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Author Topic: Ethics debate in UK over pre-implantation genetic diagnosis(PGD)
Jimmy Brogan
Babbler # 3290

posted 20 June 2003 08:26 AM      Profile for Jimmy Brogan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ethics debate in UK over pre-implantation genetic diagnosis(PGD)

The era of the so-called saviour sibling appeared to have arrived yesterday as doctors applauded the birth of Jamie Whitaker - called into the world to allow his sick older brother Charlie to live - and the tenacity of his parents who flew to Chicago for treatment they were banned from undergoing in Britain.
The support of some doctors, including the British Medical Association, for the Whitakers puts pressure on the human fertilisation and embryology authority, which licences procedures involving embryos, to rethink its bar on creation of life to save life except where inherited diseases are involved. Suzi Leather, HFEA chairman, yesterday acknowledged that rules made over a decade ago may be past their sell-by date. "As the gap widens between the technology that was available when the act was passed in 1990 and the technology available today, we may need to look at the act again," she said.

Jamie Whitaker, born four days ago in Sheffield, offers the best hope of a normal life that his four-year-old brother Charlie is going to get. Charlie has a very rare blood disorder called Diamond Blackfan anaemia. He has to undergo painful treatment, including regular blood transfusions, and both the quality and span of his life are in question. The only hope of a cure is a transplant of stem cells from the cord blood of a baby who is a perfect tissue match - or a bone marrow transplant from such a matched donor.

Michelle and Jayson Whitaker have a daughter, Emily, who is nearly two, but she is not a match for Charlie. They say they would have wanted another child anyway, but under the circumstances they decided to opt for test-tube fertility treatment in which their embryos could be DNA tested and only the suitable ones placed in Mrs Whitaker's womb.

The fertility clinic they approached asked for a licence for the procedure from the HFEA, but was turned down, even though another couple, Raj and Shahana Hashmi, whose son Zain also has a life-threatening blood disorder, had been given the go-ahead. Zain Hashmi, also four, has thalassaemia, which is inherited. Any baby conceived by the Hashmis runs a high risk of the same disorder. So the HFEA is happy for their IVF embryos to be screened in what is known as pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD).

From: The right choice - Iggy Thumbscrews for Liberal leader | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
Babbler # 3469

posted 20 June 2003 10:20 AM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"Yes, that's right Son... we wouldn't have had you otherwise, but chin up! We've grown fond of you regardless..."
From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged

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