· It is impossible for someone under the age of 18 to be a living kidney donor, which means the fundamental premise of the book and film is flawed. A minor would never be in a position to be told by her parents to donate a kidney.
· When telling her parents that she does not want to be a donor, Anna uses the argument that she wants to live a “normal” life, play sports and not have to “be careful” all the time. In reality, living donors go on to lead very normal and healthy lives. While transplant recipients may be encouraged not to engage in contact sports, this is not usually a requirement for the living donor.
· Anna has many concerns about being a living donor. In reality living donors feel very positive about their gift. Kathleen Hostert, who donated a kidney to her husband, shares the common sentiment among living kidney donors: “The opportunity to literally save someone’s life through kidney donation is a true blessing and nothing short of a miracle. The gift I was able to give to my husband 11 years ago has truly been a blessing as a wife and a mother. To see him healthy again and able enjoy our children gives me an overwhelming sense of love and feelings I cannot explain. I have been truly honored to have been able to do this for him and our family. There was never any doubt or hesitation to give to this gift to him. I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Analysis: My Sister’s Keeper is a heart wrenching tale about a family facing the death of a loved one. While the film does not perpetuate any of the harmful myths and misconceptions that keep people from registering as an organ donor, it also does not leave audiences with a feeling that “organ donation is a good thing.”—Tenaya Wallace
Campaign Director, Donate Life Hollywood