Primetime Bioethics: Public Health 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 public health that have premiered on television. Viewers are cautioned that the shows represent a wide variety of genres and may not be appropriate for all audiences. They are encouraged to read annotations/synopses available through such websites as or If there is a show you think we missed, email us at


Public Health

  • The 100 (2014–2020, TV-14)
    • Set ninety-seven years after a nuclear war has destroyed civilization, when a spaceship housing humanity's lone survivors sends one hundred juvenile delinquents back to Earth, in hopes of possibly re-populating the planet (IMDB description).
    • (Topics: Disaster Ethics, Genetic Engineering, Human Experimentation, Neuroethics, Research Ethics)
  • 3% (2016–2020, TV-MA)
    • A post-apocalyptic thriller set in near-future Brazil, where a select few are allowed to join a privileged society after undergoing an intense and competitive process (IMDB description).
    • (Topics: Disaster Ethics, Regenerative Medicine, Research Ethics)
  • Anon (2018, TV-MA)
    • In a world without anonymity or crime, a detective meets a woman who threatens their security (IMDB description).
    • (Topics: Augmented Reality, Cognitive Enhancement, Neuroethics, Privacy, Technology & Society)
  • Ascension (2014, TV-MA)
    • A young woman's murder causes the subjects of a century-long mission to populate a new world to question the true nature of the project as they approach the point of no return (IMDB description)
    • (Topics: Consent, Eugenics, Population Control, Research Ethics)
  • Between (2015–2016, TV-14)
    • After a mysterious disease kills every resident over 22 years old, survivors of a town must fend for themselves when the government quarantines them (IMDB description).
    • (Topics: Bioterrorism, Disaster Ethics, Research Ethic)
  • Blacklist (2013–present, TV-14)
    • A new FBI profiler, Elizabeth Keen, has her entire life uprooted when a mysterious criminal, Raymond Reddington, who has eluded capture for decades, turns himself in and insists on speaking only to her (IMDB description).
    • (Topics: Bioterrorism, Cryogenics, Disaster Ethics, Organ Trafficking, Radical Life Extension, Surrogacy)
  • Taken (2017–2018, TV-14)
    • As former CIA agent Bryan Mills deals with a personal tragedy that shakes his world, he fights to overcome the incident and exact revenge (IMDB description).
    • (Topics: Bioterrorism, Organ Trafficking)
  • The Hot Zone (2019, TV-14)
    • The frightening spread of the EVD (Ebolavirus) (IMDB description).
    • (Topics: Disaster Ethics, Pandemics, Research Ethics)
  • The Rain (2018–2020, TV-MA)
    • After a brutal virus wipes out most of the population, two young siblings embark on a perilous search for safety (IMDB description).
    • (Topics: Bioterrorism, Disaster Ethics, Genetic Engineering, Pandemics, Research Ethics)



Updated Summer 2019