5

In the Voyager series, the Borg drone Seven of Nine is captured and reverted to a more or less human state when the Doctor removes her implants.

What would have happened, to both Seven and the removed implants if the Doctor had chosen not to remove them? Would they have been rejected? Would she have stayed Borg?

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    I remember very vaguely something along the lines of "human physiology" and "reject implants" but I don't recall from which episode or in what context. If I remember more I'll try to cough up an answer. – bitmask Apr 12 '12 at 20:04
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    According to his counterpart in First Contact, she probably would have had a severe skin irritation and he probably would have prescribed an appropriate analgesic cream. – Praxis May 16 '15 at 17:29
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In the stories immediately following "Scorpion", it's made fairly clear that Seven would die if the implants were not removed. The implants depended upon constant contact with the collective to continually adapt to the host body and prevent biological rejection of foreign matter. Without that contact, her body was attempting to reject the material, but it was so deeply entwined with her biological systems that the rejection would have killed her.

The Doctor was only able to save her by not just removing the implants but replacing biological systems that had been too tightly entwined (or completely replaced) by implants. Even then, of course, there was still severe psychological trauma at having been removed from the collective, which required constant attention from both the Doctor (who was really not much of a shrink but legally the only one qualified) and Janeway (who more or less adopted Seven as her responsibility, having ordered the plug to be pulled on her connection with the collective).

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If I remember right, shortly after she was disconnected from the Collective, some implants stopped working. This resulted in her human immune system powering up, which of course tried to get rid of most of the implants. If the Doctor wouldn't remove them, they would get forcefully rejected, resulting in her death.

Halfway through the procedure Janeway visits here and the Doctor states those problems and why he started to remove the implants. Seven counters his arguments that this would not be acceptable, and if death would follow, so be it. Janeway overrules that decision of course and so the Doctor proceeds (later bragging on how perfectly he created her replacement eye).

See Act Two of The Gift.

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