Medical Ethics In My Sister's Keeper

1534 Words 7 Pages
The Effects of Medical Ethics in My Sisters Keeper To own one's body may seem like an obvious god given right, but is it? Savior Siblings are being created in test tubes to save their brothers or sisters by supplying a strong genetic match in order to donate blood, bone marrow and even organs. For these children, that ‘right to own their body’ is merely a dream. Although advances in medical laws have made this dream closer and closer to being completely realistic, all this is tied to one little thing; Medical Ethics. The decisions doctors make when aiding a patient can be extremely difficult in that every person is different and so is every situation. In the novel My Sister's Keeper, Jodi Picoult creates a direct example of how medical ethics …show more content…
To begin, Medical Ethics are systems of moral principles that apply values and judgments to the practice of medicine, something that the doctors in My Sisters Keeper lack. There are four key principles and concepts essential for physicians to follow; Autonomy, Beneficence, Nonmaleficence, and Justice. (The Best Practices in Medical Ethics) Autonomy for example is the patient's basic right to ultimate and final control over his or her own body, which means they have the right of acceptance or refusal to any procedure or medicine even when the choice is contradictory to the parent/guardians and/or medical expert's recommendation. Physicians are responsible to inform the patient with the necessary information to make a knowledgeable decision but it is ultimately the patient's choice.(The Best Practices in Medical Ethics) Although this sounds great, it doesn't always happen cases involving savior siblings are the exception; considering that permission to perform procedures before and shortly after birth is impossible(Bianchi, Schroskey), for example Anne explains how she …show more content…
Her physical suffering follows ; as stated above she feels sick from all the marrow transfers, tests, and procedures she has to go through. . She is involved in many self-destructive behaviors such as smoking cigarettes with her brother Jesse “I touch the cigarette to the burn; suck in hard the way I have seen Jesse do. It makes my chest explode, and I cough so forcefully that for a minute I actually believe I can taste my lung at the base of my throat, pink and spongy.” (Picoult 119) In this quote she explains her first and only cigarette and the way it fills her lungs. Although she ultimately rejects the cigarette the reader can infer that she only had the desire to destroy her own body so that it can’t be used against her by Kate. Her damaged lungs would mean no healthy lungs for her sister. Speaking of organs Kate needs a new kidney and who’s supposed to supply that kidney? Anna. This ties into physically pain because as Anna explains “You’re given anesthesia, the risks of which can include stroke, heart attack, and lung problems…. You have a 1 in 3,000 chance of dying on the operation table… it takes four to six weeks to fully recover”(Picoult 50). The risks are high and yet Anna still gets no choice in the matter of the procedure. The stress and feeling of wanting to be an individual aside from Kate causes

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