My Sister's Keeper

Director: Nick Cassavettes
Year: 2009
Country: USA
Duration: 109 mins
Rating: 12A
Cast: Cameron Diaz, Jason Patric
More information (external website)

Filed under: Human Embryology, Drama

Two parents have just been informed that their young daughter Kate has leukemia, and that she only has a few years to live. The doctor suggests to the parents that they try for a saviour sibling child, whereby a number of embryos are created through IVF and then selected so that a resulting child maybe become an immunological perfect match to an elder sibling. When born (a daughter) the umbilical cord of this saviour child is initially used. As years go on, however, the doctors must take bone marrow from this small girl to attempt to treat Kate. Eventually at the age of 11, the daughter has had enough of all of these medical procedures, and she decides to sue her parents for medical emancipation and the right to decide how her body will be used. The whole family is being torn apart by the decision because everyone knows what will happen to Kate if she does not get a new kidney. Awards: Oscar for Best Actor, Canne film festival (Best Film)

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This Biomedical Ethics Film Library is being presented in partnership with European Medical Students' Association (EMSA)