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Sympathy is an emotion wherein an individual can share the feelings of another. This emotion can follow protectiveness, which is another emotion. Federation doctors were trained to feel compassion and sympathy for a patient. Warrior species were known to have few sympathies, but they did possess sympathy for families. (TOS: "The Cage"; TAS: "Yesteryear"; DS9: "Hippocratic Oath")
In 2377, Iden tortured the Emergency Medical Hologram. The EMH asked Iden if the torture was an attempt to gain his sympathy. No, said Iden, it was to gain an understanding of Iden's plight. After coming to the belief that these people were being oppressed, the EMH came to their defense and began feeling sympathy. In a conversation with B'Elanna Torres, the EMH attempted to make a direct equivalency between his sympathy for these people and Torres' sympathy for the Maquis. Torres responded that an individual can't switch allegiances just because they feel sympathy for a cause. EMH countered her statement by saying that was exactly what Torres did when she joined the Maquis. (VOY: "Flesh and Blood")