Sunday, September 1, 2019

Invisible Saviour Siblings Essay

The philosopher Immanuel Kant said â€Å"Treat others as an end and not as means to an end. † People need to value others for themselves rather than for what they can achieve by the means of them. The idea of selecting an embryo, conceived by IVF, which will become a child that can donate for an older sibling suffering from a genetic disease, has created a difficult moral dilemma. Concerns over the creation of what are called â€Å"savoir siblings† are specifically created to help an existing child. In the novel â€Å"My Sister’s Keeper† by Jodi Picoult there is a girl named Anna who was brought in to this world for the purpose to save her sister Kate. Anna suggests that while her method of coming into the world is not conventional, since most babies born are unwanted; she at least was a wanted child. But she is wanted as a product, as a medical treatment, as a donor. Anna came to a decision that she wanted to stop donating to her sister, so she starts a lawsuit for medical emancipation; the right to control her own body. The child is used as something instrumental and has a welcome that is far from being unconditional. Even the label â€Å"savoir† is a misnomer. When we speak of a savoir we refer to someone who has made an active choice to donate. The child never has a choice. When a donation occurs it will have lifelong effects on the body. The possible psychological problem the child will have from being a savior sibling. The parents do not think about the saviour child in the terms of an individual. The parents need to realize that there is a line that separates the value of preserving life and the costs of the quality of life. When a child is born it is up to the parents to make the decisions for them, but what if the parents are not focus on that child? It is their zeal to make things better for their sick child, but the parents have forgotten that their donor child is a person with feelings, not a something just to pick at when needed. In the case of babies who are selected as a source of cells, the â€Å"savior † is passive and is treated as a product. The choices being made about donation is not even being discussed about. Anna is not even being asked about what she wants to do, â€Å"You make it sound like there’s some process involved. Like there’s actually a choice. † (192) the parents are deciding what is for the best. They do not even consult with Anna about how she feels about everything. Anna had to quit hockey because she was missing two many games, but the only reason why she was missing games was that she had to be there when Kate might need something. Her choice to play hockey was taken away from her and no one in her family even cared. They did not even notice when she started to play hockey, so why would they notice when she stopped. There is a big chance that the family would not even listen to Anna if she would have said that she does not want to continue being the donor. The doctors do not ever consult with Anna about what she wanted to do; they only talked to the parents. They never let Anna make her choice. She was brought in this world as a savior sibling, but it did not mean to make her sacrifice her whole life. The use of savior siblings have raised the issue of the possibility of psychological trauma that the created sibling may suffer from knowing that they was created partly for reasons of imposed selflessness. The child could feel as if they had been used. The donor sibling would feel that they were around to provide â€Å"spare parts†, and were not valued for who they are. Remember the adolescent cry â€Å"I did not ask to be born† and add to it the accusation that the parents only had them to save their siblings life. The moment the child is brought in to this world they have a job to perform. How the parents treat Anna makes her feel like her only purpose in life is to help heal Kate. With these feelings it makes her think about what if Kate was not sick, â€Å"It made me wonder, though, what would have happened if Kate had been healthy. Chances are, I’d still be floating up in Heaven or wherever, waiting to be attached to a body to spend some time on Earth† (08). If Kate was healthy would the parents ever thought about having a third child. The parents once said that their family was complete with two children; each child favored a parent. Anna has matured faster than any child her age, because from the start of her life she was not fully allowed to be a child. She learnt early on that Kate was the main focus and everything else became second. Growing up is hard enough, but when there is question on ones existence it can have serious emotional effects. The child becomes lost in their quest for their own identity. Furthermore, if the treatment of the sick child is unsuccessful, their death can be much harder for the savior sibling, as they may feel as if they have failed. The child would have to go through the rest of their life feeling guiltily about not saving their sibling life. Donating an organ is not as simple as it sounds. The donor of the organ has to deal with limitations on their life. In the novel Anna is being pressured by her mother to donate her kidney to her sister Kate. Her mother does not think about the after effects of the surgery. Anna loves to play hockey, but donating her kidney will stop here from playing. Kidney organ donors should not participate in physical activity that could damage their other kidney. Anna’s mother Sara only concern is Kate, so when Anna wanted to go to Hockey camp her mother said no. Her mother is not caring for what Anna wants â€Å"Not because I am afraid of what might to Anna there, but because I am afraid of what might happen to Kate while her sister is gone. If Kate survives this latest relapse†¦.. we will need Anna-her blood, her stem cells, her tissue-right here. (269), she wanted Anna to be where she needed her. If Anna did go through with the surgery something could go wrong, but does her parents ever does comprehend it. If there were no complications with any of these procedures, the savior sibling would still stay in the hospital with stress and pain which they are not gaining any type of personal benefit. The mother will be so worried about Kate after the surgery; she will be by her side and not by Anna’s. The parents should not make an organ donation decision. It has to be Anna’s choice. Going through with a kidney donation, she would lose some quality of her life. While there is potential harm, it is not without potential benefits to the saviour sibling. The donor child might derive pleasure from knowing that he or she has saved his or her sibling’s life and would benefit from the saved child’s company. In this respect, it is appropriate to consider the welfare of the donor child within the context of the family since his or her social, emotional and psychological interests depend on the welfare of the child’s family. Saving the life of the existing sibling is also in his or her best interests. This will ensure a happier family (e. g. no grieving parents) from which the donor child would benefit. There are benefits to the child, but if the child is born and the transplant is made but is unsuccessful, what comes of the family at that point? The donor child would feel that they have fail in their job in helping to keep their sibling alive. If the transplant was successful, there is no time frame for a savior sibling to stop providing transplants for their older sibling. The donor sibling could chose not to donate later in life or chose to no longer accept the role of â€Å"saviour† for which they were originally conceived. The parents might not like that they brought this child in to this world for a certain purpose, but now the child does not want to donate anymore. The savior child would have no support from their family. They would feel that they had only one purpose; to save their sibling. Parents have more choices than ever before and they need to use every resource available to protect the health of their children, but there is a line that should not be crossed. There are potential harmful psychological effects on a child born not for itself, but to save another. If conception of saviour siblings for the donation of cord blood stem cells is permitted, what is to stop donation ending there. There may be an inevitable situation where the donor child will be expected to â€Å"donate† bone marrow in the event that the umbilical cord stem cell transplant fails or the sick sibling relapses and requires further treatment. If the child is under age, then the parents decide the choice for them and of course they would have the savior child donate whatever the sick child needs. Parents are blinded from seeing what is in the best interest for both of their children. The only thing that is on their mind is to save their sick child. If there is no benefit at all to the created saviour child, it appears hard to justify that it is humane and proper to use them to save the life of a sibling. Every parent has to seriously decide the point at which they will halt their efforts to save their sick child regardless of the potential outcome. There comes a point when people have to realize there is nothing they can do. The parents get so consumed in the entire process and the emotions involved in saving your sick child that they may lose the ability to know when to stop. Despite how gut-wrenching it may be, they have to stop, not only for the sake of their other children, but for the sake of their sick child. They should have to realize that there comes a point when vigilance becomes obsession and good intentions get warped and bastardized to the point that they do more harm than good. People should to write to President to have him put regulations on the use of Genetic technology for creation of savoir siblings. A savior sibling cannot lose their quality of life just because they were conceived with the weight of the family on their shoulders. The child should not go through life suffering, for the reason that she was conceived to help heal their sick sibling.

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