This makes me sad

This article on pre-implantation genetic diagnosis makes me sad. It makes me want to cry.  I have never been the type of woman desperate to give birth; if we hadn’t been able to conceive Miles, we would have adopted and are hoping to, anyway.  I have a hard time fathoming the booming fertilization industry.

Once you start treating a child as a tissue bank, it’s hard to stop. Last month, after a Swiss couple used PGD to pick a donor embryo for their ailing son, a British clinic director scoffed, “The idea that it’s a slippery slope and soon babies could be born to help sick parents or family friends is illogical.” The reason, he argued, was that “there are only enough stem cells in cord blood to treat a certain size of child.” In fact, however, the ailing Swiss child turned out to be too big, and the donor infant, having failed to provide enough cord blood, was subjected to a painful bone-marrow extraction as well.

How can you, in any kind of good conscience, decide to bring another human into the world for the sole purpose of medical treatment?  That makes me want to cry for that poor little baby. 

“A Canadian mother of two boys and a girl says she came to Steinberg because “we were desperate to have another girl and our daughter really wanted a sister. It was important for us to balance our family.”

I would call a balanced family one in which all the children, no matter what shape or size or fussiness or need level or handicap or genetic markers for whatever kind of treatable or untreatable disease that they may or may not get in the future, all the children are loved and nurtured and taught to know that, life, despite all its frailties, hurts, disappointments, disabilities, indignities, imperfections, anguish and loss, is about love and loving and that it can be beautiful and it can be beautiful and happy or beautiful and sad and sometimes it is both at the same time.

And if you can’t come to terms with that, no amount of perfect embryos is going to help you come to terms with living.

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