Bioethics at the Box Office: Clinical Ethics Edition


CBHD often receives requests from educators and other individuals for popular resources that engage bioethics through various media (fiction, film, and television). In this edition, we offer a recap of materials relevant to clinical ethics that have premiered on the silver screen or television. Readers are cautioned that the films represent a wide variety of genres and may not be appropriate for all audiences. The reason for the rating classification is provided where available. Viewers are encouraged to read annotations/synopses available through such websites as or If there is a film you think we missed, email us at


Clinical Ethics

  • Awakenings (1990, PG-13) 
  • A Clockwork Orange (1972, R)
  • The Constant Gardener (2005, R for language, some violent images and sexual content/nudity)
  • Doc Hollywood (1991, PG-13)
  • The Doctor (1991, PG-13)
  • Dying Young (1991, R)
  • Elephant Man (1980, PG)
  • Extreme Measures (1996, R for violence, language, some nudity, and graphic ER activity)
  • Heartsounds (1984, PG)
  • The Hospital (1972, PG-13 for thematic elements, sexual content and drug references)
  • K-Pax (2001, PG-13 for a sequence of violent images, brief language, and sensuality)
  • Losing Isaiah (1995, R for drug related material and brief strong language)
  • Miss Evers’ Boys (1997, PG for theme and related elements)
  • My Sister’s Keeper (2009, PG-13 for mature thematic content, some disturbing images, sensuality, language, and brief teen drinking)
  • Passion Fish (1992, R)
  • A Place for Annie (1994, PG for thematic elements and language)
  • Regarding Henry (1991, PG-13)
  • Side Effects (2013, R for sexuality, nudity, violence, and language)
  • Something the Lord Made (2004, NR)
  • The Verdict (1982, R)


Patient’s Rights / Informed Consent

  • Children of a Lesser God (1986, R)
  • Coming Home (1979, R)
  • Do You Remember Love? (1985, NR)
  • Elephant Man (1980, PG)
  • Erin Brockovich (2000, R for language)
  • Good Will Hunting (1998, R for strong language, including some sex-related dialogue)
  • The Intouchables (2012, R for language and some drug use)
  • Iris (2001, R)
  • Miss Evers’ Boys (1997, PG for theme and related elements)
  • My Left Foot (1989, R)
  • My Life (1993, PG-13 for mature subject matter)
  • Normal (2003, NR)
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1976, R)
  • Philadelphia (1993, PG-13 for some graphic language and thematic material)
  • Rain Man (1988, R)
  • When a Man Loves a Woman (1994, R for language)



Updated December 2016