The Shift explores the nuances of the Hippocratic oath through the characters of two nurses working a twelve-hour shift.
The decision of what is best for a patient is a difficult one, and it’s boiled down to whether or not a nurse should let a patient die. Yes, a medical professional should try to save the life of a patient, but the character of the seen-it-all veteran nurse serves to argue against that idea. He raises a question to a new nurse who comes in the opinion that every patient’s life should be saved. Is it sometimes best for the patient to let them die?
The question is a heavy one to consider and I would guess it would provoke somewhat of a knee-jerk reaction in you. Of course not! People who take on the task of saving lives should try to save the lives of patients. That’s always what’s best for them. But as the older nurse shows, it’s not always black and white. Then the movie flips the perspective on us again with the younger nurse, determined to save the lives of all patients. Without spoiling anything, the two perspectives come to a head when presented with a teenage girl fighting cancer.
The Shift is engaging, cerebral, and it presents an ethical dilemma in a thrilling film context. This is definitely one for a night in.