Extreme Measures is a 1996 thriller film based on Michael Palmer's 1991 novel of the same name, dealing with the ethics of medical sacrifices.
Dr. Guy Luthan (Hugh Grant) is a New York emergency room doctor who one night comes across a strange patient: a homeless man who has a wristband from a hospital he's not familiar with, mentioning a drug he's never heard of, and with strange symptoms, including a wildly fluctuating heart rate. When the man dies, Guy attempts to follow up and find out more about the patient - only to find that the body and all records have disappeared, and he's told by his superiors to drop the case.
As he continues trying to find out what happened, Guy's personal and professional life get suddenly sidetracked. His home is ransacked and cocaine is planted near his bedside. The police arrest him and he is convicted and in the process he loses his job, the ability to ever practice medicine anywhere in the world and virtually all of his friends. In desperation, he manages to get the help of some homeless men who lead him to their underground home. His ER patient who died also had lived there. Through them he's led to an organization, led by neurosurgeon Dr. Lawrence Myrick (Gene Hackman), that performs spinal experiments on the homeless people, all of whom have died thus far, in an attempt to find a cure for paralysis.
Dr. Myrick attempts to sway Guy to join his team telling him that these people are heroes and losing one to save millions is worth the sacrifice. Guy admits that while there is some truth in what Myrick says, he states they have not chosen to be heroes, which makes Myrick a murderer. Dr. Myrick is shot and accidentally killed by rogue FBI Agent Frank Hare (David Morse). Later, Mrs. Myrick hands the discs and documentation regarding the research to Guy telling him "my husband was trying to do a good thing, but in the wrong way". He opens the package, views the materials and proceeds towards the neurology building where he is now working.
Hugh Grant as Dr. Guy Luthan,
Gene Hackman as Dr. Lawrence Myrick,
Sarah Jessica Parker as Jodie Trammel,
David Morse as FBI Agent Frank Hare,
Bill Nunn as Det. Bob Burke,
John Toles-Bey as Bobby,
Paul Guilfoyle as Dr. Jeffrey Manko,
Debra Monk as Dr. Judith Gruszynski,
Shaun Austin-Olsen as Claude Minkins,
André De Shields as Teddy Dolson,
J. K. Simmons as Dr. Mingus,
Peter Appel as Det. Stone,
Diana Zimmer as Helen,
Nancy Beatty as Ruth Myrick,
Gerry Becker as Dr. Gene Spitelli,
Gene Ruffini as Izzy,
Bill MacDonald as Det. Stone's Partner,
Simon Reynolds as Simon,
D. Garnet Harding as E.R. Doctor,
Derwin Jordan as E.R. Doctor,
Tara Rosling as E.R. Doctor,
Martin Roach as E.R. Doctor,
Bernard Browne as E.R. Doctor,
Sanjay Talwar as E.R. Doctor,
Christina Collins as E.R. Nurse,
Arlene Duncan as E.R. Nurse,
Cheryl Swarts as E.R. Nurse,
The film had a mixed reception from critics. It currently holds a 55% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Despite debuting in second place, the film was not a box office success.