Saviour siblings, as the name suggests, are children born to donate organs to and save the lives of their sibling. The benefits are obvious: the sibling would be treated, the newborn gets to help their relative and the family gets a new member.
However, the debate surrounding saviour siblings continues to rage on. The issue has also been reignited and brought to the attention of the wider public with the recent films My Sister’s Keeper and Never Let Me Go.
Saviour siblings are possible by using in vitro fertilisation (IVF). By utilising HLA-typing and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), it can be ensured that only zygotes compatible with the existing child are implanted and that the zygotes are free of the genetic disease. The first case occurred in 2000 in the USA. Newborn baby boy Adam Nash provided umbilical stem cells to his six-year-old sister, Molly, who was suffering from bone marrow failure secondary to Fanconi anaemia. In the United Kingdom, the