Saturday, January 23, 2010

Can Parents Make Their Kids Give up an Organ?

I haven't seen the movie My Sister's Keeper yet, but I've read the book, and I liked it a lot. I wouldn't say it's my favorite book (probably because I already knew how it would end and that tainted the experience for me), but it was pretty powerful. The concept is pretty interesting--a little girl who's born just so that her sister can have a genetic match for bone marrow (or some other bodily fluid/tissue...I can't remember now). But she grows up completely at the beck and call of her sick sister who constantly needs blood, etc. from her. The straw that breaks the camel's back is when this girl's mother asks her to give up a kidney for her sister. The girl files for emancipation from her parents so they won't be able to make her go through the procedure.

Someone who'd already read the book asked me if I'd give up a kidney for a family member. I don't have any sibling so I can't say for sure, but I sure know I'd give up a kidney for my parents if they needed one. I might feel differently though if I was specifically born to save someone else. I think I'd start feeling like my life wasn't my own.

Teesha, since you're one of my friends who's most dedicated to her family, this book recommendation is for you. You're also one of my most compassionate friends.

Does anyone have any thoughts on the moral implications of this theme? Can parents really make their kids give up an organ? Is that even legal???

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