Bioethics at the Box Office: Healthcare 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 resource, we offer a recap of materials relevant to healthcare 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



  • And the Band Played On (1993, PG-13)
  • Critical Care (1997, R for language and a scene of sexuality)
  • The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007, PG-13 for nudity, sexual content, and some language)
  • The Doctor (1991, PG-13)
  • Elysium (2013, R for strong bloody violence and language throughout)
  • An Enemy of the People (1978, G)
  • John Q (2002, PG-13 for violence, language, and intense thematic elements)
  • Patch Adams (1998, PG-13 for some strong language and crude humor)
  • Side Effects (2013, R for sexuality, nudity, violence, and language)



Updated December 2016