Journal of Bioethical Inquiry

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 723–724

Love and Mercy

Written by Oren Moverman, Michael A. Lerner, and Brian Wilson, directed by Bill Pohlad, 2015, River Road Entertainment and Battle Mountain Films (Los Angeles, 121 minutes, rated PG-13)
Film Review


This is a review of the biographic drama Love and Mercy. More than a story of the evolution of The Beach Boys, it is the story of the lead Beach Boy, Brian Wilson, and his struggle with substance abuse, mental illness, family stress, emerging love, and a controlling psychologist. Interwoven are many bioethics themes, including the doctor–patient relationship, conflict of interest, autonomy, and patient welfare. For those unaware of the sadness and torment running directly alongside the sunny, bubbly life of The Beach Boys, this film is an eye-opener. It is also a great reminder of the importance of boundaries between clinicians and their patients.


Psychology Psychiatry Conflicts of interest Substance-related disorders Music Physician–patient relations 

Copyright information

© Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Pty Ltd. 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bond University Medical ProgramGold CoastAustralia

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