“Saviour sibling” is born after embryo selection in the United StatesBMJ 2003; 326 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.326.7404.1416-b (Published 26 June 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:1416
- Roger Dobson
The birth of what has been described as Britain's first saviour sibling has renewed pressure on UK authorities to allow selection of embryos on the basis that they may help save the life of an already born brother or sister.
The birth of Jamie Whitaker at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital has reignited the ethical debate over whether it is right to select an embryo that is compatible with an older, sick sibling and to use its cord blood as a reservoir of stem cells for the sick child.
Jamie's brother, Charlie, aged 4, has Diamond-Blackfan anaemia, and the only hope of successful treatment is a transplantation of stem cells from the cord blood of a perfect tissue match or a bone marrow transplantation from a matched donor.
The parents, Michelle and Jayson Whitaker, …