Extraordinary Measures

Topics: Extraordinary Measures, Heart, Glycogen storage disease type II Pages: 1 (364 words) Published: April 4, 2013
Extraordinary Measures dramatizes the father's quest to find a cure for Pompe disease, a relatively rare genetic condition that afflicts two of his three children.  The quest brings into play three powerful, often competing human motives; a father's love for his children, a scientist's pursuit of knowledge and recognition, and a corporation's mandate for profits.  Crowley, an energetic marketing executive, and his wife Aileen are told that their children Megan(age eight) and Patrick (age six) have reached the upper limits of their life expectancies. When Megan is rushed to the hospital with symptomatic heart and respiratory failure, a young physician empathically encourages the parents to think of their only daughter's immanent death as a "blessing" that will end her suffering.  However, Megan survives. Seeing Megan's will to live reinforces John's wish to make her well, and he abruptly abandons his promising career to find a medical researcher who can reverse Pompe's effects.   Immersing himself in medical journals and websites, John discovers the intriguing research of Robert Stonehill. Stonehill has developed a cutting edge theory about correcting the enzyme deficiency in the cells of people with Pompe respiratory, and heart muscles.  However, to produce a treatment derived from his theory, he needs more funding.  John immediately creates a fund to support Pompe research, and he and Stonehill form a mutual partnership.  They lock horns with each other, and finally a large genomic research corporation. Zymagen gives Stonehill a lab and creates employment for Crowley.  When the Zymagen scientists develop a promising therapy, they decide to offer the treatment only to infants, who are most likely to experience benefits.  Crowley's children from the promising trials, this decision, combined with Crowley's obvious conflict of interest, creates the film's final obstacle.  Toward the end, we witness even Crowley, albeit uncomfortably, reaching beyond his fatherly...
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