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Health & Bioethics Midterm ELGA

My Sisters Keeper: Movie Analysis

Submitted by:
Group 4 HUB33
Lomeda, Rocel Mae M.
Magdayo, Rea Iriz T.
Solmayor, Christine Mae A.
Espiritu, Katrina C.
Alvarez, Regina Mae B.

Submitted to:
Ms. Rosalie Villanueva
My Sister's Keeper is a film about a couple whose lives revolved around their
daughter Kate. From a very young age, Kate was diagnosed with leukemia and doctors
have predicted the time she has left to live. Her parents embraced her disease and
decided to duplicate her chromosomes by genetically producing another child named
Anna. Anna was made to serve a specific purpose which is to spare Kate's life. As the
film advances, Anna started questioning her origin so she decided to file a lawsuit
against her own guardians. Anna asserts the claim is for her entitlement to life and to
allow her the basic rights in regards to what to do with her own particular body. In the
end, the claim was actually for Kate who chooses to end her life and put an end to her
agony. The family winds up noticeably torn among the claim and attempted to keep Kate
cheerful and happy for her remaining days.

For the past few decades, a mass of advances in technology and science that
are related to the medicine affects the standard deliberation of the natural occurrence
caused by the natural law and obviously it is the death of a person without the
manipulation or prohibition of its will to leave this world. Designer babies are becoming
increasingly common in the world of medicine. Parents carrying genes that place their
children at risk for serious disease such as sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, and
Fanconi anemia use preimplantation genetic diagnosis to select embryos that are not
predisposed to these conditions. Whether or not the use of this new technology is
ethical and is dependent on the way that individuals choose to use it. In My Sister's
Keeper, Anna's parents abused the process of preimplantation genetic diagnosis by
conceiving a child whose sole purpose is to be a donor; devaluing and risking the
quality of that child's life. Anna was never consulted before each procedure or given the
option to refuse assuming she was willing to undergo any medical procedure to save
her sister. Kate's medical needs were put at the forefront while Anna desires and
emotions fell to the wayside. This unequal treatment resulted from a parental conflict of

Moreover, the movie tells us various factors that focuses to the different
perspective of the different sides of each character especially the mother and its two
daughters. Autonomy and Paternalism are the major ethical principles and factors that
were involved in Anna Fitzgeralds case as she was already extracted, primarily her
blood as a representation of its body parts, at age of 5. So the right of the patient to
decide whether she/he will undergo such procedure was terminated by its own guardian
and was dominated by the virtue of Paternalism as it states a paternalistic act is
performed when a patient is judged to be incompetent or to have diminished decision
making capacity. Annas parents agreed to have Annas birth as a donor child for the
sake of Katie, the eldest daughter, and when Annas started donating her body parts to
be able to save Katies along with this donation, Annas will was already dissolved and
masked by the paternalistic act of the parents and the attending doctor.

In the movie, Anna goes to court at the age of 11 to be medically emancipated

from her parents meaning she can no longer be force by her parents to donate for
Kate. Sarah (mother of Kate and Anna) is persistent and convincing the entire family
into account to save Kate, however the question here is does she ever considered
Annas health? Let us discuss here Annas need for independence and Sarah as a
mother. Paradoxically, Sarah has been very focused on being a mother to Kate and
does not always fill the role of a mother for her other children; Jesse (her son) who is
always seeking for her attention and Anna who is genuinely unhappy about filing lawsuit
to her parents. Sarah should have considered Anna not just a living donor but also her
daughter that might face health consequences, psychological consequences and she
might also feel pressured. Anna is not being cared as a whole person her body is
being damaged, she also had thought of being not a normal kid if she will donate her
kidney to her sister and she is also being forced by her parents specially by her mother.
This is psychologically damaging because she thinks that her parents only had her to
provide for her sister. Sara even admits she could only think of the unborn Anna in
terms of what she could do for Kate. However, in the movie Anna is feeling guilty about
being medically emancipated from her parents and wondering if she is an awful person
for not donating her kidney to her sister. It was then revealed in the movie that its her
sisters likeness not to live anymore. Anna fulfilled her sisters wish to die by filing
lawsuit to her parents. Kate knowing her mother is very persistent and narrow-minded
ask Anna to file lawsuit even it hurts Anna deeply because she wanted Kate to live. We
do understand where their mother was coming from in trying to save Kate. We all know
that a mothers love knows no limits and will go through any obstacle and hindrances
just to save her family even to the expense of her own life. Due to her love for Kate, her
mother did everything possible just to save Kates life. But shouldve considered her
other daughters desire. Annas love for her sister also knows no boundaries because
she did her sisters favors even though it is against her will. In the end, it was and
should be Annas decision.

In addition to the issue of ethics, the issue of patients rights is at the core of the
movies messages. As a patient, Kate has the right to choose which treatment to
undergo and when to stop. This can be compared to the essential topic of euthanasia.
If a patient chooses to die, would it be a good idea for us to let them? In the event that a
patient is not able to represent him/herself, would we be able to settle on that choice for
them? These inquiries are at the foundation of Kates rights as a patient.

In conclusion, the film was an effective way to portray sensitive health issues
such as patients rights, family support, conflicts and human ethics. The emotions
evoked from the film allowed viewers to ponder and contemplate on their own health.
Also, to consider what is often neglected, which is the wellbeing of patients. The
messages of the film highlighted on understanding the significance of the few
measurements of hardships and past ailments that patients and family members
experience. By understanding other's will will affect the relationship of a group/family.
The children have the rights to speak their minds and its the parents responsibility to
listen to them. And in the movie, it's seen how the parents neglected their children,
causing them their son to be a delinquent and the other became frustrated at them. The
parents on the story specifically the mother became so obsessed on curing her eldest
daughter that she forgets that she has another 2 children waiting for her attention,
nonetheless she gave her daughter an attention but she use her by becoming the eldest
daughter's donor, not knowing her feelings whether she's okay with giving her organs to
her sister or not because no matter what it's only the eldest daughter that's more
important. Parents should always remember that they're children needs them. Children
have the right to make their own choices and follow what their hearts desire and parents
should not expect that not everything that they want for their children to do will be done
by them.