Who saves whom? Saviour siblings and its bioethical aspects
Keywords:Bioethics. Donor conception. Genetics.
AbstractINTRODUCTION: The idea of the article arose during a course in which students were organized in groups to discuss a bioethics subject and the subject chosen was "saviour siblings". “Saviour sibling” is a child conceived in the hope of being genetically compatible with an older brother who has some pathology whose treatment consists of the donation of tissues. OBJECTIVE: To debate the conception of saviour siblings and the delicacy and complexity of the theme from a bioethical perspective. METHODOLOGY: Literature review carried out in August 2019, in the PubMed database, using the keyword “saviour siblings”. The material obtained was used for discussion and elaboration of a clinical case. RESULTS: 40 articles were found, nine of which were excluded from the abstract for diverging from the topic. The clinical case was developed collectively and the authors delegated with putting themselves in the place of those involved in this decision and narrating the possible thoughts and feelings of each one of them. Then, bibliographic references were used to discuss the constructed clinical case, from the bioethical perspective. CONCLUSION: Saviour siblings related bioethical issues are delicate and complex. On the one hand, there's a benefit of saving a sick child and bringing relief to the parents. But, on the other hand, this technique can bear on eugenic practices such as the selection of individuals based on their genetics. The violation of the saviour sibling's autonomy needs to be the focus of future ethical discussions in order to protect his rights. Teaching bioethics is essential for the training of health professionals.
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