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Kidnapped Doctor

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Hoban Washburne: I went by the sheriff's office. Seems if we had checked the posted alerts for this rock, we might've known it. Settlers in the hills take people sometimes. Usually tradesmen and the like.
Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: And now they got themselves a doctor. And we don't.
Firefly, "Safe"

If your friend is injured and can't go to hospital, why not make hospital come to you? Kidnap a doctor and force him to treat your friend.


This plot can be seen from both sides. The doctor may be a protagonist and his kidnappers are bad guys, most likely criminals. Or the hero may be the kidnapper because he is on the run from the law (perhaps he is a Vigilante Man in distress) and can't get help officially.

Patient-Doctor relationship adds additional complexity to the story. The doctor may suffer Conflicting Loyalties: on one side, he has to report his actions (specially if he's treating a gunshot injury), but on the other, the Hippocratic Oath would require him to help as best as he can. Being outside a hospital may make things more complicated, as the doctor does not have access to his regular tools and may have to resort to a lot of MacGyvering to compensate. And, of course, there's also the risk that the criminals may decide to Leave No Witnesses once the doctor has outlived his usefulness.


Compare Back-Alley Doctor, for doctors who are not dragged into this situation, but actually work that way in a regular basis. A Kidnapped Scientist is similarily kidnapped by the bad guys to make the science work that the bad guys do not understand.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Monster: The protagonist is a doctor - a surgeon, at that - but he's also on the run from the law due to being framed as a serial killer. Thus, he sometimes wind up working as a Crime Doctor of sorts, including situations like these.
  • Black Jack: Some mobsters force their way into the eponymous doctor's remote clinic and threaten to kill him unless he fixed their boss's gunshot-wound.

    Comic Books 
  • In the Batman comics, Dr Thomas Wayne (father of Bruce Wayne) was once kidnapped away from a masquerade party to treat the wounds of gangster Lew Moxon.
  • Sensation Comics: Dr. Pat was kidnapped by smugglers to get her to treat their leader's injury, which she does, and try to force her to perform plastic surgery on him. She pretends to be getting ready to comply with this second request and drugs them all and hands them over to the coast guard.

    Fan Works 
  • In The Healer's Touch, Ann and several other medical experts are kidnapped by a wealthy criminal who wants to lobotomize his son in order to harden his personality.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Des hommes et des dieux: The Islamic militants show up at the monastery intent on doing this. Christian manages to talk them out of it, and they later show up with one of their wounded instead.
  • Saw III: Jigsaw's apprentice kidnaps a doctor named Lynn and fits her with an Explosive Leash to force her to treat (and later perform cranial surgery on) the terminally ill cancer-ridden Jigsaw. Which was just one reason for her kidnapping, as Lynn is also married to Jeff, Jigsaw's latest karmic victim, and he wanted to put Jeff through a Secret Test of Character.

  • In Norbert Wiener's short story "The Brain", a gangster's mooks summon a doctor to perform urgent surgery on their leader, who got hit in the head (allegedly in a car crash). Since the gangster's driving had already cost the doctor his family, he takes the opportunity to perform a quick lobotomy, leading to the gang being wiped out during the next robbery.
  • Heralds of Valdemar: In Owlsight, Ghost Cat clan comes to Valdemar in search of the legendary Valdemaran Healers for their sick children, and were prepared to kidnap some if other methods of getting a Healer to accompany them didn't work. Several Healers get into an argument over whether Healer's Oath demands they head off to the Ghost Cat encampment despite the risk of kidnapping.
  • Honor Harrington: In Storm from the Shadows, during the post-Battle of Monica standoff, Monican authorities demand Terekhov let them evacuate "ill" personnel from a space station. Terekhov suspects this is a bluff note , but doesn't want to send a medical team to the station — even if the illness is real, the Monicans are certain to take the Manticoran doctors prisoner.
  • The The Indian in the Cupboard series has an unusual variant—the eponymous cupboard can bring plastic figures to life by transporting real people through time. When some of the people transported this way are injured, Omri uses the cupboard to animate a hospital nurse and a World War I combat medic to treat their wounds.
  • Star Wars Legends: In Darth Bane, Bane and Zannah each force a renowned healer, Caleb, to tend to Bane at various times with threats to his family. In Bane's case, he spares Caleb's life afterwards expecting he may need the healer's services again, but Zannah kills Caleb as part of a ruse to make the Jedi think the Sith are finally gone for good.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Lost, The Others kidnap Jack in hopes of getting him to operate on a tumor in Ben's spine.
  • In Sanctuary, group of criminals kidnapped Dr. Will Zimmerman and forced him to treat their boss. Not a wise choice, by the way
  • In an episode of Firefly, Simon, their doctor, is kidnapped by a village on a rural planet to tend their people and live there forever. He isn't very happy about it.
  • Prison Break: After the "Fox River 8" escape the titular penitentiary, T-Bag gets his hand cut off when he cuffs himself to Michael. He later takes a veterinarian hostage to force him to stitch it back on despite the man's protests that he's trained to treat animals, not people. T-Bag kills him when he's finished anyway.
  • In an episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Sarah kidnaps an ER physician after being shot in the leg. She quickly wins over the doctor by making her think that she's fleeing an abusive man.
  • The Diagnosis: Murder episode "Murder on the Run" has Dr Mark Sloan being taken hostage by a convicted murder who ended up in Community General Hospital following a prison transport crash. Mark later has to perform impromptu surgery on him when the broken rib he suffered during the crash punctures his lung.
  • Veil from Into the Badlands was kidnapped by the Widow and her Butterflies after she sustained a life-threatening injury after a duel with Sunny.
  • V1983. When Willy is injured, the humans have no idea how to treat him so kidnap a Visitor medical student. Fortunately he turns out to be a member of the Fifth Column (which they had assumed had been purged) so is more sympathetic than they expected.
  • Played with in The Fugitive. As the protagonist is a doctor on the run from the authorities, he sometimes encounters people who hold him against his will or threaten to turn him in unless he works for them as a Back-Alley Doctor.
  • Deep Space Nine. Played with when Dr Bashir is captured by a unit of Jem'Haddar soldiers who are entirely willing to execute him on the spot until he reveals that he's a doctor. Turns out these Jem'Haddar are renegades who are looking for a cure for the addictive substance that keeps them Slave Mooks.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise. The Klingons kidnap Dr Phlox to force him to work on their Super Soldier program, which has run into a few setbacks. Because Klingon Scientists Get No Respect their medical knowledge is not as advanced as that of other planets, but their own doctors can't just ask for help because the Warrior Caste would see it as being weak, dishonorable and exposing their vulnerabilities to their enemies.
  • Inadvertently done on ER, when Carol is taken hostage during a convenience store robbery. The perpetrators don't know she's a nurse until she identifies herself in order to treat those who are injured. In a later episode, this is played completely straight when gang members kidnap Abby so that she can treat one of them.

    Video Games 

    Western Animation 
  • In the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Paging the Crime Doctor", Leslie Thompkins is kidnapped to perform an emergency surgery on Rupert Thorne.
  • This has happened to Billy Quizboy in The Venture Bros. more than once. He's a Back-Alley Doctor, and yet his patients still prefer to just grab him and go. It helps that he's basically travel-sized and can be easily carried around in a potato sack.


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