Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She writes about various topics including celebrities and entertainment.
The God Committee is a Netflix film that was released in the United States on July 2, 2021. The 98-minute movie will keep you spellbound while watching it. What you see and hear will linger with you long after the credits roll.
The God Committee is not your typical Netflix movie. It is so realistic that viewers might think it is a true story, but it is not. It is not based on a book previously written. It has some flavor of a documentary, but it is not a documentary. Instead, the movie is an original story of what could happen in the same or similar circumstances in your local hospital.
While watching the movie, pay attention to the timeline. The movie moves between past events in 2014, and future events in December 2021.
The movie is called The God Committee because it is in the hand of a committee of five people to decide who will live and who will die. It is not an easy assignment for the people on the committee. They debate who should get the heart, and the vote has to be unanimous. Each patient is evaluated, and the decision becomes very difficult considering all of them have major issues that could prevent any one of them from getting the heart. The decision becomes even more complicated when the committee finds out the brilliant heart surgeon who is scheduled to perform the surgery also has a failing heart.
The movie spends a lot of necessary time showing the committee in a conference room debating back and forth about who to select. They discuss ethics, morals, and even about brides.
The committee does make a decision in the nick of time. Their choice haunted them years after their decision because of the consequences that followed.
A teenage cyclist was involved in a hit-and-run accident in Buffalo. He was airlifted to St. Augustine Hospital in New York. Doctors were not able to save his life, but his heart was in perfect condition to be given to one of four patients waiting for a transplant.
An organ transplant committee had just an hour to decide which one of the patients deserves to receive the life-saving heart. The committee struggled to make the right decision in time.
An elderly woman was at the top of the list to receive the heart. The head surgeon thought Serena Vazquez was too old to get the heart. Since she had already been approved in advance for the transplant, it was settled that she would be the one getting the life-saving heart. When the woman was being prepped for surgery, she died on the operating table even before the procedure began.
That still left three patients in dire need of the transplant. Therefore, the committee had to go back to the drawing board to decide on another recipient.
All three of the other patients had been matched, but they all had areas of concern that could keep them from receiving the transplant. The committee debates the following issues.
- Should the heart go to 59-year-old Janet Pike whose husband died on September 11, 2001? She doesn't have a family, friends, or a support system. She was extremely rude to the medical staff and had mixed feeling about getting the heart transplant.
- Should the donated heart go to Walter Curtis, a 48-year old overweight doorman with bipolar disorder who tried to commit suicide in the past? He is trying to raise and put three daughters through college.
- Should it go to Trip Granger, a young cocaine user with a history of overdosing? He battered his girlfriend when she told him she was pregnant. He is on the list even though guidelines state organs should not be transplanted in drug users. Besides, his rich father offered a $25 million grant to the hospital if his son gets the heart. In other words, should the committee allow the wealthy man to "buy" the heart for his son?
Time is running out before the heart expires. Who do you think should get it?
Don't worry. Even though someone did get the heart with consequences that followed, you must see the movie to find out who that person was and why the committee selected the individual. Even though the committee was given authority to make that decision to save a person's life, it weighed heavily on them before making the decision and years afterward. When you watch the movie, the choice you would make might not be at all what the committee decided.
If you signed up to be an organ donor with a little heart on your driver's license, this movie will mean more to you. So, pay close attention to the conversations.
The cast of The God Committee is an interesting one.
- Dr. Andre Boxer, played by Kelsey Grammer, is a brilliant heart surgeon. He himself is later found to be in need of a heart transplant. See how the committee deals with that curveball.
- Dr. Jordan Taylor, played by Julia Stiles, is Dr. Boxer's much younger lover. The two of them bump heads throughout the movie about the selection decision.
- Dr. Valerie Gilroy, played by Janeane Garofalo, is the head of the committee who tampered with Trip Granger's drug report so he could be considered.
- Father Dunbar, played by Colman Domingo, is a former disbarred lawyer for making crooked deals. He became a religious leader to keep from going to jail.
- Dr. Allen Lau, played by Peter Kim is another conflicted doctor on the committee.
- Nurse Marianne Wilkes, played by Patricia R. Floyd, is the outspoken chairperson of the meetings in the boardroom.
- Emmett Granger, played by Dan Hedaya, is a wealthy financier who wants to buy the heart for his drug-using son.