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General: Major Films  
TitleFirst Do No Harm (1997) (TV Film)
Alternative/Original Title
DisabilityGeneral Epilepsy
CountryUSA
Length?
GenreDrama
Rating3
DirectorJim Abrahams
CastMeryl Streep Seth Adkins Marion Bennett Allison Janney Fred Ward
NotesDon't be wooed by Streep's part in this, it is much like any TV film. Streep's son has epilepsy. The story sets up the family circle, onset of disease, the medical explanation, and trouble with medical insurance. Medicine causes boy to behave erratically so they change from phenol barbitone to diathonal (maybe wrong here since I was transcribing from dialogue). All this hiding the truth that he has epilepsy, in fact ideopathic epilepsy, of uncertain origin. Along side this medical bills lead to foreclosure on their house. Multiple seizures lead to retardation in the boy. Then he gets haemorhoids. Streep blames the hospital and watchs their every move. An old school friend with epilepsy who offered his help and was rejected is now turned to and Streep does her own research. Learns about the Ketogenic diet but her doctor refutes her opinion (one sympathises with the doctor). Streep thinks a little bit of reading and she knows better than the doctors. She takes her son out of the hospital without permission but is caught. Then she finds a doctor who "looks beyond" the limits of drugs and surgery. There's a friendly nurse who thinks the parents are right, she even agrees to go with them to Baltimore where the Ketogenic diet treatment is based. Incrediably biased film. There are phone numbers among the rolling credits for people who want to find more. One needs just a little bit of scepticism watching this film. This is propaganda and does not give the viewer enough information to make up one's mind. And is charity work for Streep. But see: Ketogenic Diet Packard Children's Hospital Stanford University Medical Center Excellent FAQ here http://www.stanford.edu/group/ketodiet/

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