The Dark Knight Showcases Gotham City’s Health Problems

July 27, 2008 at 10:28 pm 1 comment

Just as the rooftop spotlight illuminated the sky with a bat, The Dark Knight illuminates the health problems of Gotham City. Would The Joker unscarred have been a different person? (And which version of how he got his scars was true?)

The policewoman who sold out to the joker, Detective Ramirez, did so because her mother was hospitalized and she couldn’t afford the bills.  For that matter, being a patient in a Gotham City hospital is not such a safe proposition. Then there was Batman’s stitching of the dog bite on his arm, aided by his trusty Alfred. And the severe burns on half of Harvey Dent’s face, for which he refused pain killers or skin grafts.

Mental health issues were abundant, including Harvey Dent’s interrogation of a paranoid schizophrenic that Batman stopped. In real life, Heath Ledger, who played The Joker in a eerily psychotic way, died from an “accidental overdose of the anti-anxiety agents Valium and Xanax, the sleep aids Restoril and Unisom, and the painkillers OxyContin and hydrocodone (the active ingredient in Vicodin)”.

The highest drama is created by life or death situations. “Pop culture, such as the Batman comics and movies, provides an opportunity to think philosophically about issues and topics that parallel the real world.” Avoid the health problems of Gotham City if you can.


Entry filed under: health. Tags: , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Cortney  |  July 29, 2008 at 12:00 am

    its too bad about heath ledger, ive loved him as my one of my favorite actors since i can remember. i think a lot of why he died has to do with his ex and her taking his kid.


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Lisa Gualtieri, PhD, ScM

Lisa GualtieriLisa Gualtieri is Assistant Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine. She is Director of the Certificate Program in Digital Health Communication. Lisa teaches Designing Health Campaigns using Social Media, Social Media and Health, Mobile Health Design, and Digital Strategies for Health Communication. Contact Lisa:


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