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Anna's Disease In My Sister's Keeper

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Your daughter has leukemia and the doctor tells you, ”You can save her.” What would you do? Obviously, listen to what the doctor says. But what if he tells you he is going to create a perfect donor baby for you to conceive? Is that going too far? To use another child to save the one you already have, is that right? Through the movie My Sisters Keeper one can see the hardships this family faces as they try to save their daughter Kate from leukemia.

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Throughout Anna’s life her parents relied on her to save her sick sister Kate. It started with cord blood, then bone marrow, and now a kidney. Anna not wanting to give up her kidney because of all the health risks goes in search for a lawyer. She meets with Campbell, and he decides to support her decision of wanting to become medically emancipated from her parents. Sarah, the girl’s mother, finds out about Anna refusing to give up her kidney, and becomes furious. She immediately starts getting her case ready to fight her own daughter in court.

The movie shows Kate and Anna always getting along, keeping secrets, talking about boys, and being best friends. One would question why Anna isn’t willing to give up her kidney to possibly save Kate’s life.

As the movie continues the day finally comes where court is to take place. After a very dramatic court hearing, the brother of the two sisters stands up and says, “Anna, tell them that Kate told you to do this.” The shocked mother didn’t believe it, but after a moment of her realizing that it was true, she became saddened.

A few days after court hearing, the family had a party in Kate’s hospital room. They ate pizza and they tried to get one last happy moment in with Kate. They all knew she was getting tired and was ready to go soon. After several hours Kate had everyone leave, except her mother.

While it was only Sarah (Kate’s mother) and Kate, Kate gave her mother a gift. It was a scrapbook filled with moments of her life with uplifting quotes. Sarah loved it! That night while her mother slept by Kate she slipped away peacefully.

Weeks go by, and finally the results of the court hearing come in. Anna is now medically emancipated at the age of eleven, just what Kate wanted to happen.

Many reviews of the movie and book, My Sisters Keeper mention how wonderful the movie was. One review says,” ‘’My Sister’s Keeper was the most heart breaking, tear-jerking, tragic novel that I have ever read.’’ Prairie Miller says “Remarkable in concept and utterly exquisite in its execution, this domestic drama at the deeply conflicted crossroads of family wounds and medical healing, would have baffled even Solomon as to the ultimate value of a child. I have not found one bad review about the amazing story.

The movie and the book have many differences. Some of the minor differences begin with Jessie. In the book Jessie was a trouble maker. He started setting fire to many buildings, and acting out for attention. In the movie none of that was mentioned. In the book Anna was thirteen not eleven. The major difference between the book and the movie was in the movie Anna gets in a car accident with her lawyer Campbell. She is declared brain dead and her kidney is donated to her sister. Kate lives a long healthy life and Anna dies. In the movie Kate just dies from the cancer shutting her body down. There were not many differences but the major one completely changes the endings of the story.

The three core domains I chose for My Sisters Keeper are scientific thinking, ethical thinking, and abstract thinking. My Sisters Keeper shows scientific thinking by the doctor making a perfect donor child for Kate. The ethical thinking is shown, when the parent’s in the movie have to decide if it was ethical to make a child just so their other child could survive longer. Abstract thinking would be Anna thinking of a way for her not to have to donate her body to Kate anymore. She did this by getting medically emancipated. The movie shows all three of these core domains all throughout the story.

My Sisters Keeper is a very heartbreaking story. I believe if I was put in the same situation of Anna, Kate, and Jessie’s parent’s place I would also chose to make a perfect donor child. I believe their mother did take it a little too far when she began to risk Anna’s life. This movie is one of my favorites and is also the only movie to make me cry. It is very emotional.

Discussion Questions

  1. Do you think it was right for the parents of the story to make a perfect donor child to save Kate?
  2. Should Anna have won the trial to become medically emancipated from her parents?
  3. Did you like the ending better where Anna died, or where Kate died?
  4. Why did you think the movie chose to let Kate die, and not Anna?
  5. Why do you think the movie did not include Jessie’s trouble making like the book did?

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