Class Note for PHIL 164 at UMass(9)
Class Note for PHIL 164 at UMass(9)
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This 1 page Class Notes was uploaded by an elite notetaker on Friday February 6, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to a course at University of Massachusetts taught by a professor in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 17 views.
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Date Created: 02/06/15
Medical Ethics 041609 Phil 1643 Spring 09 l Instructor Kristoffer Ahlstrom leayrtmpyzarumamedu l httppeopleumassedukahlstro164 CONCElVlNG ONE CHILD TO SAVE ANOTHER Certain diseases affecting the blood or immune systemisuch as leukemia Hodgkin s disease sickle cell disease etci can in some instances be cured by way ofa stem cell transplant typically from the bone marrow or umbilical cord The main problem however is immhmogz39m mmpalz39bz39lzy The National Marrow Donor Program lists 65 million names leaving a roughly 1 in 400 chance of a match depending on the patient s ethnic group The best results are obtained when the cells are from sibling donors If there are no sibi lings parents have roughly a 1 in 4 chance of naturally conceiving a suitable donoriclearly better odds than the donor banlg but still a gamble So what are the alternatives TWO METHODS Prenatal Diagnosis In many cases prenatal diagnosis can inform parents both regarding whether the child m eri from the disease in question and whether the child would constitute a good immunological mall7 Combined with selective abortion screening can thereby enable the parents to produce a donor for the first child in the form ofa second child Like2770051 offhmm Equal to the likelihood ofnormal con ception combined with a great likelihood ofa suitable donor given screening and selective abortion Mom Wary Since the cells typically are taken from the umbilical cord the procedure will not harm the second child However is the welfare of the second child com promised given the region for which it s being conceived That depends on the situation a In cases where the parents where already planning to have a second child the welfare of the child doesn t seem to be compromised 5 Even if the parents where no already planning to have a second child the fact that they are willing to conceive another child to protect the first suggests that they are highly committed to their children a If the transplant cures the rst child the second child is likely to be praised If the transplant does not cure the first child the second child is notlikely to be blamed d If the parents do not intend to keep the second child does that make it wrong to bring it into life It seems that it does unless we can expect the child to have a decent chance of a good life in another family It is questionable however whether such a practice should be encouraged Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis PGD PGD can be used to determine both whether an embryo is affected with the disease and whether it would constii tute a good match as a donor Selecting the right embryo for implantation can thereby help the parents produce a suitable donor Like2770051 offumm For women under 35 the success rate is about 30 Consequently several cycles of treatment may be necessary Amiabiliy Few centers provide PGD More than that since PGD is not covered by health insurance the couple typically has to pay about 15000 7 20000 per cycle Mom Wary 7 Because the use of PGD permits the transfer of only the selected embryo s it also involves the intentional creation of embryos that will be discarded This is problematic in so far as embryos have a right to life However does an embryo have a right to life They don t seem to even come close to what we think ofmoral agents worthy ofmoral respect Mom Wary 2 lfwe open the door for PGD we will slide down a slippery slope towards morally reproachable eugenics where parents choose exclude or alter genomes as they choose There are at least two problems with this idea a Some cases ofgenetic alteration might turn out to be ethically acceptable eg germline therapy to remove major male formations 5 Even if all alterations turned out to be morally unacceptable they can be banned without also stopping otherwise justi able forms ofgenetic selection such as immunological matching
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