Ethics or moral philosophy is concerned with what is right and wrong. It affects individual choices which then usually impact the greater community. It's not something easily legislated, though governments have tried. It's not something the religions have an exclusive on, though some have claimed to. All the professions have their own statements of ethics, and some of the most challenging to implement are in the field of medicine.

The five lead characters in this gripping medical drama are members of an urban hospital organ transplant committee who regularly make decisions on who should and should not be given an organ. To do their work well, they have to consider the ethical implications of their choices.

The organ transplant committee meets.

The members of the committee are:

Dr. Andre Boxer (Kelsey Grammar), a highly accomplished surgeon who is hiding a secret which will have consequences for other members of the committee.

Dr. Jordan Taylor (Julia Stiles), a young gifted doctor who is having an affair with Boxer. They both are unmarried and have decided to keep their intimate relationship secret. Their affair is complicated by the fact that he has announced his retirement and plans to go into private research.

Boxer is surprised when Taylor is chosen for the transplant committee. He's a strict rationalist whose scientific perspective differs from Taylor, a compassionate doctor who takes ethics very seriously.

Dr. Valerie Gilroy (Janeane Garofalo) is in administration so she spends her considerable time and energy worrying about the downward dip in the hospital's finances and industry rating.

Nurse Wilks (Patricia R. Floyd) seems to know the most about the patients on the heart transplant list, including their personal histories and possible futures.

Father Dunbar (Coleman Domingo) is a lawyer turned priest who attends the committee meetings with a message from the hospital's board.

When a heart becomes available to the transplant program, this group has an hour to decide which of three candidates should receive it. They have to weigh what they know about each patient, their feelings for each of them, their concerns about whether they are the best choice given their prospects for survival, and more. Ultimately, it comes down to deciding between right and wrong, not only for the patients but for the hospital.

Julia Stiles as Dr. Taylor

Writer and director Austin Stark does a compelling job depicting the ethical dilemmas faced by this committee. It's clearly not an easy choice for them. In scenes taking place outside their meetings, we realize what is at stake in the larger context of transplant science. Flash-forwards to a research lab ten years later underline those issues.

The emotionally literate screenplay by Stark, based on the play by Mark St. Germain, contains plenty of spiritual dynamite in its treatment of medical ethics. The God Committee is highly recommended for those looking for serious spiritual programing.