DR. Turner Steckline Wilson
Health Care for the Poor
John Q is an emotionally filled movie based on the vicious effects of a private health care system, played by Denzel Washington. The movie focuses on the concerns surrounding the quality of healthcare available for low and middle class families in the United States. It also touches on the attitudes of less empathetic individuals that run hospital administration and health insurance companies. Denzel plays a dad who cannot afford a heart transplant for his son who has an enlarged heart condition. The couple gets little to no sympathy or help from the attending physician and the hospital administrator. Out of desperation he snaps and holds a group of people at the hospital’s emergency room hostage. This movie also portrays the frustration of individuals who cannot afford quality health care. It also shows callous and selfish ways in which physicians handle the medical issues of less fortunate individuals.
John, a struggling father who is trying to make ends meet quickly finds out the disadvantages of having limited healthcare coverage. Despite the monetary hardships, he and his family live a loving and happy life. The movie starts up with an accident, which kills a young woman. It also introduces Michael, John’s son and Denise his wife watching Michael collapse while playing baseball. Upon rushing him to the hospital, it is revealed that John’s son has an enlarged heart. It is also announced that Michael will need an immediate heart transplant to survive. A heart transplant usually costs about $300,000 or more depend on the patient’s health status. The hospital administration immediately informs John that his insurance does not cover that type of surgery and a payment of $100,000 will have to be made just for his son’s name to be added on the recipient list. The administrator further explains that, “over forty million American do not have health insurance, and many more have inadequate insurance.” (John Q, 2002)
John in struggling to raise funds for his son’s heart transplant follows the rules and also takes the necessary steps. He meets his health insurance agents and tries to plead with them but they turn him down. He is turned down over and over, and sent from one company to another. At this point he feels hopeless, and all the efforts to save his son’s life seem hopeless. The hospital administrator Rebecca informs John to either pay the balance for his son’s current treatment or he would be taking him completely off all treatments he was receiving. He is now faced with the option of either, allowing his son to die because he could not afford the funds for the surgery or make a decision which forces the hospital and its staff to perform the surgery without the funds. His wife Denise begs him not to let the hospital take their son off treatments. Leaving his house that morning, John promises his wife that he will not let their son die....