Bioethics at the Box Office - Spring 2011

No items found.
No items found.
Back to Dignitas Issue

1968-1999 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 relevant materials that have premiered on the silver screen or television between 1968 and 1999. 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

Clinical Ethics

Awakenings (Released 12/90, PG-13)

A Clockwork Orange (Released 2/72, R)

The Constant Gardener (Released 8/05, R for language, some violent images and sexual content/nudity)

Doc Hollywood (Released 8/91, PG-13)

The Doctor (Released 7/91, PG-13)

Dying Young (Released 6/91, R)

Elephant Man (Released 10/80, PG)

Heartsounds (Released 9/84, PG)

The Hospital (Released 9/72, PG-13 for thematic elements, sexual content and drug references)

Passion Fish (Released 10/92, R)

A Place for Annie (Released 5/94, PG for thematic elements and language)

Regarding Henry (Released 7/91, PG-13)

The Verdict (Released 8/82, R)


Blade Runner (Released 6/82, R for violence)

The Boys from Brazil (Released 10/78, R)

Disability Ethics

Charly (Released 9/68, PG)

Elephant Man (Released 10/80, PG)

Mask (Released 3/85, R)


Lorenzo’s Oil (Released 1/93, PG-13)

My Life (Released 11/93, PG-13 for mature subject matter)

Whose Life Is It Anyway? (Released 12/81, R)


And the Band Played On (Released 9/93, PG-13)

Critical Care (Released 10/97, R for language and a scene of sexuality)

The Doctor (Released 7/91, PG-13)

An Enemy of the People (Released 3/78)

Patch Adams (Released 12/98, PG-13 for some strong language and crude humor)

Organ Transplantation

Coma (Released 1/78, PG)

Steel Magnolias (Released 11/89, PG)

Patient’s Rights / Informed Consent / Human Dignity

Children of a Lesser God (Released 10/86, R)

Coming Home (Released 2/79, R)

Do You Remember Love? (Released 5/85, NR)

Elephant Man (Released 10/80, PG)

Good Will Hunting (Released 1/98, R for strong language, including some sex-related dialogue)

My Left Foot (Released 10/89, R)

My Life (Released 11/93, PG-13 for mature subject matter)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Released 2/76, R)

Philadelphia (Released 12/93, PG-13 for some graphic language and thematic material)

Rain Man (Released 12/88, R)

When a Man Loves a Woman (Released 3/94, R for language)

Public Health

The Insider (Released 11/99, R for language)

The Ryan White Story (Released 1/98, NR)

Reproductive Ethics

Choices of the Heart: The Margaret Sanger Story (Released 3/95, NR)

Flatliners (Released 8/90, R)

The Handmaid’s Tale (Released 3/90, R)

If These Walls Could Talk (Released 10/96, R for realistic depiction of abortions, a graphic shooting and some language)

Jurrasic Park (Released 6/93, PG-13 for intense science fiction terror)

Kids Like These (Released 11/87, NR)

Malice (Released 10/93, R for sexuality, language and some violence)

A Private Matter (Released 6/92, PG-13)