Friday, October 17, 2008

Movies with ethics themes?

So -- I'm not so good with current movies... but, I'm teaching an ethics class and a medical ethics class in the evenings next semester.

I'd like to show some movies and talk about them.... especially since these are three hour classes and talking for three hours sucks, both for me and them.

So -- I'm looking for movies that present ethical problems and/or cover applied ethics topics.

Finding movies to fit into my regular ethics classes isn't too hard ---- but I'd like your suggestions anyway.

Finding Medical Ethics movies is more difficult... euthanasia is well-covered, but the rest of the topics, not so much so.

I'll need to make book order decisions soon, so having an idea about topics that will correlate with movies would be helpful.

15 comments:

Anastasia said...

a friend of mine has used the emperor's club for his ethics class.

medical ethics...hmmm. That's harder. I feel like I have a good, non-euthanasia related suggestion but I can't think of what it is. I'll think about it and let you know.

Anastasia said...

OH! It was Lorenzo's Oil.

Minnesota Matron said...

How about Lorenzo's Oil? This is about a mom (Susan Sarandon) and father (can't remember) seeking a cure for their son's terminal disease? Rent? Everybody's sick and dying of AIDS in that one, and can't afford an apartment. I'll think some more.

Okay - what conference? Give me a name and date. I'd love to meet you and wish you hair.

petri017@umn.edu

julie said...

Would _The Laramie Project_ be too obvious? The college already has it. And it's not as easy-to-categorize as a person might imagine.

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

I like the Laramie Project for Ethics.. because it is a good question about whether or not we should have hate-crime legislation... how can we really say that what they did to Matthew Sheppard was somehow worse because they didn't like the fact that he was gay? What they did to him was terrible in and of itself..

Lorenzo's Oil is an interesting option because the parents experiment on themselves when the medical establishment isn't working fast enough. It also shows the power / non-power of special interest groups (parents)

I like Rent because it gives a diversity element for medical ethics and raises a good number of the economic problems that aren't covered often enough.

Anastasia said...

lorenzo's oil father = nick nolte. not that anyone was asking. :)

Brian said...

While the length and subtitles and pace of the film might render it too much for a class, the Romanian film "The Death of Mr. Lazarescu" is excellent in this regard: it takes a journey through their health care system as we follow Lazarescu and his illness. Much of it could be used to raise questions about our own system.

meteechart said...

I recommend Genghis Cohn.

It's a dark comedy about a Jewish comedian murdered in a concentration camp who comes back as a ghost and haunts his former captor with a mission pf converting him to Judaism.

It's far and above the funniest "German guilt" movie I've ever seen.

OK, it's the only funny one I've ever seen.

Seeking Solace said...

I have used One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest for language (What does it mean to be mentally ill) and Philadelphia.

Other good ones that are not medical ethics include The Matrix, Training Day and Crash.

Barbara said...

What about One True Thing? Great cast, and addresses not just the issues of assisted suicide and cancer, but the obligations of the children of terminally ill parents to give up their time and even career to care for the ill parent.

Anastasia said...

I came back to say PH suggested one flew over the cuckoos nest but seeking solace beat me to it. :)

PHLWFL said...

"Gone Baby Gone" raises an excellent moral dilemma in its third act.

"Extreme Measures" raised some medical ethics issues as I recall.

Kimberley said...

Midnight in the Garden of good and evil

seven pounds

tolivar said...

A really good ethical movie is Miss Everes Boys, it's about the Tuskeege Syphillis Study. It brings up great debates in class after the movie....

NurseMike said...

How about the Shootist with John Wayne... dying man who chooses how he will go out - great scene with Jimmy Stewart as the local doc