Bioengagement - Spring-Summer 2019

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The promise and perils of advances in technology, science, and medicine have long been fertile fodder for creative works in literature and cinema. Consequently, a variety of resources exist exploring the realm of medical humanities as well as those providing in-depth analysis of a given cultural medium or particular artifact. This column seeks to offer a more expansive listing of contemporary expressions of bioethical issues in the popular media (fiction, film, and television)—with minimal commentary—to encompass a wider spectrum of popular culture. It will be of value to educators and others for conversations in the classroom, over a cup of coffee, at a book club, or around the dinner table. Readers are cautioned that these resources represent a wide spectrum of genres and content, and may not be appropriate for all audiences. For more comprehensive databases of the various cultural media, please visit our website at If you have a suggestion for us to include in the future, send us a note at


Alex Michaelides, The Silent Patient

(Celadon Books, 2019).

Neuroethics, Psychiatric Ethics.

Ian McEwan, Machines Like Me

(Nan A. Talese, 2019).

Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Cybernetics, Synthetic Life, Android.

Bioethics at the Box Office

The Farewell

(2019, PG for thematic material, brief language and some smoking).

End of Life, Palliative Care.

End Game

(2018, Netflix, Documentary, TV-PG).

Human Enhancement, Therapy/Enhancement, Transhumanism.

The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley

(2019, Documentary, TV-14).

Research ethics.

Primetime Bioethics



Disaster Ethics, Regenerative Medicine, Research Ethics.



Bioterrorism, Cryogenics, Disaster Ethics, Organ Trafficking, Radical Life Extension, Surrogacy.

Electric Dreams


Synthetic Life, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Free Will and Determinism.

The Hot Zone


Disaster Ethics, Pandemics, Research Ethics.



Artificial Intelligence, Synthetic Life, Human Enhancement, Brain- Computer Interface.

The Rain


Bioterrorism, Disaster Ethics, Genetic Engineering, Pandemics, Research Ethics.