Netflix has released a bonus episode of its medical documentary series Lenox Hill, which follows the response of hospital doctors grappling, in real time, with the deadly impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The eight-part series, which follows the challenging work of four doctors at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, now includes a bonus episode released on Wednesday where they are faced with the harsh task of telling patients the worse news.
“This young man will die today from brain stem — brain death,” says Dr. John Boockvar at one point. “After having what’s called an anoxic brain injury after being told her had COVID. He went into some cardiac arrest. They treated him for three weeks, to no avail. Now his wife is there to ‘let nature take its course.'”
The half-hour episode, entitled Pandemic, follows the chronological progression of the coronavirus pandemic, stretching back to the days before lockdown measures were imposed all the way through to the recent wave of Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd in police custody.
Another aspect of the show is showing the broader impact on healthcare workers and their families, many of whom have been forced to isolate themselves from one another.
“Many of us are going through very personal and emotional changes,” explains Dr. Mirtha Macri, who is working while pregnant. “All of us have family. All of us have loved ones.”
The episode concludes with Lenox Hill health staff holding a candlelight vigil in the parking lot, where they recite the names of lost patients, family members, and coworkers.
“We had the privilege of getting to know these doctors when filming this series and we felt a deep responsibility to continue to share their stories as they navigated this unprecedented and life-changing situation,” said Ruthie Shatz and Adi Barash, executive producers and directors of the series, in a statement on the episode’s release.
“With this special episode, we wanted people to see the impact this pandemic had, and is still having, on our hospitals and healthcare workers through the eyes of people on the frontlines,” they said.