 12 minute short On the Way Home, directed by Ben Spector, and as Karen in the episode 'Hells Bells' of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which first aired in the USA on 5th March 2002.

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