Bioethics News

An ER Doc On What ‘The Big Sick’ Gets Wrong

August 1, 2017

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By Esther Choo

Tonight my husband and I watched The Big Sick, a hilarious and touching romantic comedy directed by Michael Showalter. It’s the best movie I’ve seen in years—even given what I’m about to write.

The plot centers on the romance between a Pakistani-American man, Kamil, and a white woman, Emily, and the tension between their budding relationship and Kamil’s obligation to his traditional Pakistani family. I’m an Asian woman married to a white guy, and right away I loved how spot-on the cultural tensions were. So far, so good.

But then Emily gets sick and goes to the hospital, where she remains for much of the movie. And since I am a physician and like things to make sense, I spent a lot of time squirming over the medical inaccuracies. At one point, my husband (also a physician, and sympathetic to my agony) turned to me and whispered, “Why didn’t they hire a medical consultant for this?”

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Image: By PunkToad from oakland, us – Holly Hunter, Judd Apatow, Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani, CC BY 2.0,

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The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.