John Q. Archibald is a loving family man facing financial problems because of factory cutbacks. When his nine-year-old son Mike collapses on a ball field, the Archibald's learn that he has inoperable heart enlargement and that only a transplant can save him.
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They are then double-teamed by Cardiac Chief (Woods) and callous Hospital Administrator (Heche) that without adequate insurance for the quarter-million dollar operation, they cannot admit Mike or even begin a search for a compatible donor. The couple then learns they are in that limbo where John's job suddenly offers only limited insurance, while social programs consider him too affluent.
In a curious reversal of Michael Keaton's “Desparate Measures,” John breaks down, then holds the entire emergency room hostage at gunpoint.
John sets up a triage system for the unlucky walk-ins, while discussing his options on the phone with a police negotiator slickly played by Robert Duvall. As tensions mount and John becomes a live TV "hero," the desparate father again reaches his limit and suggests a plausible solution.
Although this drama is somewhat overdone, it draws attention to this country's dilemma over HMO's, particularly when the surgeon (Woods) “debates” several of the hostages over medical ethics.
The review of this Movie prepared by Angry Jim Magin
John Q holds an emergency room hostage to insure that his son gets a heart transplant that can't be paid for.
The review of this Movie prepared by Jack Bauer