Protecting the Interests of the Child Bone Marrow Donor
Terry, Louise M.
Medicine and Law: World Association for Medical Law 2004; 23(4): 805-819
At a time when designer babies have been created to act as cord blood donors to sick siblings, ethical debate has focused predominantly on the extent to which it is acceptable to create one human being to assist another. However, children are frequently used this way, by their families and doctors who extract their bone marrow, to try to save the life of another, usually a sibling. With any life-threatening illness, there is the possibility that the urgency of the sick sibling's need means that the short-term welfare of the donor child receives less attention than it should by parents and doctors. This article suggests ways to protect the interests of such children and empower them within the decision- making process and concludes that the drive to save life must be tempered by recognition of the intrinsic worth of donor children and their rights not to be exploited.
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