Helmed by Austin Stark, the medical drama thriller movie ‘The God Committee’ toys with morality as much as mortality. But in the end, the narrative rests its case on the deeply flawed nature of human society. When the expected death of a patient opens avenues for three others, the doctors at the titular committee get to play God and decide the fate of the patients.
Dr. Boxer plays a pivotal role in the decision, and six years later, his start-up researches cross-species transplants. But as the past mingles with the present, fate brings Dr. Boxer to a crossroads. Kelsey Grammer and Julia Stiles essay central roles in the drama. The story conceals grim anxiety, and the cautionary tale packs an allegory. However, you may have wondered whether the story is tethered to reality. In that case, let us probe into the matter.
Is The God Committee Based on A True Story?
No, ‘The God Committee’ is not based on a true story. The movie does not claim to be based on reality either. Although, the black-and-white photographs at the beginning and the end give the fictional plot a realistic makeover, as they seemingly chart the progress of medical science. Austin Stark developed the movie from his own screenplay, based on Mark St. Germain’s eponymous 2006 play.
However, the treatment of the original material, coupled with the director’s keen insight into the proceedings of a hospital, makes the movie realistic. Behind its intricate story, the film conceals a relevant yet straightforward theme. The story is about a pure and uncorrupted heart whose placement depends on the doctors who get to play gods. As the movie suggests, transplants are never easy.
If you need a transplant in real life, you need to meet several criteria. The facets include family, social support, financial condition, drug usage, and age. And even then, the risk of your body rejecting the organ remains. Therefore, while inequality and discrimination rage in the world side by side with waves of repopulation in developing countries, procuring an organ gets increasingly difficult. At this juncture, the movie sounds like a clarion call for action.
While the terrible decision in 2014 haunts Dr. Boxer, his start-up X Origin works on xenotransplantation. Also known as cross-species transplantation, the term refers to the transference of living cells, tissues, or organs from one species to another. The first documented attempt at xenotransplantation took place in 1905, where slices of a rabbit kidney were transplanted into a child with a chronic kidney condition.
There were several subsequent attempts using pigs, lambs, and primates. On December 23, 1954, Dr. Joseph Murray pulled off the first successful kidney transplant on identical twins Ronald and Richard Herrick. Scientists, who now faced an ethical question surrounding organ donation, started looking into animal-to-human transplants. However, the scientists were prepared for some setbacks. The main issue was that the human body was more likely to reject the animal organ than accept it.
In 1984, toddler Stephanie Fae Beauclair, or “Baby Fae,” made news headlines as the first infant to ever go through a xenotransplantation procedure. She died after 21 days following a blood-type mismatch. But the incident made the world notice the acute shortage of infant organs. In 2021, after a century of trial and error, doctors finally pulled off a genetically modified kidney transfer from a pig to a human. Therefore, while the story is fictional, it mirrors a real innovation that can save millions of lives in the actual world.
Read More: The God Committee Ending, Explained