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Bioethics film series looks at organ transplantation

August 16, 2010

Should someone be allowed to sell a kidney to a stranger who needs a transplant? Who should be allowed to decide who gets available hearts, kidneys, lungs, hands – and even faces?

These questions and others will be discussed during the annual fall Bioethics Film Series at Arizona State University.

In his class – "Bioethics in Film" – Jason Robert, the Franca Oreffice Dean's Distinguished Professor in the Life Sciences and the Lincoln Associate Professor of Ethics in Biotechnology and Medicine, shows films – to which the public is invited – and then holds discussions following the films.

This year’s fall series is titled “Organ Transplantation.” All films will begin at 5:40 p.m., in Schwada Classroom Office Building room 150, Tempe campus.

The schedule is:

Thursday, Sept. 16: “The Harvest Project,” a psychological thriller set in the world of the black market human organ trade. “The Harvest Project” asks the question: What would you do to save the life of someone you love? This is a story about the consequences of desperate actions, of blind greed, and of startling sacrifice (Internet Movie Dabatase, IMDb). MPAA Rating: NR.

Thursday, Oct. 7: “Seven Pounds.” An IRS agent with a fateful secret embarks on an extraordinary journey of redemption by forever changing the lives of seven strangers (IMDb). MPAA Rating: PG-13.

Thursday, Oct. 28: “A Christmas Tale.” The Vuillard family is no stranger to physical/mental illness, loss, and banishment. But when the matriarch becomes in need of a transplant, the whole family is forced to come together, emotional baggage and all, just in time for Christmas (IMDb). MPAA Rating: NR.

Thursday, Nov. 18: “My Sister’s Keeper.” Anna Fitzgerald looks to earn medical emancipation from her parents who until now have relied on their youngest child to help their leukemia-stricken daughter remain alive (IMDb). MPAA Rating: PG-13.

The series is presented by the Bioethics, Policy & Law Program, in association with the Center for Biology and Society.

For more information about the class, contact Robert at (480) 727-8857 or