Ethical Analysis Essay:
Analyze a film’s ethical dimensions that include its characters and the story.
First, select a film of available works.
Films for Ethical Analysis Essay:

Extraordinary Measures (2010) (PG) - John Crowley is a man on the corporate fast-track, with a beautiful wife and three children. Just as his career is taking off, he learns that his two youngest kids have a fatal disease. John leaves his job and devotes himself to saving their lives. He joins forces with Dr. Robert Stonehill, a brilliant but eccentric scientist. Together they battle the medical and corporate establishment, racing against time for a cure.

Next, view the film and then write a planning document using the following subheadings:
1) Introduction
2) Ethical Analysis.
The planning document should be a minimum of 250 words in length (excluding title and references pages).

Introduction (Film Synopsis) – Recommended one paragraph

Brief film synopsis in your own words that includes the medical ethical dilemma present in the film and what happens in the film, including the ending.

Ethical Analysis – Recommended one to two paragraphs

Identify the ethical theory you have chosen to apply to the film. Briefly explain how the theory you selected applies to the film. Select one:
Virtue Ethics – Core Principles – telos, virtue, eudaimonism
Kantian Ethics – Core Principles – duty, universality, impartiality, reciprocity
Utilitarian Ethics – Core Principles – welfare, impartiality, sum-ranking, consequences
Identify the core principles of the ethical theory that apply to a medical ethical issue present in the film. Briefly explain how at least one of these core principles applies to the medical ethical issue. (You will expand upon this in the final essay and incorporate all of the core principles for your selected theory.)

APA Formatting – Your planning document must be written using APA format (including APA-approved fonts – e.g., Calibri or Times New Roman 12-point fonts). It should be double-spaced and include a title page and references page. Include in-text citations and references as needed for sources that support your work.
Required Citations and References – You will need to provide in-text citation(s) and reference for the film you select as well as course materials (media or readings) you use to inform your planning document. (USLO 7.4)

Sample Answer

Sample Answer


Ethical Analysis Essay: Exploring the Ethical Dimensions in “Extraordinary Measures”


“Extraordinary Measures” is a 2010 film that follows the story of John Crowley, a man who leaves his corporate career to save his two youngest children affected by a fatal disease. Teaming up with Dr. Robert Stonehill, a brilliant scientist, they challenge the medical and corporate norms, racing against time to find a cure. The film presents a compelling medical ethical dilemma where the pursuit of scientific breakthroughs clashes with bureaucratic hurdles and ethical considerations.

Ethical Analysis:

For the analysis of the ethical dimensions in “Extraordinary Measures,” the chosen ethical theory is Utilitarian Ethics. Utilitarianism focuses on maximizing overall welfare and promoting the greatest good for the greatest number of people. In this context, the core principles of Utilitarian Ethics – welfare, impartiality, sum-ranking, and consequences – can be applied to the medical ethical issue presented in the film.

The core principle of welfare is evident throughout the film as John Crowley prioritizes the well-being of his children above all else, even sacrificing his career and financial stability. This principle highlights the importance of considering the welfare of individuals affected by medical conditions and the moral obligation to alleviate their suffering.

Furthermore, impartiality is reflected in the actions of Dr. Stonehill and John Crowley, who strive to overcome biases and obstacles in the medical and corporate establishment to ensure equal access to potential treatments for all patients in need. By advocating for impartiality, the characters demonstrate a commitment to fairness and justice in healthcare decisions.

Moreover, the concept of sum-ranking is exemplified as John and Dr. Stonehill weigh the potential benefits and risks of experimental treatments, considering the overall outcome for their children and other patients with similar conditions. This principle underscores the complexity of decision-making in medical ethics, emphasizing the need to weigh competing interests and outcomes to achieve the greatest good.

Lastly, the emphasis on consequences in Utilitarian Ethics is central to the characters’ actions in “Extraordinary Measures.” They are driven by the potential positive outcomes of their efforts – finding a cure that could save lives and improve quality of life for individuals affected by the rare disease. By focusing on consequences, the film raises important ethical questions about risk-taking, innovation, and ethical responsibility in medical research and treatment.

In conclusion, “Extraordinary Measures” provides a compelling narrative that invites viewers to reflect on the ethical complexities inherent in healthcare decision-making. Through the lens of Utilitarian Ethics, the film challenges conventional norms and underscores the ethical imperative to prioritize welfare, impartiality, sum-ranking, and consequences in navigating medical dilemmas. The ethical analysis of this film offers valuable insights into the intersection of morality, science, and compassion in addressing life-threatening conditions.


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