Essay On Behaviour Siblings

2282 Words10 Pages
Saviour Siblings: A Medical Miracle or a Tool of Exploitation?

The issue of allowing parents to select embryos to become savior siblings has brought about a lot of controversy and dispute. On one hand there are those who claim that it is a medical miracle that has prevented the deaths of a number of children1, whereas others disagree and say that it is unethical to create a child for the sole purpose of saving another. They are concerned with the physical and psychological welfare of the child and feel that there is a possible risk of the child being exploited into undergoing procedures that are not necessarily in their best interests2.

I have divided my essay into two main topic areas:
- Preimplantation Tissue Typing
- Bone marrow/Organ Donation
I will focus solely on the welfare and best interests of the savior sibling. I will also discuss the effect of saviour siblings on society.
I aim to cover the main ethical issues surrounding each of these topics with regards to saviour siblings and then discuss whether saviour siblings is a medical miracle or a tool of exploitation.

Preimplantation Tissue Typing:

What is PTT?

The creation of a savior sibling occurs via Preimplantation Tissue Typing (PTT). This involves three techniques IVF, Pre implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) and HLA tissue typing3.

At the early stage, embryos created by a couple are tested as for a tissue match for their existing child suffering from an extremely rare disorder. Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is also used in conjunction with Tissue typing when the rare disorder is genetically inherited to ensure that the embryo does not also carry the defective gene4. PTT offers parents the chance of conceiving a child who is an exact tissue match f...

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...omfortable subjecting another human being to such a fate.

To conclude, although the intention behind the creation of saviour siblings is good and the procedure itself is impressive, it is unwise and irresponsible to not think about how easily the saviour siblings could be exploited physically or psychologically even if by a minority. Despite the amount of regulation conducted by the HFEA and HTA to allow this procedure to occur, extra measures must be taken to minimize the chances of Saviour siblings being exploited. Firstly the law must write down the conditions under which the creation of saviour siblings is permissible. Secondly, the parents must be assessed thoroughly by the clinicians, with regards to their intentions and their expectations. I also feel that further research is needed to assess the psychological impact of growing up as a ‘saviour sibling’.
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