Searching for Otherness: The View of a Novel

The ethical issues concerning the use of PGD (Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis) to select embryos of a particular HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigen) type are numerous. They arise from the potentially conflicting interests between those of the pre-existing child, the subject of a treatment which may be curative, and those of the sibling to be created, who cannot give consent to the donation, together with the problem of the destruction of potentially healthy embryos. This essay focuses on the web of vulnerabilities affecting the parents, the sick child and the “saviour sibling,” while addressing three areas: science, bioethics and literature. The novel My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult, provides the reader with an in-depth view of the conflicting interests and emotional problems that affect the Fitzgeralds, a family experiencing the pain of seeing one of their children dying while facing the tragic consequences of trying to save this child by having another offspring
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DOI 10.1558/hrge.v16i2.139
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Aaron Simmons (2012). Do Embryos Have Interests? Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 9 (1):57-66.
S. Matthew Liao (2006). The Embryo Rescue Case. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 27 (2):141-147.

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