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 ‘My Sister’s Keeper’ is a movie about a family whose lives revolve around Kate, their daughter.  Kate has been diagnosed with cancer, and according to her doctor, he has very little time remaining. Fighting to keep her alive, her parents decide to conceive another child whose function is saving Kate’s life. Kate’s chromosomes are used to conceive Anna. As the move progresses, Anna discover out about her formation, and later sues her parents. In the lawsuit, Anna offers that she has a right to live and the autonomy to decide how she uses her body. The couple becomes undecided between Anna’s lawsuit and trying to keep Kate happy and alive (Furst et al. 2009).

Effectiveness of Healthcare Personnel, their Communication Styles and Techniques

The patient-doctor relationship is a well-known concern in any healthcare system. My sister’s keeper portrays a kind of mutualistic relationship. For instance, Kate’s doctor is considerate and seems to take into consideration Kate’s distress and emotional needs. Similarly, Kate is respectful to the doctor and his medical profession.

In a different scene, the physician explains to Kate’s mother that her daughter’s condition is worsening.  The doctor emphasizes that Kate has very little time remaining. Kate observes this conversation via the glass window. In addition, Kate analyzes the non-verbal communication that the doctor is having with her mother, and gets the impression all is not well.  When Kate asks the doctor about her situation, the doctor openly and honestly indicates that there is no hope. The family notion acts as an important factor when one of its members is facing health issues. The Kate’s family serves as the mediator in communication between the doctor and Kate. Kate’s mother seems to share her daughter’s life stresses. For example, she shaves the head in an attempt to identify with her daughter (Furst et al. 2009).

On one hand Kate’s family is united, and the other hand, it is torn apart. Kate and Anna needs and cares for each other. However, Kate has to depart. The family members compromise their needs so as to meet Kate’s needs. The doctor is helpful and supportive of the family. In the film, the doctor portrays no symptoms of distress. He communicates with the couple in an effective way possible in an effort to give the family emotional balance. This shows that the doctor is really identifying and experiencing the family’s suffering. However, notwithstanding his supportive behavior and positive attitude, the doctor also makes substantial unethical medical insinuations, potentially breaching medical laws. He proposes to clone a child with appropriate chromosomes, which are to be used for Kate’s condition. This issue raises ethical concerns. In addition, the doctor infringes medical ethics when he permits Kate’s father to go out with Kate to the seashore while she is in a comma. While the doctor has no legal authority to allow such discharge, he seems to empathize with the family. This portrays his attribute as more humane, but falls short of being a doctor (Furst et al. 2009).

The film also focuses on the patient rights. The patient has a power to make a choice of the kind of treatment she/he would like to have, or to refuse treatment. However, a dilemma is created when the patient is not able to make decisions. It becomes even more complicated when the patient is the minor. While the parents can make decisions for the minors, in “My Sister’s Keeper”, Kate’s parents fail to balance the interests of Anna and Kate. For instance, Anna’s best interests were largely ignored by genetically creating her, and also by not letting her have autonomy over her body. This compels her to file lawsuit (Furst et al. 2009).

If I were caring for the patient, I would have considered her/his decision and respected patient rights. In My Sister’s keeper, the parents make decisions on behalf of Kate without considering the suffering and pain she is going through. She vomits, and feels woe with the loss of her hair. Kate wishes to die peacefully and resents medical procedures that aim to prolong her life. The family and the doctor should have not assumed that the right to have another child in order to save Kate is their mandate. Anna’s move to halt blood and tissue donation to Kate is welcome as she fights to claim her identity.

What I Would Have Done Differently

  • Seek bone-marrow from donor as opposed to duplicating Kate
  • Respected Kate’s wishes and let her die peacefully in case there was no donor
  • Showed empathy but also complied with medical ethics. 

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