Extraordinary Measures

October 24, 2017 General Studies

Former businessman John Crowley faced incredible opposition from all sides as he walks away from his job to find a cure for Pompe. After a near death experience with Megan, his daughter, Crowley decided that he couldn’t just keep waiting for a cure to be found. He corners Dr. Robert Stonehill, a theorist who has an idea for a solution, and enlists his help in making it a reality. Along the way, the scientific community helps and hinders him, providing him with minds and hands to speed up the process as well as disapproval in the execution of the experiment.

One of his biggest opponents had been Dr. Stonehill himself, and trying to work with his unconventional methods. Their two differing views of science are one of the things that strain their relationship. John Crowley views science as a means to an end, the way to save his kids. He will compromise and cut corners to get there. His views are completely subjective since he is guided by emotion, and cares only for the well-being of his children. His partner, Dr.

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Stonehill, doesn’t care what the rules or the cause is, if he is hired, then he wants to do things his way. Unlike Crowley, he will not compromise, and spends more time with theories than results because of that. Though he seems to be “light years ahead of everyone,” he’s had little scientific recognition because of his inability to work with others and put his theories to test. Personally, I feel that I relate most to Dr. Stonehill. While I’m not making any scientific breakthroughs, I tend to looking at situations more logically and objectively.

I also prefer to do things my way, or a way I know well, rather than bending to do what others tell me. I, like Stonehill, have little patience for rules if I feel there’s not a good enough reason to follow them, and I never compromise with the enemy. While I admire Crowley’s love for his children, I don’t like kids much myself, and I don’t think I would have walked away from my job to pursue what could have been a wild goose chase. Contrary to Stonehill’s preferences, much of the conflicts involved following protocol and the scientific method.

After Stonehill explained his hypothesis for a cure, a team of scientists had to test it. Four groups formed their own cure and put each to test, and analyzed the resulting data to figure out which cure worked the best. Finally, the results were communicated as the cure was distributed to other Pompe children. The development of the cure was all done in steps of the scientific method, as they could not know which cure will work until all had been tested under the same conditions.

It was also important for them to keep the entire experiment subjective, even though Crowley violated that need when he introduced the team to another Pompe family and tried to put his kids in the trial. This movie showed the accomplishments of two men who both took risks to save lives, fighting conventional methods in the scientific community so they could save two children in time. While it does show how following procedures can hinder a process, it also displays its necessity.


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