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The Film “Damaged Care” Analysis


The film Damaged Care shot in 2002 portrays a disappointing reality of the profit-centered USA health care system. The main character of the motion picture, Dr. Linda Peeno, played by Laura Dern, starts her job on a position of a medical reviewer at the organization called Humana Health Care (Winer, 2002). Dr. Peeno faces a whole hierarchical system engaged in fraudulent money-oriented actions that prioritize financial profit over morality.

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Despite her husband’s disapproval, Dr. Peeno rebels and fights against the anti-human system. The film demonstrates different manifestations of corporate management, such as leadership styles, ethical issues in the workplace, conflict management approaches, and others criticizing the existing drawbacks in US health care.

Varying Leadership Styles

When portraying the corporate world of Humana Health Care, the director demonstrates the management of the company through its leadership style. The autocratic leader makes all the decisions regardless of the opinions of his employees (Tanwar & Priyanka, 2018). In the film, Dr. Peeno approves some payments for the patients who need treatment but eventually learns that her decisions were ignored or changed (Winer, 2002). However, such a leadership style where an employee’s actions might be argued with anger contrasts with the leadership attitude Linda experienced in her previous job. It is possible to suggest that she worked under a democratic leader where her professional expertise was respected and taken into account.

Ethical Issues and Decisions

The autocratic leadership style is accompanied by many ethical issues emphasized in the film. The overall fraudulent insurance system that prioritizes profit over human lives is a significant moral issue in modern health care. Also, the role of a woman in society is shown as diminished. It is evident not only in the workplace but also in Linda’s marriage where her husband was building his carrier while Linda had to stay home and take care of children (Winer, 2002). Disrespectful attitude towards the sick and those in need also imposes a moral concern. Since the film is based on a true story, this issue is relevant to the present, thus increasing the influence of the film’s message.

Conflict Management Approaches

The lack of morality in the actions of dishonest companies is linked with their conflict management approaches. The heads of the companies solve any resistance problems with anger, threats, and forced resignations. An effective conflict management technique should incorporate employees’ participation in decision making, as well as a leader’s mediation and willingness to create a psychologically comfortable environment for work. The head of Humana Health Care fails to address and resolve any conflicts that contradict his vision of the company’s performance. This attitude leads to fear in employees, even those who find the policies of the company immoral.

Examples of Systems Thinking

The concept of systems thinking is a core element of the film. According to Arnold and Wade (2015), systems thinking is an approach to analyzing corporate behavior based on its elements and their cooperation for the ultimate goal. Such thinking is a powerful tool capable of creating strong ties between different units connected in a system that is difficult to break. Indeed, as shown in the motion picture, Humana Health Care exists as a system of fraudulent performances aimed at gaining profit, at the same time being a part of a bigger system that seems to be overpowering across the country.


In conclusion, Damage Care is a true-to-life film that emphasizes the immoral and unethical corporate policies in America’s health care that lead to companies’ enrichment at the cost of human lives. The system with its autocratic leadership style and lack of democracy in conflict management gets rid of those who refuse to abide by the rules and continues earning money. The fact that the main character of the film stood against the system emphasizes the power of morality that is capable of providing impact and change.

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Arnold, R. D., & Wade, J. P. (2015). A definition of systems thinking: A systems approach. Procedia Computer Science, 44, 52-59.

Tanwar, K. C., & Priyanka, V. (2018). Study of leadership style, coping strategies and happiness in academic employees and corporate employees. International Journal of Research in Social Sciences, 8(2), 669-678.

Winer, H. (Director). (2002). Damaged care. United States: Paramount Pictures.

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