Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Some Good Doctor Fans Are Confused About Dr. Shaun Still Hanging On To That Hand

Freddie Highmore's Dr. Shaun Murphy of "The Good Doctor" may have exceptional medical prowess, but there's times when his noble line of work comes back to bite him. Such is the case in Season 6, Episode 16. In this backdoor pilot for the spin-off "The Good Lawyer," the young surgeon finds himself going to court after getting sued by a former patient. The prosecution claims that Shaun committed medical malpractice several months prior by amputating the patient's hand. That's straightforward enough, but some fans were shocked to find that the doctor still had the severed hand in his possession for some strange reason.

For certain viewers, the idea that Shaun would keep a severed limb after an amputation rather than disposing of it is a bit of a leap for the series. "There's no reason they'd still have it after all this time," u/Sir__Will commented. Others felt that the plot line was contrived. "That seemed like some TV writing unrealistic BS just to make a story work. As they often do for these shows," u/aka_TeeJay wrote. "A lot of the episode was super unrealistic to a point where it became hard for me to suspend disbelief."

There's a potential explanation for Shaun's decision

While it is quite strange for Shaun to hang on to the severed hand of a patient, there may be a logical explanation that legitimizes this ostensibly ridiculous "The Good Doctor" plot point. One interpretation suggests that the doctor was following a certain alternative protocol in anticipation that a legal case would ultimately unfold against him. "The lawyer seemed a bit shady and I can imagine that because Shaun did the amputation without consent of the victim, the hospital had to conserve the severed limb for legal reasons," u/Jorg_from_The_Jungle theorized.

If Shaun and the hospital predicted that a medical malpractice case would eventually come their way, it makes sense that they would keep hold of what would eventually serve as a crucial piece of evidence. Additionally, real-world medical malpractice cases can generally take anywhere from one to six years to progress, so Shaun holding on to the hand for an extended period of time isn't completely out there.

As for whether this line of thinking stands up to scrutiny in the eyes of fans, that's still up for the debate. It certainly wouldn't be the first medical-related thing that "The Good Doctor" has gotten wrong.