Who Lives? And Who Should Decide?

It’s not often that business and benevolence connect.  That’s why Counterintuity is especially priveledged to be part of the marketing team for Who Lives? , a morally complex play to be presented in Los Angeles in March, 2009. The tagline says it all: “1963.  It’s dialysis or death.  But there aren’t enough machines.  Now an anonymous citizens committee must decide: Who Lives?  Affecting and downright absorbing, the play chronicals the real-life advent of dialysis and brilliantly dissects the beginning of modern medical ethics.

Staging the play during National Kidney Month was the brainchild of Lori Hartwell, Founder and President of the Renal Support Network, a nationwide patient advocacy group.  Spunky and determined well beyond her diminutive stature , it has been Lori’s mission to bring awareness of the patient experience to life via this production. Hartwell, a renal patient herself since age two and thrice a transplant recipient, was inspired to “present actor-patients as ‘fully functioning’ human beings, capable of performing the same jobs as non-kidney patients.” Indeed, two actor-renal patients with three transplants among them have been cast.
The so-called “Life-or-Death Committee” was a genuine attempt at crude bioethicism in the 1960’s. A group of ordinary Seattle citizens was charged with a grim task-decide which patients would get dialysis, and render the others to die. They pitted men versus women, white versus black, young versus old.  Who Lives? examines their process of choice in the unenlightened Civil Rights era.

Who Lives? will open on World Kidney Day, March 12th, at the Pico Playhouse, located at 10508 W. Pico Boulevard in West Los Angeles. It runs through March 29th.  Performances will be held Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.  Please join us for this thought-provoking drama.

Scroll to Top