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Thesis On My Sister's Keeper Ethical Issues

Type of paper: Thesis

Topic: Urinary System , Body , Ethics , Literature , Life , Family , Nursing , Medicine

Words: 1900

Published: 11/15/2019


Therefore, according to this principle, Anna’s kidneys, bone marrow and stem cells are in her body as they are required; they should not be taken out as they exist for the good of her whole body. However, where more tricky circumstances are posed, the principle then leads to the principle of double effect, which states that any mutilation of the body must be for the benefit of the species (Kanniyakonil, 2011). Therefore, it could be argued that Anna’s kidney is helping another human and, therefore, is for the good of the species. On the other hand, Kate is just one person, and is no more important than Anna and, therefore, Anna’s kidney should remain in her own body.

Similar to the opposing views of the principals of totality and those of double effect, are the medically based principals of non-maleficence and those of beneficence. The principle of non-maleficence suggests that physicians should aim to do no harm to their patients (McCormick, 2011). This includes putting them at risks which are too high, or which do not justify the outcome for them. In this case, Anna should not be put in danger by having a serious operation such as a kidney removal; to do this would be to do Anna harm. Conversely, the principal of beneficence states that doctors should do all they can to benefit the patient (McCormick, 2011). If viewing Kate as the patient, her doctors should do everything they can for her which, in this case, means giving her a new kidney in order to save her life. Without the new kidney, Kate will almost certainly die and, therefore, it is in her best interests to have the operation. However, if viewing Anna as the patient, she should not be harmed.

In this situation, as in all situations, patient autonomy needs to be taken into account. Medicine Net defines patient autonomy as: “The right of patients to make decisions about their medical care without their health care provider trying to influence the decision.” (Medicine, 2011). Medical professionals are allowed to educate patients, answer any questions truthfully and objectively, and provide support. However, the decision should lay firmly with the patient. In this case, as Anna does not wish to have the operation, her autonomy should be respected.

Eventually, justice is achieved when Campbell and Anna win their case against Anna’s parents. Anna is awarded medical emancipation and, by this time, Picoult’s readers are aware that Kate has had her wishes granted as well.

My Sister’s Keeper addresses some fascinating topical issues about matters that have arisen as a result of advancing medical knowledge and technology. The novel is, at times, laden with cliché, and is arguably not Picoult’s most literary work. However, her easy to read style, along with her notoriously well researched facts, is what has made her such a popular and widely read author. Through her writing she has made a difficult and largely unconsidered topic more present in the minds of the general public.

BBC Ethics. (2011). Virtue Ethics. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/introduction/virtue.shtml Kanniyakonil, S. (2011). Principle of Totality and its Relevance in Bioethics. Life Issues. Retrieved from http://www.lifeissues.net/writers/kan/kan_07totality1.html McCormick, T. R. (2011). Principals of Bioethics. University of Washington School of Medicine. Retrieved from http://depts.washington.edu/bioethx/tools/princpl.html#prin2 Medicine Net. (2011). Definition of Patient Autonomy. Retrieved from http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=13551 Pegasus. (2011). Rights-Based Morality. Retrieved from http://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu/~stanlick/right-basedmorality.html Picoult, J. (2005). My Sister’s Keeper. Hodder Paperbacks. Utilitarian. (2011). Introduction to Utilitarianism. Retrieved from http://www.utilitarian.org/utility.html


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My Sister's Keeper

59 pages • 1 hour read

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Summary and Study Guide

My Sister’s Keeper is a 2004 novel by bestselling author Jodi Picoult centered on the controversy of savior siblings. In the novel, Anna Fitzgerald fights for medical emancipation in order to have a choice in whether or not she will donate a kidney to her sister, Kate, who has leukemia. In 2009, the novel was adapted into a feature film released by New Line Cinema. The movie was directed by Nick Cassavetes and starred Cameron Diaz and Abigail Breslin.

This guide is based on the Atria Books e-book version of the text.

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Content Warning: My Sister’s Keeper discusses difficult topics such as medical emancipation, painful medical procedures, suicidal ideation, and a suicide attempt. It also includes child death.

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Anna Fitzgerald, 13, has saved up money for weeks and has roughly $137. Anna makes an appointment with Campbell Alexander , a lawyer, intending to use her carefully-saved money to file a petition for medical emancipation . Campbell initially dismisses the precocious girl’s request, but Anna explains that she was conceived to be a blood and organ donor for her ailing sister but now does not want to donate a kidney. Campbell agrees to take the case but refuses the money.

Kate Fitzgerald, Anna’s older sister, was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia when she was two years old. Anna’s mother, Sara, met with doctors to conceive a donor to save Kate’s life; this child is Anna. Doctors used Anna’s umbilical cord blood to give Kate a transplant that placed her in remission for five years. However, when Kate is eight, her cancer returns, and Anna must donate leukocytes on three occasions in order to treat her sister. When the leukocytes fail to put Kate into remission, Anna is treated with growth factor in order to build up her bone marrow so a bone marrow transplant can be performed on Kate.

While Sara and her husband, Brian, are focused on Kate’s health and Anna’s donations, their oldest child, Jesse, is often pushed onto neighbors and relatives, growing up with a sense of failure for his inability to help Kate and feeling as though he is invisible to his parents. For this reason, Jesse acts out, often getting into trouble at school. Unbeknownst to his firefighter father, Jesse has begun lighting fires in abandoned buildings.

Kate has long been hospitalized because the treatments used to save her life have taken a toll on her kidneys. She is experiencing kidney failure, and Sara wants Anna to donate one of her own, but Anna is hesitant because of the long-term consequences of such a donation.

Sara is served the petition for Anna’s medical emancipation while attending to Kate at her dialysis session. She demands that Anna drop the petition and convinces Anna to say she will. However, the next day, Anna tells Campbell that she still wants to go through with the lawsuit. Sara and Campbell meet with Judge DeSalvo, who plans a hearing for the following Monday and appoints a guardian ad litem to help decide what is best for Anna.

Julia Romano, the guardian ad litem, is a former girlfriend of Campbell’s. She is hesitant to take the case for this reason, but sympathizes with Anna’s plight. Julia visits Anna and believes she is struggling to remain committed to the case because of her mother’s strong-arming. The guardian ad litem goes to Campbell and suggests he do something about separating Anna and Sara. Campbell files for a restraining order that will force Sara to leave the family home, but Judge DeSalvo refuses to grant it. Instead, Brian decides to move Anna into the firehouse with him.

Kate’s health continues to deteriorate as the day of the hearing comes. Several doctors testify that Anna is not old enough to make her own medical choices and that refusing the kidney will result in Kate’s death and negatively affect Anna’s own psychological health. Campbell hopes that Brian will testify that he doesn’t believe Anna should be forced to donate the kidney, but he surprises him by saying the opposite. Julia, however, gets on the stand and tells Judge DeSalvo that she doesn’t think anyone in the Fitzgerald family is capable of making such a complicated decision.

Campbell convinces Anna to testify. Anna reveals that Kate asked her not to donate the kidney because she is tired of being sick all the time. As Anna testifies, Campbell’s service dog causes a commotion. Not long after, Campbell has a grand mal seizure. The hearing is temporarily sidelined, with Campbell finally able to tell Julia what he’s been hiding since they broke up 15 years ago. However, Campbell insists on completing the hearing and finishes Anna’s testimony. Judge DeSalvo announces his decision, telling Anna that he will grant her petition for medical emancipation—under the condition that Campbell be her medical power of attorney to assist her in making medical decisions.

After the hearing, Anna stays at the courthouse to sign paperwork, then gets a ride home with Campbell. Due to rain and slick roads, Campbell and Anna end up in a car accident; Anna is declared brain-dead. Campbell allows Anna to become an organ donor, ensuring that one of her kidneys is given to Kate. Shortly after the organ retrieval, Brian and Sara remove Anna from life support.

Kate reflects on the past eight years. After her kidney transplant, her health has been stable with no new indications that her leukemia will return. Campbell and Julia got married; Brian struggled with alcohol for a while, but is now sober; Sara grieved, but is as strong as ever; Jesse graduated from police academy; and Kate herself is now a dance teacher who still misses her sister.

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Home / Essay Samples / Literature / Books / My Sister's Keeper

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult Essay

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Philosophy , Entertainment , Literature

Ethics and Moral Philosophy , Movies , Books

Ethical Dilemma , Movie Review , My Sister's Keeper

  • Words: 803 (2 pages)

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult Essay

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Would you create another life for the sake of the other?

Works cited.

  • Picoult, J. (2004). My Sister’s Keeper. Atria Books.
  • Annas, G. J. (2001). Designer babies: Ethical considerations. Hastings Center Report, 31(5), 5-6.
  • Capron, A. M. (2003). Designing babies: Morally permissible ways to modify the human genome. The Hastings Center Report, 33(4), 16-22.
  • Holtug, N. (2003). Designer babies and the ethics of selective reproduction. Bioethics, 17(3), 235-249.
  • Kitcher, P. (1996). The lives to come: The genetic revolution and human possibilities. Simon and Schuster.
  • Malmqvist, E. (2011). The ethics of designer babies. International Journal of Applied Philosophy, 25(2), 211-223.
  • Daniels, C. R., & Raff, M. (2005). Designing our descendants: The promises and perils of genetic modifications. Science, 310(5746), 1717-1718.
  • Klitzman, R. (2005). Views of the process and content of ethical analysis of genetic research: Interviews with researchers in the field. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, 1(4), 29-50.
  • Bostrom, N., & Roache, R. (2008). Ethical issues in human enhancement. In The Routledge Companion to Bioethics (pp. 487-498). Routledge.
  • Savulescu, J., & Kahane, G. (2009). The moral obligation to create children with the best chance of the best life. Bioethics, 23(5), 274-290.

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Essays on My Sister'S Keeper

My Sister's Keeper is a book by Washington Square Press, a division of Simon & Schuster Inc. The story is told from multiple perspectives and follows the story of thirteen-year-old Anna Fitzgerald's lawsuit against her parents for medical emancipation. The book also covers the lives of her parents and older...

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My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

My Sister's Keeper Essay Topics & Writing Assignments

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Essay Topic 1

According to the book, what is fire? Pick several characters from the book (Jesse, Brian, Anna, Campbell) and describe how this theme runs through their lives. Next, discuss how the theme of fire is used by the author throughout the entire book.

Essay Topic 2

In the story, Anna is conceived for the sole purpose of providing compatible donations to her sister Kate. Based on the information presented in the story, what ethical issues are present in this situation (suggestion from Dr. Chance, Sara's decision to have another baby, Anna's decision to stop being a donor)? In today's society, what ethical issues are similar or different from those presented in the story?

Essay Topic 3

Today, most children file for emancipation for financial or educational reasons. In the story, Anna wants medical emancipation. Describe what medical emancipation means in this story. Now discuss the different views on why...

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Home — Essay Samples — Literature — My Sister's Keeper — Medical, Ethical, And Social Concerns In The Film My Sister’s Keeper


Analysis of Moral Issues in The Film My Sister's Keeper

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Introduction, my sister’s keeper ethical analysis, works cited.

  • Cassavetes, N. (Director). (2009). My Sister's Keeper [Motion picture]. Warner Bros. Pictures.
  • Daniels, M. (2004). Moral conflict and metaphysical ambiguity in "My Sister's Keeper". Ethics in Biology, Engineering and Medicine, 3(2-3), 183-197.
  • Delaney, C. (2009). "My Sister's Keeper": A moral exploration. American Journal of Bioethics , 9(8), 52-53.
  • Fletcher, J. C. (2005). Moral virtues and moral principles: A dialogue from the movie "My Sister's Keeper". Ethics, 116(2), 377-397.
  • Goldschmidt, A. (2013). Ethical issues in "My Sister's Keeper". Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, 34(1), 11-26.
  • Macer, D. R. (2009). Genetic ethics and "My Sister's Keeper". Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, 6(3), 289-293.
  • Mulder, S. S. (2011). Moral dilemmas in "My Sister's Keeper": A case study for an ethics course. Teaching Ethics, 12(1), 1-15.
  • Palmer, S. E. (2015). My Sister's Keeper: Ethical implications of reproductive decision-making. Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, 25(4), 389-416.
  • Rauscher, F. (2012). Disability, ethics, and "My Sister's Keeper". Journal of Disability Studies, 22(3), 275-287.
  • Spriggs, M., & Gillam, L. (2010). My Sister's Keeper: Ethical and legal considerations. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 46(3), 72-75.

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my sister's keeper thesis statement

“My Sister’s Keeper” by Jodi Picoult

My Sister’s Keeper , by Jodi Picoult, looks at the medical, legal, ethical, and moral issues that come with long-term illness, as well as some of the bioethical problems surrounding the experimental process known as the preimplantation genetic diagnosis. Preimplantation Genetic diagnosis is the process of analyzing the genetic makeup of embryos and, in some instances, oocytes before conception. Anna, the main character, believes that her capacity to save her sister defines her existence. Anna was only supposed to donate her umbilical cord at first, but when that therapy failed to cure Kate’s cancer, Anna continued to give blood, marrow, and eventually an organ to her. Anna wants this legal designation to control her own body and avoid donating anything else to Kate against her choice, such as a kidney. The writer concludes in this film that there are some moral qualities such as honesty, courage, love and affection, fairness and justice, and loyalty. Justice is fairness, according to the viewpoint of ANA depicted in the film. Nurses must be ethical when it comes to allocating care among members of a patient group.

Jodi Picoult’s novel My Sister’s Keeper examines the medical, legal, ethical, and moral difficulties of long-term sickness, as well as some of the bioethical concerns surrounding the experimental procedure known as a preimplantation genetic diagnosis. When a couple decides to genetically modify a kid to provide a bone marrow match for their terminally sick daughter, the author highlights several ethical problems. Anna Fitzgerald is that creature who is beginning to doubt her position in the world and her continuing donations to save her sister Kate’s life.

Anna believes that her capacity to save her sister defines her existence. According to the video, “I was engineered, born to save my sister’s life” (Warner Bros., 2015). Knowing about this sort of conception must have psychological consequences for a developing child. It would make life a bit less remarkable if I knew I was a test-tube baby because it takes away the romanticism of producing life. Anna lashes out at her parents, who created her out of desperation to obtain medical emancipation, which is the freedom to control one’s own body through medicine. She wants the freedom to refuse intrusive medical procedures, even if it means putting her sister’s life at risk.

Ethical Dilemma

The ethical issue here is that Anna’s sister Kate was sick from promyelocytic leukemia, bone marrow, and blood cancer. Doctor Kate offered some ideas to her mother regarding the arrival of another kid who may be a savior sibling in this respect. In reality, there was the risk of a legal and medical ethics breach in a formal recommendation, and as a result of this answer, the physician might not be allowed to continue practicing after losing his license. On the side of the parents, an issue of selective breeding arises. It can be a loaner to a sick sister from the time of the planned birth of the kid, with the implications connected with the Zygotes being rejected if the genetic match-up tests fail.

Analysis of the Character

Anna Fitzgerald is a biologically manufactured child created to be her elder sister Kate’s “savior sibling.” Anna was only supposed to donate her umbilical cord at first, but when that therapy failed to cure Kate’s cancer, Anna continued to give blood, marrow, and eventually an organ to her. She is thirteen years old when the story is set, and she wishes to be medically free of her parents. Anna wants this legal designation to control her own body and avoid donating anything else to Kate against her choice, such as a kidney. She is the novel’s central character. The story of Anna Fitzgerald shows the wrong approach to a living person, even if artificially conceived. Everyone has the right to life, the right to development, and privacy. Anna’s parents used her “as intended,” but the moment comes when it is worth letting go and giving the child freedom because she is also alive and wants to enjoy life.

Attitude to Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis

Preimplantation Genetic diagnosis is the process of analyzing the genetic makeup of embryos and, in some instances, oocytes before conception. PGD is comparable to prenatal diagnosis in that it is done before the baby is born. When used to test for a specific congenital condition, its significant benefit is that it prevents selective abortion. In addition, the technique increases the chances that the infant will be free of the ailment in question. PGD supplements assisted reproductive technology that necessitates in vitro fertilization to collect oocytes or embryos for testing. Blastomere or blastocyst biopsy is the most common way to acquire embryos. Because the latter technique is less harmful to the embryo, the biopsy should be done on day 5 or 6 of development. In my opinion, PGD technology is an excellent way to prepare in advance for possible problems and diseases of the child. The technology makes it possible to identify diseases of the embryo, which allows parents to prepare in advance and prevent the disease if possible and necessary.

Moral Principles

The writer concludes in this film that there are some moral qualities such as honesty, courage, love and affection, fairness and justice, and loyalty. According to Gao, “moral ideas and ideas about morality overlap insofar as they both concern morals” (Gao & Wang, 4). In this film, the writer concludes that there are some moral qualities such as courage, love and affection, justice, and loyalty. Courage and loyalty are manifested because Anna allowed her to be used according to her “original purpose” – to help her sister overcome the disease. Love and affection are manifested in the attitude of parents to both daughters. Finally, justice is manifested in Anna’s right to use her body as she sees fit; after extended donor operations, Anna wanted to live everyday life and be a full-fledged person.

Aspects of the ANA Code of Ethics

In terms of conduct, ethics is a concept that explains what is expected in terms of what is proper and correct and what is wrong and incorrect. The American Nurses Association Code of Ethics, for example, holds nurses accountable to ethical standards. According to Olson, “the Code is the nursing profession’s ethical standard of practice, and nursing’s contract with society” (Olson & Stokes, 1). All elements of nursing care are infused with ethics and ethical practice. Utilitarianism and deontology are the two primary categories of ethical principles and ethical philosophy. Deontology is an ethical school of thought that holds that both the methods and the ultimate goal must be moral and ethical, whereas utilitarianism holds that the ultimate goal justifies the methods even if they are immoral. Justice is fairness, according to the viewpoint of ANA depicted in the film. Nurses must be ethical when it comes to allocating care among members of a patient group. Care must be distributed in a fair, reasonable, and equitable manner among a group of patients.

Gao, D., & Wang, D. (2020). Rethinking “Basic Issues” in Moral Education. ECNU Review of Education , 2096531120950322.

Olson, L. L., & Stokes, F. (2016). The ANA code of ethics for nurses with interpretive statements: Resource for nursing regulation. Journal of Nursing Regulation , 7 (2), 9-20.

Warner Bros. (2015). My sister’s keeper – trailer . YouTube. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, August 23). “My Sister’s Keeper” by Jodi Picoult. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/my-sisters-keeper-by-jodi-picoult/

StudyCorgi. (2022, August 23). “My Sister’s Keeper” by Jodi Picoult. https://studycorgi.com/my-sisters-keeper-by-jodi-picoult/

"“My Sister’s Keeper” by Jodi Picoult." StudyCorgi , 23 Aug. 2022, studycorgi.com/my-sisters-keeper-by-jodi-picoult/.

1. StudyCorgi . "“My Sister’s Keeper” by Jodi Picoult." August 23, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/my-sisters-keeper-by-jodi-picoult/.


StudyCorgi . "“My Sister’s Keeper” by Jodi Picoult." August 23, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/my-sisters-keeper-by-jodi-picoult/.

StudyCorgi . 2022. "“My Sister’s Keeper” by Jodi Picoult." August 23, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/my-sisters-keeper-by-jodi-picoult/.

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My Sister’s Keeper Case Study

Introduction, the suffering of the little girl, works cited.

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The past few decades have witnessed monumental advances in the health care industry. Through advances in areas such as transplantation and genetic engineering, physicians have been provided with the means with which to restore the health of critically ill patients.

Patients who would a few decades ago have been condemned to death due to dysfunctional vital organs in their body can have their health restored through organ transplantations. While donor organs can be obtained from various sources, the probability of successful transplantations is increased when the patient is a genetic match with the donor. This situation has led to the development of a solution known as the “savior sibling”.

In this solution, a sibling to a child afflicted by a fatal illness such as leukemia is conceived through genetic engineering. This healthy sibling assists by providing the necessary transplant organs for his/her sick sibling in the future.

While this solution increases the chances of survival for the sick sibling since the savior sibling is a healthy genetic match making him/her a perfect donor, the practice raises significant medical, ethical and moral issues. The movie “My Sister’s Keeper”, based on a novel by the same title written by Jodi Picoult, attempts to explore the issues raised by the savior sibling solution.

The movie “My Sister’s Keeper”, directed by Nick Cassavetes, focuses on the consequences of the decision by two parents to create a savior sibling for Kate who is their sick first-born daughter. Kate suffers from leukemia and because of her condition, she is constantly sick. While at a young age, Kate’s doctors inform her parents that she will die within a few years.

However, one of Kate’s doctors suggests that Kate’s chances of survival could be greatly increased if she had a genetically compatible sibling who could donate organs and bone marrow tissue to her.

The parents are very anxious to extend Kate’s life and they therefore decide to genetically conceive a child who will act as Kate’s perpetual organ donor. Anna is the sibling who is conceived for the primary reason of providing organ or cell transplants for her older sister Kate who suffers from acute promyelocytic leukemia.

The movie reveals that Anna is genetically matched to Kate and this makes her a perfect donor. From the time she is five years of age, Anna is forced to go through major medical procedures in order to keep her big sister alive. At the Age of 11, Anna makes the decision to take her parents to court where she seeks medical emancipation.

She engages the services of a prominent Attorney, Campbell Alexander, and together they sue for Anna’s parents to be denied some of their parental rights. This would enable Anna to dictate what should be done with her body and free her from her role as Kate’s organ donor. Anna’s attorney argues that Anna should be allowed to decide on how her body is used instead of being used as a body spare part for her sister.

The film also shows how Kate’s illness affects the lives of her brother, sister, and parents. Her older brother Jesse feels overlooked since his parents are overly concerned about the sickly Kate. While Jesse is a good brother, he is neglected as his parents focus on Kate and her donor sister Anna.

Kate’s mother is overprotective and her inflated concern for her daughter almost jeopardizes her marriage. When Kate gets out of the hospital to go to the beach, her mother is furious and even threatens not to join them at the beach.

The movie later reveals that Anna’s decision to sue her parents was made after Kate requested Anna to do this. Kate has had to battle with illnesses since she was first diagnosed with leukemia during her childhood years. Her disease has affected her entire family and especially her little sister who has been forced to act as an organ donor. Kate does not think she will survive the kidney transplant and is ready to die.

However, she knows that her mother will not allow her to refuse the surgery and she therefore convinces Anna to sue for medical emancipation. In the end, Kate acts as her “sister’s keeper” by encouraging Anna to sue for medical emancipation and therefore avoid compromising her future life by donating a kidney.

Kate dies at the hospital before the court decision is announced. Her death makes it unnecessary for Anna to donate her kidney regardless of the ruling. Even so, it is revealed that Anna won her case for medical emancipation meaning her parents no longer have the right to dictate what should be done with her body.

Following Kate’s death, her family commemorates her birthday by visiting Montana and Anna declares that she will see Kate again.

Anna is shown to suffer physically due to the savior sibling solution used by the parents. She has already spent a significant amount of time going to hospital for invasive procedures such as the bone marrow extraction in order to assist her sister. At the tender age of five, Anna was made to undergo medical procedures to provide organs or tissue to her sister.

The movie reveals that Anna has undergone the bone marrow extraction procedure a number of times for Kate. Anna’s childhood is therefore stolen from her, as she is required to visit the hospital for operations in order to save her sister.

As Kate’s leukemia advances, she suffers from renal failure and as usual, Anna’s parents expect her to donate one of her kidneys to her ailing sister. Even though this does not occur since Kate dies, Anna appears to be ready to undergo surgery to save her sister.

In addition to the physical suffering endured by Anna, she also experiences some emotional suffering. The girl suffers when she first discovers that she was conceived for the sole purpose of providing organs for her elder sister.

Anna admits that unlike most babies who were conceived for no practical reason, she was born to save her sister’s life. Anna questions her purpose in life considering that she was only conceived to provide organs for her older sister.

Anna also suffers psychologically when her relationship with her mother is damaged because of Anna’s decision to sue for medical emancipation. When it is revealed to the parents that Anna is taking them to court, her mother slaps her.

The relationship between Anna and her mother is troubled even as they engage in the court battle against each other. Anna’s mother feels that is it Anna’s obligation to provide the kidney that Kate needs to survive.

Anna is also burdened with the responsibility of keeping her sister alive. While Kate’s illness affects the entire family, Anna is affected the most since she is responsible for providing parts of her body to keep her sister alive. This additional responsibility on the little girl makes it impossible for her to enjoy a normal life.

Even after Kate has instructed Anna to file for medical emancipation, Anna still makes preparations of the Kidney transplant meaning that she is ready to give up one of her kidneys for her sister. It is morally wrong to place such a heavy burden on a child.

The movie “My Sister’s Keeper” analyses some significant issues that biotechnology can cause. The ethical issues that can arise from conceiving a savior sibling are addressed by looking at the case of Kate and her sister Anna. This paper shows that while the availability of a genetically matched organ donor for the sick sibling prolongs her life, it does so at a significant physical and emotional cost to the other child.

This is the situation that led to the medical emancipation lawsuit that Anna made against her parents. The court ruling was in favor of Anna, which suggests that Anna’s parents acted unethically when they created Anna through in vitro fertilization for the primary purpose of saving Kate.

That action ignored Anna’s rights over her body and overlooked her physical and emotional well-being. From the situations created in this movie, it is clear that medical advances such as genetic engineering and organ transplantation create a number of significant ethical issues that must be addressed by society.

Nick Cassavetes. Dir. My Sister’s Keeper . Curmudgeon Films, 2009. Film.

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My Sister’s Keeper: Ethics in The Film

My Sister’s Keeper: Ethics in The Film essay

Table of contents

Film summary, my sister's keeper: ethical analysis, relation and impact to the nursing profession today, non-maleficence, beneficence.

  • Beauchamp, T. L., & Childress, J. F. (2013). Principles of biomedical ethics. Oxford University Press.
  • Dornbusch, S. M. (2009). Parental responsiveness and child compliance: The moderating effect of authoritative control. Child Development, 50(3), 862-866.
  • Gillick, M. R. (1995). Medical ethics and the movies. New England Journal of Medicine, 333(14), 926-927.
  • Gorski, C. (2015). Who decides who is a good mother? "My Sister's Keeper" and the problem of wrongful birth claims. Women's Rights Law Reporter, 36(1), 29-44.
  • Harris, J. (2013). The value of life: An introduction to medical ethics. Routledge.
  • Jonsen, A. R., Siegler, M., & Winslade, W. J. (2015). Clinical ethics: A practical approach to ethical decisions in clinical medicine. McGraw Hill Professional.
  • Kagan, S. H., & Cohen, I. G. (2013). My Sister's Keeper: An introduction to ethical analysis for students. The American Journal of Bioethics, 13(2), 52-54.

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Home / Essay Samples / Literature / Books / My Sister's Keeper

My Sister's Keeper Essay Examples

My sisters keeper: identity and its role in our sense of belonging.

 How a person lives their life, their morals and values, their ethnicity, beliefs and numerous other attributes make up who a person is, it forms their identity. Who you are to others and who you are to yourself is what makes up your character. Whether...

Ethical Topic in My Sister's Keeper Movie

Genetic engineering is referred to as the manipulation of an organism's genes with the help of biotechnology. In humans it is the process of removing defective genes with more effective genes. This is a major ethical theme in the movie My Sister's Keeper, a film...

Power of Losing a Loved One in 'My Sister's Keeper' Movie

Today l will be exploring the American drama film 'My Sister's Keeper' directed by Nick Cassaevtes. Through the loss of autonomy and control, people respond in a variety of complex ways, revealing being willingly blind to the damage been done because of love. Kate Fitzgerald...

The Story of My Sister's Keeper

My sister’s keeper is a story about Anna who was a designer baby conceived to be a donor for her sister, Kate. Anna was eleven years old. Kate was three years older and was suffering from leukaemia. Anna had to donate body tissues to Kate...

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