Sunday, December 26, 2010

Boy Created Artificially to Cure Sister's Disease

With the help of the British National Health Service, Katie and Andy Matthews' Christmas gift to their 9-year-old daughter Megan is a brother whose body components, it is hoped, will save her life.

“To manufacture a person in this way is to offend against the respect that is due to the integrity of that person, no matter how compelling the goal of trying to cure.”

-- From "Boy born to save his big sister: 'Saviour sibling' brings hope to his family and makes medical history" by Rachel Ellis, London Daily Mail 12/23/10

Toddler Max Matthews . . . became the first ‘saviour sibling’ to be created in the UK after doctors cultivated embryos that could provide stem cells to treat Megan’s condition.

Now, blood taken from 17-month-old Max’s umbilical cord and bone marrow has been successfully used in a transplant for Megan, who suffers from Fanconi anaemia and was not expected to live beyond seven years old.

The £6,000 procedure that led to Max’s birth was paid for by the NHS as a last chance to help Megan.

While saviour siblings have been born before with the help of U.S. laboratories, this is the first time medics have carried out the entire process in the UK.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Gift of life at Christmas" by Mike Last, King's Lynn News (U.K.) 12/24/10

Doctors had initially tested Megan’s existing brother, Stuart, 11, only to find he was not a match to treat his sister against the effects of Fanconi’s Anaemia, a rare and inherited disease which made her likely to get cancer.

Her parents carried out a worldwide search for a potential bone marrow donor, but without success.

They then looked at a special fertility group’s tissue typing programme and underwent a single round of IVF in Nottingham to produce six embryos, which were tested for the disease and to find a possible match.

Two of the embryos were found to be free of the disease and a tissue match, and these were transferred to the mother. [. . . and the other four embryos???]

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "UK’s first controversial ‘saviour sibling’ transplant" posted at The Christian Institute (U.K.) 12/22/10

However there is great concern about the psychological impact on a saviour sibling.

Critics caution that a child could grow up thinking they are loved only because of their ‘spare-parts’.

Or if they fail to save their sibling they could end up carrying a burden of guilt and failure.

Critics also say the practice opens the door to ‘designer’ babies, where children are created to parental specification.

And creating children for ‘spare parts’ values people for their mechanical usefulness rather than their intrinsic human dignity.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.