60 year old moms and Saviour Siblings

by The Center for Bioethics and Culture on November 1, 2009

With the speed of science and technology and the 24/7 live newscoverage of just about anything happening all around the world, if you miss a week of blogging it can seem hard to know where to pick up and begin. While I was in London last week, the news broke the story of the63 year old(I think we can safely assume she is post-menopausal) who is 7 months pregnant thanks to IVF. Raises questions about the ethical use oftechnology to have children at a stage in our lives when we should be welcoming our grandchildren. My colleague who was hosting me in London received many media calls. Interesting that the media thought this was acceptable because the women was a psychiatrist and well to dofinancially. Sounds pretty eugenics in nature as we decide who and whenpeople can ‘reproduce’. Then I learned that the U.K. gave permissionfor a couple to produce a ‘saviour sibling‘.Using pre implantation technology along side the use of IVFtechnologies to produce a child who is a genetic match (so they can bethe donor) of a sick sibling. Obviously this is a family dealing with asick child in need of a cure, but we forget about the other embryos whoare created and NOT chosen ad also the burden on the child who makesthe cut. What strikes me is the sense of using children, creatingchildren for our desires, purposes and even our own whims.

Then when I returned home I learned of UCSF’s planto move forward with their human cloning research using ‘failed tofertilize oocytes’. Which remember, still require eggs from women,which require heavy duty drugs to hyperstimulate their ovaries, whichstill remains quite controversial as it relates to health and safetyfor women’s reproductive health.

And so, we press on for ethical uses of technology that promote a human future for all, and not just some.

From Jennifer Lahl’s Blog

Previous post:

Next post: