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"If you use one of your children to save the life of another, are you being a good morhter or a very bad one?"

(30 Posts)
Joolstoo Thu 27-Jan-05 19:25:19

'My Sister's Keeper' by Jodi Picoult is an excellent novel and a subject ripe for discussion on MN! - I read it in 3 days and throughouly enjoyed it.

The story in a nutshell is of a family with two children Jesse 4 and Kate 2 - Kate is diagnosed with nasty form of leukaemia - they have a further genetically designed baby, Anna, for stem cells from the umbilical cord in an effort to save Kate - but it goes on over the years.

When Anna is 13 Kate needs a kidney transplant and Anna says enough and sues her parents for medical emancipation.

It's well told story without being over dramatic and it really makes you think of the moral dilemmas involved.

A bloody good read!

Joolstoo Thu 27-Jan-05 19:26:44

doh - "good MOTHER"!!!

twiglett Thu 27-Jan-05 19:28:19

no-brainer ... good mother

.. however I think there's a huge, huge difference between taking stem cells (which is non-invasive) and asking a sibling to donate a kidney

not sure I could read it though .. too hormonal

jabberwocky Thu 27-Jan-05 19:29:24

Very interesting. I'll have to get this one. Just off the top of my head though, I would say harvesting stem cells is a very different issue from donating a kidney and Anna does have a point.

Gobbledigook Thu 27-Jan-05 19:29:56

Can I borrow it Mammy? Can you bring it down this weekend?

Gobbledigook Thu 27-Jan-05 19:31:14

eek, but at the same time, I think I'd donate my kidney without question if it would save my brothers life.

Or do you think she'd see it differently because Anna knows she's only here because they needed a cure for her sister?

jabberwocky Thu 27-Jan-05 19:32:52

Well, I think at her age it would be hard for her to process all of the consequences. Also 13 year olds tend to be rather "me first" don't you think?

jabberwocky Thu 27-Jan-05 19:33:40

One of my brothers has only one functioning kidney and I've already decided, if the time comes I will donate without question.

fairyfly Thu 27-Jan-05 19:33:54

mmm reminds me of the whole idea that god loved his child so much he let him be crucified to save the world

Gobbledigook Thu 27-Jan-05 19:34:15

Oh sorry, missed that she was 13.

Hmmm, can't say what I'd have done at 13 but I've always been v. close to my brothers so I think I might have done it then too - but who knows.

Joolstoo Thu 27-Jan-05 19:35:02

Yes, you see Anna always has to be around in case Kate has a relapse - so when she shines at hockey and get the chance to go to hockey camp - oh dear!

The idea was a one off donation that didn't hurt Anna and she knew nothing about it - but of course she's a perfect match so over the years she's giving blood which IS invasive and then bone marrow which is VERY invasive.

I can thoroughly (got it right this time!) recommend this book.

GDG - its yours this weekend!

Joolstoo Thu 27-Jan-05 19:35:54

the point is - Anna isn't making the decisions!

Demented Sun 30-Jan-05 15:29:59

I bought this in ASDA on Friday, looking forward to reading it now.

edam Sun 30-Jan-05 15:48:04

Will look out for this book, sounds fascinating. Of course it's wrong to exploit a child for the benefit of another child.. gets a bit more murky when you are 'only' talking about stem cell transplant using cord blood, though. The idea of creating a child not because you want them but in order to save another child is difficult... how will the second child feel when they are older? Guess that's why the author is using an extreme example.

JoolsToo Fri 18-Feb-05 12:37:06

has anyone else read this yet? would like to know what you thought about it?

Ameriscot2005 Fri 18-Feb-05 12:45:48

Is this thread spawned from the discussion on Nicola Horlick?

I think that you'd probably do anything to save a child that has cancer. If you are open to a larger family, and the yet-to-be-conceived child provides hope and there is to be little pain and suffering (remembered, anyway), then I think I'd probably do it. Even if the chances are minute. Doesn't mean you aren't going to love the saviour child as much as any of the others.

It's different from the dilemma that parents of conjoined twins go through when they sacrifice the life of one to save the other, assuming that neither can survive without separation.

Gobbledigook Fri 18-Feb-05 12:50:59

Read it and wept.

When I finished it the other night I was literally sobbing - really good book though!

JoolsToo Fri 18-Feb-05 12:52:22

No - its a book - My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult - its a novel but could well be a real issue. It was interesting reading - Demented said she was going to read it - I wondered what she thought?

I believe they're going to 'do it' on Richard & Judy's book club - so I suppose I can get some feedback from there eventually!

JoolsToo Fri 18-Feb-05 12:53:38

Ah - GDG - I kept meaning to ask you if you'd had time!

really difficult choices don't you think? - did you think it was 'unputdownable'?

Gobbledigook Fri 18-Feb-05 12:54:27

It was, I'm trying to form an opinion but ds1 won't shut up

Er, yes, very difficult - I really don't know what I'd do in that position. Horrible situation to be in.

JoolsToo Fri 18-Feb-05 12:55:33

I'll talk to you about when I see you!

Demented Sat 19-Feb-05 12:33:18

I've still not started this (have a very bad habit of buying two books a month when I can barely read one a month). Might start it tonight.

noddyholder Sat 19-Feb-05 12:41:17

I have had a kidney from my mum in 1985 and again from my brother in 2000.Any questions feel free to ask It is almost impossible to have a set response on this until you are in that situation.Many people are anti transplant but have never been ill.Also it is never the case that children donate to other children.When i had my 1st transplant my mum was the only option as my brother and sister too young.Also they don't usually take a kidney from a female donor unless her family is complete and as my sister has no kids yet she couldn't donate when I needed the 2nd transplant so my brother did

Donbean Sat 19-Feb-05 12:46:54

Excelent point Noddyholder about living donors and the fact that you can only speculate unless actually in the situation.
Interesting subject that throws up lots of "what if" questions.

JoolsToo Sat 19-Feb-05 13:18:31

that's interesting Noddy - I wonder if that applies in America or if the author was just using dramatic licence!?

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