Hazel McHaffie

Playing God

Playing GodAs a writer in the field of medical ethics myself, it behoves me to know how others portray these issues in fiction, whether they be script writers or novelists, so I’ve been keeping a tally for many years now.

The authors and editor of Playing God: Talking about Ethics in Medicine and Technology have clearly travelled a similar path, and it was this little book recently that took me back to my lists and collection of DVDs.

The sheer number of films surprised me, so by way of a change I thought I’d give you a summary of those I’ve noted which contribute an angle on the topics that fascinate me – alphabetically rather than supposed order of importance. Where possible I’ll link to the official trailers to give you a glimpse of what they’re like.

 

 

abortion:

Vera Drake

The Cider House Rules

assisted conception:

Seeds of Deception

Maybe Baby (link to trailer not permitted in the UK)

cloning:

The Island

Godsend

decisions about treatment:

Dying Young

The Theory of Everything

dementia:

The Notebook

Iris

Away from Her

The Savages

Still Alice

disease control:

Formula for Death

drug use/misuse:

Limitless

Color me Perfect

euthanasia/assisted death:

The Sea Inside

Million Dollar Baby

Amour

human experimentation:

Extraordinary Measures

The Manchurian Candidate

A Clockwork Orange

The Stepford Wives

medical paternalism/informed consent:

First Do No Harm

mental illness:

A Beautiful Mind

A Dangerous Method

All She Ever Wanted

Rain Man

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime

Silver Linings Plaything

organ transplantation:

Coma

Dirty Pretty Things

 patient rights and medical malpractice:

Talk to Her

research malpractice:

Mortal Fear

saviour siblings/designer babies:

My Sister’s Keeper

Gattaca

Wow! I’d have really appreciated this steer when I started out! But there again, maybe I value them more because I’ve accumulated them slowly over the years. If you know of others please do let me know. Just add a comment to this post or contact me via my website. DVDs

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2 Responses to “Playing God”

  • Heather Sutton says:

    Just thought you might like to know there was a telemovie in the 1980s about abortion (my area of interest) called Roe vs Wade starring Hollie Hunter. It was a very famous case in 1971 that opened the way for mid trimester abortions to be performed in America. It was at a time when there was a lot of conflict about abortion. Roe was Norma McCorvey
    ‘The interesting thing about this case is that Norma McCorvey has since come forward and changed sides on the abortion debate. In 1997, McCorvey started Roe No More, a pro-life outreach organization’. http://edition.cnn.com/2013/11/04/us/roe-v-wade-fast-facts/ (Ref)

    • Hazel says:

      Thanks for the update, Heather. All helps to underline the complexity and emotional toll these dilemmas present in real life.

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