A doctor is believed to be synonymous with God. Doctors give us birth, they save our lives, and sometimes, they have a choice, whether to let us live or leave us to die. But even with such incredible power at their disposal, their judgment is still flawed and humane. In The God Committee, director Austin Stark explores the authority and powers of a committee of Doctors. They are given powers to decide the fate of organs that could save an individual’s life.
The God Committee may remind of Sidney Lumet’s epic one-location drama, 12 Angry Men, which approaches a similar theme.
On 6th November 2014, a surgeon, Dr. Andre Boxer, receives a call informing him about a teenager’s accident in Boston. The doctors failed to save the boy’s life, but his heart has been recovered in a viable condition. Boxer’s patient, Serena Vazquez, gets the donated organ as she is at the top of the list of the Organ Transplant Committee.
Boxer discusses the subject with his romantic partner and hospital colleague, cardiac surgeon Dr. Jordan Taylor. Boxer thinks Serena is too old to receive a new heart, and the same organ can give many more living years to a better candidate. However, his thoughts don’t matter much because a joint committee has already approved Serena’s request.
At the hospital, two new members, Jordan and Father Dunbar, joined the committee to fill Boxer’s seat, who will leave for the private sector in the coming month. In a concurrent future timeline, he presents his project “X Origins” to the investors. X Origins is researching Xenotransplantation, a form of procedure that transplants nonhuman animal organs into the human body to eradicate the tremendous need for healthy human organs worldwide.
In the past, Serena’s sudden demise in the OT leaves the heart abandoned. The committee discusses the prospects of another patient who will receive the organ. Boxer’s health deteriorates drastically in the future, and he is in dire need of an organ transplant to finish his experimental “X Origins.” The time is fleeting fast, and the upcoming events will decide the fate of the organ and Boxer’s experiment.
‘The God Committee’ Ending Explained
There were three matching candidates for the organ, a 48year old Walter Curtis, a 59-year-old Janet Pike, and a young adult, Trip Granger. The committee needed to choose one candidate before the organ expired.
Walter was ruled out because he had bipolar disorder and had tried to kill himself in the past. Janet didn’t have a support system, was utterly rude to nurses, and was ambivalent about a transplant. While Trip, the son of Emmett Granger, owner of Granger Venture Partners, had a history of drug overdoses. He was the subject of conflict among the board members because he was young but careless, rich but violent, and last but not least, a substance addict. However, his father, Emmett, tried to bribe the management and offered a 25 million dollar grant to St. Augustine Hospital if his son, Trip, got the heart. There isn’t anything money can’t buy, and thus the committee jointly decided to operate the organ in Trip’s body.
Boxer rejected the decision. He pulled out Trip’s file from the locker room and blamed Dr. Valerie Gilroy, the head of the committee, for tampering with Trip’s drug report file. While nothing was suggested directly, it could be hypothesized that Trip’s heart attack didn’t occur due to an Ampicillin allergy but rather to a drug overdose. Valerie hid the fact because she eagerly wanted the donation offered by Granger Venture Partners.
Boxer couldn’t reveal the fact by himself in the committee because Granger financed Boxer’s dream experiment, “X Origins.” Hence, he handed Trip’s file to Father Dunbar, trusting him to leak the information to the committee. But a greedy Dunbar didn’t show up at the committee meeting and cracked a deal with Emmett to hide the truth. Finally, Trip got the organ, and he died six months after the operation, from another episode of drug abuse.
In the future timeline, Boxer’s experiment failed to procure satisfying results. He needed more time, but his health condition deteriorated. Initially, Boxer denied a transplant because he knew that he wouldn’t survive more than 12 months even with a new organ. And thus, he pleaded that the organ should be given to someone with more time. Jordan finally convinced Boxer to get a transplant because these gray areas couldn’t be solved by human judgment. Even if Boxer refused the organ, there was a chance it would end up with an undeserving candidate who would die in the operating room, such as Serena.
Boxer agreed to a transplant and was air transported to Turkey for the operation. On his way, he dreamt about a past conversation with Jordan when he rigidly refused to accept his unborn child in Jordan’s womb. Boxer didn’t wake up. He died on the airplane. Maybe the remorse burdened him to death.
After Boxer’s death, Jordan continued his experiment. The last sequence depicted Jordan transplanting a pig’s heart into a monkey’s body in the presence of the investors. The heart inside the monkey’s body started beating in the end, suggesting that Boxer’s experiment, X Origins, would survive, even without him. The success of Boxer’s dream project would open unimaginable prospects and bring about a medical revolution, something that Boxer dreamt of.
The God Committee is a 2021 Drama film written and directed by Austin Stark. It is based on the stage play written by American playwright Mark St. Germain.