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Author Topic: Are saviour siblings the future?  (Read 2491 times)


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Are saviour siblings the future?
« on: 19/05/2008 18:52:56 »
I am surprised that this topic is not the reddest hottest topic on NS.
People seem to have polarised so much about the topic that it's almost as if no one wants an argument.
Imagine this scenario.
A rich businessman develops a serious liver complaint - terminal with, perhaps, two years' survival forecast.
He pays to have a clone embryo made. Difficult as yet but it can be only a matter of time. This guy is very wealthy and has nothing to lose so he pays the Lab to try and try and try.
A successful, suitable  embryo survives and is implanted in a surrogate Mother.
At some stage of its development, the foetus undergoes an operation  / chemical injection to retard its brain growth and possibly some other functions and the liver grows to a viable size. The foetus is then 'delivered' and the liver removed and transplanted into the patient. He is, in many respects, doing no more than use a bit of himself to cure himself.
The foetus, because its brain has been modified, can't necessarily be looked upon as having suffered any more than a slaughtered farm animal.

Is the above significantly different from the scenarios which are proposed by some of the protagonists in this  present discussion?
Is the scenario over dramatised?
There are far too many vested interests both in favour of  and against this technology for us to get a truly balanced view of the humanity of the situation.
« Last Edit: 19/05/2008 23:38:30 by chris »


Offline Madidus_Scientia

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Are saviour siblings the future?
« Reply #1 on: 20/05/2008 02:02:32 »
I don't think its immoral. I can't imagine how many cows, pigs, chickens etc. are killed for meat every day, but we do that for survival, we have to eat them. A foetus even with a normal developing brain would be no more self aware than the animals we gladly kill without a second thought for food.

And if doing this saves a life, why not. It's not as if we're killing one to save another, we're growing one to save another, without the terminally ill patient the growth would not have happened in the first place.


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Are saviour siblings the future?
« Reply #2 on: 20/05/2008 09:29:49 »
But, down the road, somewhere, it might be done not only to save life but to 'improve' it. In the limit, it could be for a simple cosmetic improvement.
I worry that this is a, possibly small, step in the direction of dehumanising humans.
On  your first point: Whilst I would never find myself picketing outside an abortion clinic, I can see that issue as taking us in the same direction, potentially.
Here's another related issue.
If you were to be told, at some age, that you had 'only' been born so that your older brother could be cured of some disease, wouldn't that be a potentially difficult thing to cope with? Has anyone considered the saviour sibling's angle on this?

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Are saviour siblings the future?
« Reply #2 on: 20/05/2008 09:29:49 »


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