Views & Reviews Medical Classics

All About My Mother

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 27 October 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c6055
  1. Richard Hurley, deputy magazine editor, BMJ
  1. rhurley{at}

Spain has the world’s highest rate of organ donation from the dead, with a system in which the family must give consent, a central theme of Pedro Almodóvar’s film All About My Mother. Manuela’s life is turned upside down when she helplessly watches her only son, Esteban, mowed down and killed by a car in the pouring rain. They’d been to see a performance of Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire to celebrate Esteban’s 17th birthday. After waiting at the stage door to see the actress Huma Rojo, who had played Blanche DuBois, he had chased their heroine into the street for an autograph.

Manuela, a nurse who coordinates transplants at a Madrid hospital, finds herself …

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