Based on the best-selling novel by Robin Cook, COMA is a taught paranoid thriller and a dramatically apt metaphor for the corruption and fraud in the modern American health-care industry. Dr. Susan Wheeler (Genevieve Bujold) suspects her colleagues of foul play when her closest friend lapses into a coma following a routine operation. When Wheeler discovers a suspiciously frequent pattern of unexplained comas in her hospital, she becomes obsessed with finding an answer, even when it puts her own career and life in danger. Her lover, Dr. Bellows (Michael Douglas), admits there is a mystery but doubts there is a conspiracy and even suspects Wheeler of suffering from a nervous breakdown. The tension builds as Wheeler's investigation leads her to a secret corporation specializing in organ transplant experimentation and sale for profit, and she soon witnesses the defining image of the film: comatose bodies suspended on wires in a computer-controlled environment. With its suspensful plot, dramatic editing, and conspiratorial terror, COMA is a precursor to many paranoid dramas such as THE FIRM and THE PELICAN BRIEF, establishing a defined style that may yet become a genre unto itself.
Something eerie is going on at Boston Memorial--patients with minor problems are slipping into irreversible comas, and a doctor is targeted when she suspects her colleagues of foul play.