As years go on, the doctors must take many things including bone marrow from Anna’s body to give to Kate. At age 11, the next body part Anna must give to her sister is a kidney, if this happens she will not live the life she plans, with cheerleading and playing soccer, or even one day becoming a mother. Anna has had enough of all of these medical procedures and tells her parents she does not want to donate a kidney. She proceeds to hire lawyer Campbell Alexander to become medically emancipated from her parents.
Alexander agreeing to this case is however is not doing the case for recognition, but because he suffers epilepsy and understands her predicament of not being in control of her body. Mother Sara gave up her career as a lawyer to care for Kate and the rest of the family, but with her daughter refusing to help her dying sister this forces her to go to back to her job and play prosecution and against her own daughter and defense lawyer. Through the case preparations, with Judge De Salvo, who recently lost her child, watching proceedings as Anna and the family fall out somewhat.
During this time there are many flash backs, including how Kate grew up with her illness, how she and Anna got on growing up aware of her state, their various visits to hospital, and the various ways in which Kate may not have been taking care of herself. As the court case comes near to its conclusion Anna is forced into telling the big truth that the court case is actually at the request of her sister Kate who no longer wants to live due to her continuing illness and no longer wants her sister to have to go through any operation and have her future changed.
Kate’s only request is a day at the beach before she dies. In the end Sara and the rest of the family are forced to respect the wishes of Kate as she lays in hospital bed slowly getting worse and near death, and dies of leukemia with mother Sara laying by her side. Soon after Kate’s death, Campbell comes to the Fitzgerald’s home and informs Anna that they have won the case. Although the theme of death of portrayed throughout the whole movie, it is majorly portrayed after
the death of Kate when the family ultimately moves on with their lives; Sara returning to her career as an attorney, Brian retiring early and starting to volunteer with inner city youths and Jesse turning his life around and winning a scholarship to an art school in New York. Every year on Kate’s birthday the family takes a vacation to Montana, where Kate has assured Anna that she will always be waiting for them.
The main conflict in My Sisters Keeper is pretty obvious; younger sister Anna files a lawsuit against her parents for medical emancipation so that she will no longer be forced to act as a donor for her older sister Kate, who has struggled with cancer almost her entire life. Her overprotective mother, Sara who is obsessed keeping Kate alive, is appalled with Anna’s decision and even slaps her across the face when she receives the notice of court proceedings. Father Brian is shocked too, but calmer and more objective because he can see Anna’s point.
She has her own life to live, and her own love to demand because it is evident that her mothers love is directly to Kate. Anna wants desperately to be free of the burden of both her life and Kate’s, but at the same time, Anna loves Kate and does not want her to die. Anna recognizes that whether or not Kate lives has an intense impact on what will occur in reality. For a moment, Anna sees herself free of Kate and doing whatever she desires but then realizes losing her sister, and best friend may ultimately not be worth it. In the end, it is Kate who decides Anna should become free of Kate as Kate embraces death.
As Father Brian begins to realize the death of his daughter, Kate is unavoidable Brian becomes more aware and understanding towards Anna and eventually flat out supports Anna’s decision to become medically emancipated, directly going against the way his wife’s feels. On the contrast, Sara is in denial when it comes to the death of her daughter Kate. This mother of three selflessly devotes herself to Kate while selfishly ignoring her two other children. Her devotion to Kate is also self-destructive as she has quits her job as lawyer and winds down the relationship with her husband Brian.
Sara even goes as far as to have a child, Anna, for the sole purpose of keeping Kate alive. All of Kate’s family members are forced to deal with her cancer. If I was placed in such a situation similar to the Fitzgerald families, I am confident that I would react as Brian has reacted. Personally this is one of my favorite films and although I’ve seen it over, and over, and over again I will always love it just the same. This film takes you by the heart and leaves you emotionally invested after just the first fifteen minutes.
The way death is portrayed in this film is completely realistic, and I would not change a thing about it. For those who have never seen this movie, I would recommend it to anyone. Trying to interpret the meaning of this film brought me to a conclusion that, like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly Is however on the other side unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister, so Anna is forced to make a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps leave fatal consequences for the sister whom she loves.
My Sister’s Keeper examines what it means to be a good parent, a good sister, and a good person. It makes you ask yourself the questions, like is it morally correct to do whatever it takes to save a child’s life even if that means interfering upon the rights of another? And is it worth trying to discover who you really are, if that journey makes you less like yourself? Death is never easy. The thought of death infects the minds of all people. The fact is death will come to every last living thing.
Most people expect to leave quietly and painlessly in their sleep from no particular reason or just because they were old and it was their time. However, death is rarely so gracious. Sometimes it will strike unexpectedly in the form of a car crash or a late night mugging. Other times death will creep up as slow as terminal illnesses so often do. No matter what form death approaches in, it not only affects the patient alone, but also the friends and family members around those people.