Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Mother donates eggs for sterile daughter

A nice, if unusual, story about Melanie Boivin in Canada. Her daughter Flavie is only seven right now, but she is sterile.

To give her the chance to have children if she wants to when she is grown her mother has donated some of her eggs to be frozen.

Egg-freezing is most often used by women undergoing lifesaving treatment that will reduce their fertility.

If Flavie does decide to use the eggs to have children, they would need to be fertilised with her partner's sperm and then implanted into her womb as with any other IVF procedure.

Not a done deal though, as she would need to apply for further permission from the McGill Reproductive Centre ‘ethics committee’.

Now, out trot the tin foil hat squad, in the form of Margaret Somerville, who heads McGill University's Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law. She is concerned about the ‘rights’ of the child (not Flavie) – still sounds ok-ish.

She asks: "What are the rights of a child not to be brought into existence in this way?

What! Sorry? Let’s replay that one: "rights" "not to be brought into existence"?

The hypothetical child is unlikely to be brought into existence at all if not in this way. What about the hypothetical rights of any child to be brought into existence in any way. No one checked with my parents if it was OK by me to conceive me, pretty cavalier of them if you ask me, thank goodness we now have Ms Somerville to ask these difficult questions for us.

Wait! There’s more: "I think here there was a lot of good intentions, but we also have to ask about that future child.”

"Can we reasonably anticipate that a child would consent to having it’s sister be its gestational mother, and to be a sister to the woman who gives birth to it?"

Presumably they are actually paying her to come up with stuff like this too.

Well given that the hypothetical child will only get to exist if that in fact happens and their other choice is never getting to exist at all what would most people choose – to be or not to be – You choose.

And no “to sleep perchance…” Not if you never existed in the first place.

A survey might give her a pointer. Would you rather never have been born?

No comments: