A Donor by Coincidence or by Conception – My Sister’s Keeper Revisited

Christoph Rehmann-Sutter*, Christina Schües

*Corresponding author for this work


Thirteen-year-old Anna Fitzgerald has been conceived in order to be a matching donor for her older sister Kate, who has a rare form of leukaemia. The story in the novel “My Sister’s Keeper” by Jody Picoult, and Nick Cassavetes’ movie, has many striking similarities to the situations that we heard from the families we studied – despite one significant difference: Anna is created to be a saviour sibling, whereas the stem cell donors we interviewed already existed and were found to be matching. We discuss the film as an emotionally complex, multi-layered narrative that gives insight into the perspectives of different family members and into some key aspects of a paradigmatic family conflict. The temporal order of the film’s story-telling using multiple flash-backs and retakes represents the entangled temporalities of experience and memory.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhilosophy and Medicine
Number of pages11
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Publication date2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Research Areas and Centers

  • Research Area: Center for Cultural Studies (ZKFL)

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 108-02 Theoretical Philosophy
  • 111-02 Empirical Socila Research

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