Saviour Siblings Essay

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'My Sister's Keeper' is a poignant film that tells the story of a family going through one of the toughest decisions in life. In order to save the life of their daughter, they must use pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to create embryos that are each screened for their suitability as a bone marrow donor – this will be a perfect match for their older sister. Their daughter has leukemia, and the only way of attempting to save her life, is to have what is commonly known as a 'saviour sibling.' This new child will be used as a cord blood donor, their blood is taken after they are born, from the umbilical cord. But as time goes on, the 'saviour sibling' Anna, undergoes more and more invasive procedures to help her sister. Ultimately, she is told by her parents that she will need to donate a kidney to save her sister's life.

In my opinion, the very idea that parents are free to decide whether or not their child donates a kidney to save their sibling is unforgivable. No child should have to undertake that pain. But they are left with the impossible decision. If the parents ask their permission to donate an organ, they are left thinking that if they refuse to do so, their parents will then have a negative feeling towards them, they will be left feeling guilty that their siblings only hope of survival has decided they do not want to go through with it. A child should never have to feel this way.

To permit the deliberate creation of saviour siblings would be to step onto a slippery slope towards allowing “designer babies”. The technology is called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, it was created to screen for disease. If we allow something to happen which, considered in itself, is either acceptable or only slightly bad, it will later cause something else to happen which is either very bad or clearly wrong, this being what is at the end of the slope. So applied to saviour siblings, if we allow the creation of saviour siblings, this will lead to something much worse:...

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