Over to you, Doc:~
Dr. Elena Gardner has long dark hair, brown eyes, and a model figure. Her looks hint at her Hispanic heritage—her father was a wealthy Mexican businessman, her mother the daughter of a US diplomat—and she definitely turns heads.
She’s been compared with Eva Longoria.
Strengths and weaknesses
Elena has the strengths exhibited by any woman who completes medical training: the ability to work hard, to focus her thoughts and efforts even when personal problems come along, and a sharp mind.
Unfortunately, she isn’t always as self-confident as she might be, especially when circumstances keep cropping up that make her doubt herself.
Elena is ambivalent about her heritage—both embarrassed and proud. Since she was reared by her mother’s sister after her parents were killed in an auto accident, she grew up as an Anglo, barely speaking any Spanish.
Your inspiration for the character
Actually, the inspiration for the story stemmed from the accusations levelled against a friend and colleague that he engaged in euthanasia of critically ill patients during the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Because I’m a native Texan and familiar with the Hispanic culture, I changed Elena to a female doctor with the mixed heritage I’ve described.
Background to the story
In addition to the story about my colleague I’ve mentioned, I was tasked with discontinuing life support after my first wife suffered a fatal stroke, so I knew the emotional turmoil involved in such a decision. That led me to think in terms that evolved into the story of Diagnosis Death: what if a doctor is accused of mercy killings, including her own husband, and despite threatening midnight phone calls and a damaged professional reputation, she won’t—or can’t—defend herself?
Thanks Doc ~ always a pleasure to have you make a house call
Relz Reviewz Extras
Character spotlight on Cathy & Will
Interview with Richard