August 14, 2007

UK babies as sources of spare parts

Do you have a sick child that is in need of a kidney donor or a bone marrow transplant? In the UK, you need look no further. Now you will be able to skip the organ donor waiting list and have a new baby to provide these services for your existing precious child.

The UK is considering legislation that would allow parents to create "saviour siblings" to treat their ailing current children. The conditions these children have need not be fatal or life-threatening, only serious. They include "sickle-cell anaemia, renal failure, kidney disorders and spinal diseases."

A tiny voice of reason peeps in at the end of the news story, saying: "This process is wrong because choosing one embryo means discarding the others, and because the purpose of creating that child is not for its own sake but for its cord blood."

Exactly. Imagine being created for your kidney, bone marrow, or cord blood. All the other embryos didn't make it through the selection process - your brothers and sisters were thrown into the garbage not because there was something really wrong with them, but simply because their tissue failed to match the tissue of an existing sibling. You are the survivor, only because you have the kidney that they want and plan to take.

You of course have no choice about donating these things. So in reality, it is not a true donation. It is a "harvesting" of the ripe product once you are born. The first thing your parents think of as the nurse presents you to your mother's arms is: "The kidney is ready!" And off you go to the operating room.

Great. That's how I always wanted to be welcomed into the world. And after the kidney is transplanted, you of course have to hang around for the next 18 years, since they can't very well get rid of you. But if they could have had only the kidney, without having all the rest of you attached to it - who is to say that they wouldn't have done it?

You are a product, like a tree that is grown for its apples, like a cow that is kept for its milk. You are not their equal, because your body belongs to them, and they take from it what they want, before you are even old enough to realize.

And these people are your parents, and society lets them do it. Of course, the parents who want to create saviour siblings are calling this legislation "
a great step forward
".

Yes. Forward...and down the cliff, like lemmings. Forward...into the pagan past. Forward...beyond ethical bounds and into the darkness. Forward...because forward must mean improvement and progress, right?

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