The country’s first "saviour sibling", a healthy boy whose discarded umbilical cord will help heal one of his two siblings from a genetic blood disease, has brought complicated ethical issues over biotechnology to the forefront in France.
Back to the article
Let's get a few things straight. The baby was not "designed", it was selected from among potential embryos, big difference. We're decades away from actually (genetically) designing human beings. From my reading of the story, the baby was not conceived with the express goal of being a cell donor, rather it was selected so that there could be a side benefit of its cells being capable of curing the disease of its siblings. At bottom, this is not different than using your siblings cut hair for a wig. If you're gonna have a kid anyways, might as well get the biggest bang the buck: no genetic disorder and potential donor.
@Appalled: Parents "should realize that sickness and death are an intrinsic part of life"? Perhaps, but that says nothing against trying to either cure or prevent sickness and premature death. That genetic diseases are part of life is not to say that it ought be part of life that we submit to. By this same line of reasoning the poor of Afghanistan and other nations should be just as content with their lot, as their suffering is "an intrinsic part of life" just the same.
You are right, they are very lucky to live in a prosperous country that allows for such amazing treatment options. But its a long way from that to saying that they should be denied the option because of that luck. Furthermore, I don't think "luxury" is the right word here: is the sibling waiting for the potential treatment for his genetic blood disease to be seen as receiving a luxury? I have a hard time accepting this.
This is sick. One more sick symptom of a thoroughly sick society, where the rest of the world can die of hunder, lack of the most basic medical treatment,or our bombs and mines, as long as our own private wishes are satisfied. The scientists's wishes to experiment -and preferable have a 'world first' discovery, and the parents'wishes to be spared having sick children (whose sorrow at having genetically sick children is understandable and legitimate, but who should realize that sickness and death are an intrinsic part of life and that they are incredibly lucky to at least live in a prosperous country where there children can receive treatment, as opposed to millions of parents who cannot even get treatment for their children when they have a simple pneumonia and have to watch them die instead).
Give the truly poor and desperate parents of this world a chance and only after their basic needs have been satisfied, move on to 'luxury' cases like this one.
I work in Afghanistan, so I know what I am talking about.
What a wonderful thing to grow up knowing you gave your family such a fantastic gift. As to designer babies why not? The child above was" designed " not to have a disease so he could have a normal life. What is the big deal to give your child blonde hair or blue eyes? High I.Q. and being free of disease would be nice too. Think of the money saved on hair dyes and color contacts. But with perfect eyes we won't need those. Don't be afraid of Eden. We have been kicked out it far too long.
IN THE WORLD PAPERS
IN THE FRENCH PAPERS