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1. Using tissue typing combined with the diagnosis of preimplantation genetics, doctors have been able to pick human embryos to become ‘savior siblings’ to donate tissue to an existing child. However, the ethical considerations of the practice are premised on several factors such as the assumption that the donor sibling would be treated as a commodity and the likelihood of the savior sibling being physically or psychologically harmed. Likewise, the slippery slope argument suggests that the practice may lead to the creation of ‘designer babies.’ However, while these arguments against the practice tend to focus on the welfare of the savior sibling, they tend to ignore that of the existing child. In light of this, the argument should also focus on the fact that it does not cause any physical harm on the donor child and even saves the life of the existing child. Therefore, the practice is not wrong.
2. It is obvious that the Nash’s case was a pioneer case and as such was likely to be more successful than the Whitaker’s case. The fact that the cells of the new sibling were used for the implantation implies that the donor sibling did not have to suffer any physical effects. The goal of the procedure was also to promote quality of life. The fact that a life was saved and the other life was not interrupted gives more credence to the process. Besides, I believe that the bond between the siblings may be stronger bearing in mind that one probably owes the other one their life. The impact could be a more fulfilling and happy life for the siblings.
3. A follow-up into the case of the Whitakers showed that the child went ahead and lived a normal life after the implantation. The premier action was a success. The success of the PDG process, however, should be regulated especially in cases that it may result to instrumentalization of the donor child. The procedure should be undertaken within ethical guidelines. The effect will be a good understanding and respect for consent to avoid negative impacts on the affected. The benefits in this case seem to outweigh the concerns.
4. The fact that the umbilical cord may be disposed when a child is born implies that it is perhaps safer than harvesting the tissues from an embryo as it is non-invasive. Legally, a child who is under the consent age would only require the assent of the parent for decisions to be made. In light of this, it remains not only an ethical but also a legal practice to harvest the umbilical cord blood to save the existing child. Harvesting the umbilical cord not has any direct impact on the child as long as a parent’s consent, the practice will be ethical.
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