Child Conceived to Be Used

Bishops Decry Disregard for Dignity of “Savior Sibling”

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PARIS, FEB. 10, 2011 ( “To conceive a child to be used — even if it is for treatment — is not respectful of his dignity,” bishops of France are affirming in response to the Jan. 26 birth of that nation’s first “savior sibling.”

In a communiqué Tuesday, the French Episcopal Conference affirmed the bishops’ empathy for parents of sick children, but stressed that using “the most vulnerable human being to cure” is unworthy of humankind.

The baby born Jan. 26 was genetically selected from several embryos to ensure both that he didn’t carry beta thalassemia, and that he would be a close genetic match to his siblings. Stem cells from his umbilical cord blood can provide treatment cells for his siblings.

“To want to cure a brother in humanity honors man,” the bishops affirmed. “Many people dedicate their lives to this! To support parents in their suffering who have a seriously sick child is a duty of society. We understand their anguish and their hope in medicine.

“However, to legalize the use of the most vulnerable human being to cure is unworthy of man. To conceive a child to use him — even if it is to cure — is not respectful of his dignity.”

The bishops asserted that “such utilitarianism is always a regression.” 

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