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The Fight for Her Own Body: My Sister’s Keeper 2013-05-20 오후 9:37:00

Upon its release in 2004, the novel “My Sister’s Keeper” has sparked a lot of controversy. The story starts with 13-year-old Anna Fitzgerald suing her parents for medical emancipation. Born through in-vitro fertilization, she has been donating her bone marrow to save Kate, her older sister dying from leukemia. However, she decides that enough is enough when they ask her to donate a kidney, which could have a serious impact on Anna’s long-term health. Then novel deflects Anna’s conflict between the person she loves, and her basic human rights.


Many who are familiar with “My Sister’s Keeper” are not aware that a real-life story inspired it. Born in the year 2000, American Adam Nash became the first child to be conceived using preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). His parents conceived him through PGD so he could donate umbilical cord blood to his sister, Molly, who was born with a rare genetic disease, Fanconi Anemia, and be free of the disease himself. Adam has been called "the world's first savior sibling “, and his birth has gathered both positive and negative attention.


Test-tube babies, along with abortion, surrogate mothers and the buying and selling of ovaries and sperms are a problem brought about by advances in scientific technology. The first-test tube baby was born in 1978. It was the greatest medical discovery of all time: infertile couples who desperately wanted their own child could conceive them through simple procedures. However, problems arose when people deliberately started creating ‘designer babies’, who had all the traits that their parents wanted them to have.


People who are in favor of designer babies argue that less babies will be born with birth defects, and rare, incurable diseases. They also reason that like Adam, they will be able to save their sick siblings. However, they say that this not the only reason that these babies are conceived, and that they will be loved as much as any other regular baby.


Those who are against designer babies dispute that once the stem cell industry has expanded, people will start using technology for non-moral purposes, such as simply to have a handsome baby. Many religions oppose it as well, saying that it goes against the laws of nature to conceive a baby artificially.


At the end of the novel, it is revealed that it was Kate that asked Anna to file the charges. She knew that she had to go eventually, and did not want to be a burden on the family. The story ends with Anna brain-dead after a car accident, and Kate receiving her kidney. However, the question still remains in the air: “Are designer babies really the answer to all problems?”

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