By: Erin Payne & Akshara Parashar
What are "savior siblings?"
So what's the moral dilemma?
In the case of savior siblings, majority must service their relative as a child. Because a child is born as a minor under the legal supervision of their parents or guardian, many do not have the right to keep or sacrifice their own organs and/or cells. In order for a savior sibling to gain the right to the preservation of their own body, they must apply for medical emancipation. Medical emancipation is the right for an individual to make his or her own decisions regarding medical treatments. The individual will be able to decide what treatment they receive, how often they receive it and from whom they receive it from. It is these rights along with the ongoing use of savior siblings that makes this a controversial moral dilemma.
Should scientists be allowed to create savior siblings?
Like any disputable topic, there are two sides to every story. It is because of this, that we can never surely say as to whether scientists should be allowed to aid in the creation of savior siblings. But whether you agree or disagree with the existence of savior siblings, here are some of the major facts to both sides for you to make your decision:
Savior siblings can provide life-saving resources for their “sick sibling.”
Savior siblings can potentially treat and cure many types of blood disorders with their umbilical cord blood; blood that is usually discarded at birth.
There is no risk of harm to a newborn cord blood donor.
The savior sibling has nothing to gain from their donations.
Through this process, savior siblings have increased exposure to medical risk while not even being a patient.
- Unlike organ donations, savior siblings are not given the immediate right to accept or decline their personal donations to their “sick sibling.”
Should scientists publicize this?
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Lahl, Jennifer. "The Use of Children as Sibling Donors Is Unethical." Organ Donation. Ed. Laura Egendorf. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2013. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from "My Sister's Savior." 2009. Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 15 Dec. 2014.
Nelson, Erin, and Timothy Caulfield. "Concerns About Savior Siblings Should Be Based on Facts." Organ Donation. Ed. Laura Egendorf. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2013. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from "When It Comes to 'Saviour Siblings,' Let's Just Stick to the Facts." Globe and Mail 25 June 2009. Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 15 Dec. 2014.
"Savior Sibling." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 27 Nov. 2014. Web. 15 Dec. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savior_sibling>.
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