Saturday, November 14, 2009

My Sister's Keeper...continue

I completed reading the book - the movie version is very different from the book. Even the ending is different. I am caught by surprise as I expected the movie to stick to the most 'critical' aspect of the book. In the movie, Kate who suffered from cancer died. In the book, Anna the healthy child died instead.

The last chapter got to me - it tug at my heart string. It just seems so unfair to have a healthy child who suffered both physical and emotional pain due to her sister to died so young. But I think the author did a great job, for otherwise the book would not live up to its title - My Sister's Keeper. Anna gave Kate a new lease of life with her death...her kidney was transplanted to Kate. She continues to be her sister's keeper even in death.

This book makes one ponder over questions which are uncomfortable to most :

1) We should learn to let go of our love one when the time come. Kate's mother refuses to let her daughter died - even if it means grasping at the last straw and having a genetically conceived child to be Kate's life long donor.

2) We should have the right to die (not legal though in S'pore). Kate wanted to die as her whole life is revolved around hospital and ill health. She has no childhood to speak off. She begged her sister Anna to take up a law suit against their parent for right to her own body so that Anna need not donate a kidney to her. Without a kidney transplant, Kate will die and this is what she wanted. She knew her death would release her family from pain too as they have no life of their own, because all their activities revolved around her.

3) Organ donation - this topic has been given a new 'angle' in recent years in S'pore. The law now allows donors from none family members and compensation to donors. I think the law on organ donation would not have been amended if not for Dr Lee Wei Ling (MM Lee's daughter) thinking out of the 'moral and religious' box and advocated for it due to practical needs in saving lives. We need more courageous folks like Dr Lee who is high profile and yet dare to go against the norm.

The book offers a new perspective - should not children have a right to their own body ? Parents make all the decision for their underage child - even life impacting decision such as organ donation. Would the child as an adult understand or blame the parents for it ?

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