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“My Sister’s Keeper” by Jodi Picoult

Abstract

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.

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Background

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.

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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.

Reference

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/

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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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