Saturday, July 18, 2009
My Sister’s Keeper (2004), by Jodi Picoult, is a novel about a young girl who sues her parents for the right to make her own decisions about how her body is used when a kidney transplant is planned in order to save her older sister's life. The main themes surrounding this novel are family and bioethics.
Anna came into the world via in vitro fertilization, so that she would be a genetic match for her older sister Kate, who was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia when she was 2 years old. When Anna was born, her cord blood was donated to Kate, but when the leukemia returned, Anna then had to donate blood and bone marrow. When Kate's kidneys fail, Anna is expected to donate one of her own, but she hires a lawyer to be medically emancipated from her parents and gain the right to make the decision herself. Her lawyer, Campbell Alexander, works for her pro bono.
I really liked this book - it had me spell bound. Being a mother and a daughter I can really appreciate all the drama that would ensue when health issues arise in a family. Not necessarily a happy summer read, it is definitely worth reading and discussing in a book review format.