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From Brian’s section through end of chapter
Brian rushes to Campbell, who has had a seizure. Julia asks if Campbell will
be okay, and Brian assures her that Campbell will be fine. In the Judge’s chambers,
Campbell regains consciousness. He doesn’t remember what happened, but Brian fills
him in. Campbell apologizes to his dog for not listening. Brian helps Campbell
change into clean clothes, and Campbell admits that he’s been hiding his seizures
since he was eighteen. He says they started after a car crash. Julia enters the
room, and Brian leaves. Brian observes that things don’t always look as they
Campbell tells Julia he had a car accident the night he took her home from his
parent’s house. The seizures started that night, and he has hidden them from
everyone ever since. Judge, he explains, is an epilepsy dog, and he broke up with
Julia he didn’t think she should have to live with his seizures. Julia tells
Campbell that you don’t love someone because they’re perfect but in spite of their
imperfection. She also tells Campbell that she will never leave him.
Anna talks to Campbell alone. She asks him if he took her case because he
knows what it’s like not to have control over his own body. He says “maybe.” They go
back to the courtroom and Anna takes the stand again. Campbell asks Anna to confirm
that Kate asked her to file the petition, and Anna says that’s not exactly true. She
says Kate asked Anna to kill her.
In a flashback, Anna finds Kate drunk with a bottle of pills. Kate tells Anna
she’s sick of waiting for something that’s going to happen anyway, and she’s tired
of ruining everyone’s lives. But she admits that she can’t kill herself. Anna
realizes this means Kate has tried before. Back in the courtroom in the present,
Sara says Anna’s story isn’t true. Anna tells her mother that Kate didn’t say
anything because she knew telling Sara would kill her, too. Anna also says she
doesn’t want Kate to die, but Kate doesn’t want to live the way she’s been living.
Anna, as always, is the only one who can give her what she wants.
In another flashback, Kate asks Anna not to donate her kidney. She
acknowledges that there are so many things Anna could do if she weren’t around. Anna
feels ashamed to admit that she has had the same thought. In the present, Campbell
asks Anna if she’s willing to take an action that might kill her sister. Anna says
Kate wanted it, but admits that she wanted it, too. It would be the worst and best
thing to happen to her. Anna told Kate she was going to be stop being a donor. Kate
Judge DeSalvo moves the proceeding to the hospital so he can talk to Kate.
When they arrive, Kate is watching TV with Jesse. Judge DeSalvo speaks with Kate
alone. When he leaves Kate’s room, he tells Sara, Brian, and Campbell that he will
announce his decision the following morning. Before Julia and Campbell leave,
Campbell tells Sara he is sorry. The entire family gathers in Kate’s room. Anna
tells Kate that she tried. Jesse jokes with Kate to lighten the mood. Everyone
leaves except for Sara. She climbs into bed with Kate and tells her how sorry she
is. Kate tells her not to be, because she isn’t.
Anna’s revealing to the court that Kate, in fact, convinced her not to donate
her kidney, and that Kate did so because she wants to die, dramatically changes our
understanding of Anna’s actions in the novel, again demonstrating that appearance
and reality don’t always converge. Up until now, Anna appeared to have filed the
lawsuit because she wanted to make her own decisions, specifically where they
concerned her own body, and because she wanted finally to be able to put her own
interests ahead of Kate’s. Although these desires may have played a role in the
lawsuit, Anna has still essentially allowed Kate to decide that Anna will not donate
her kidney, and Anna has put Kate’s interests first all along. As Anna says, just as
she has always been the one who could keep Kate alive, she is also the one who can
give Kate what she wants in this case. By winning medical emancipation from her
parents, Anna can refuse to donate her kidney, allowing Kate to die. Anna hid this
information because she knew revealing Kate’s desire to die would hurt her parents,
and Sara in particular.
The reasons behind Anna’s decision to file a petition once again reveal that
complex situations have no simple solutions. Anna feels pulled in two directions.
She wants control over her life and to not have to consider Kate in every decision
she makes, but she also wants to do what she feels is best for Kate. Anna, in
satisfying her own desire for independence and giving Kate control over her own
death, will lose her sister and closest friend. At the same time, Anna has withheld
her reasons for the lawsuit from Sara, causing Sara to direct a great deal of anger
and frustration at Anna. But Anna did not tell Sara her real reasons because she
wanted to protect her. Possibly the only thing that would hurt Sara more than Anna
refusing to give Kate a kidney is the knowledge that Kate feels so unhappy she would
prefer to die.
Campbell’s seizure finally uncovers his secret, that he has had epilepsy since
a car crash in high school, and this new information makes his motives throughout
the novel more clear. We learn, for instance, that Campbell ended his relationship
with Julia because he assumed she wouldn’t want to deal with his epilepsy. He loved
her independence and didn’t want to interfere with it. Rather than explain the
situation to her, he simply stopped seeing her. When she asks Campbell he didn’t
tell her what happened, he says he never even told his parents, implying that he
feels ashamed of the epilepsy. That embarrassment explains why Campbell does not
tell people why he needs a service dog, and why he seems uncomfortable after his
seizure in court. These details add even more depth to his character. More and more,
we see Campbell to be a vulnerable person who hides his insecurities by keeping
people at a distance and using sarcasm to deflect questions, rather than the smug
attorney he appeared to be at the beginning of the novel. As Brian suggests after he
helps Campbell following his seizure, things aren’t always what they