This whole thing makes me sick. There’s now a new bill being introduced in the UK to do with IVF. A lot of its ideas are good, like allowing gay couples to register as the kid’s parents on birth certificates, or not denying lesbians from having kids. hell, if they can do it and they can find a donor, go nuts! But one thing they think is a good idea makes my entire body scream “nooooooooooo!”
They want to make it ok for parents of sick children to use In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) to create what they call saviour siblings, or kids from whom cells, or perhaps entire organs, can be harvested to give to the sick kid. Hmm. Do you see any problems with this? I hope to hell you do.
In the story, both kids seem to be doing fine and they’re a happy family. But what happens if the parents who decide to create a “spare parts baby” as they’re calling them aren’t such good parents? Then what happens to baby no. 2? Do they give the kid up for adoption? Or worse, maybe they keep him around in hopes of getting more parts, but he’s never treated as well, or is perhaps abused. yes, one sibling can be abused when the other ones are treated well. If you don’t believe me, go read A Child Called It.
Or, horror of horrors, what happens if kid no. 2 gets sick too, and needs stem cells. Are ya gonna pop out another kid?
What really really burns me up is this whole bullshit is unnecessary if we could just figure out how to save umbilical cord blood. The cells are right there, and we throw the stuff away. Why not use that? Creating another kid for parts is just wrong, and it has nothing to do with playing god. It’s got to do with treating every human being like a human.
Sometimes we have to accept that a kid’s got something wrong with him, and the solution isn’t to brew up another kid for parts. If another family member can help out, that’s great. But if not, then the family has to find ways to deal with it. I don’t know how I’d feel if my mom decided to have another kid just so they could have the nerve cells to somehow regenerate my optic nerves. That would just be too weird.