Preimplantation HLA typing: having children to save our loved ones
Journal of Medical Ethics 2005 October; 31(10): 582-586
Preimplantation tissue typing has been proposed as a method for creating a tissue matched child that can serve as a haematopoietic stem cell donor to save its sick sibling in need of a stem cell transplant. Despite recent promising results, many people have expressed their disapproval of this method. This paper addresses the main concerns of these critics: the risk of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) for the child to be born; the intention to have a donor child; the limits that should be placed on what may be done to the donor child, and whether the intended recipient can be someone other than a sibling. The author will show that these concerns do not constitute a sufficient ground to forbid people to use this technique to save not only a sibling, but also any other loved one's life. Finally, the author briefly deals with two alternative scenarios: the creation of a human leukocyte antigen (HLA) matched child as an insurance policy, and the banking of HLA matched embryos.
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