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Would I be unreasonable to change my child's genetics, so they carry the same blood type as my very sick DD?

(47 Posts)
ParkerJ Fri 03-Jun-16 17:36:32

I know it's more in depth than blood type and involves, HLA, etc.

However, my daughter needs a bone marrow transplant, she needs one or she will not live for very long. We are in the US.

She has a very rare blood type anyway and it has been very difficult to find blood for her to be given, but it's just about been ok. It's close to impossible to find a person with a correct HLA match so she can be given their bone marrow, or certainly not in time for when she needs it.

We were going to start TTC our second child anyway, before our daughter got ill, but then it didn't happen due to that, so we wouldn't just be having the baby to act as a savior sibling. Just making sure it has the rare genes that it needs, so it matches up with DD, so the cord can be used, no procedures from the child, ever. Just the cord will be used.

Is this really terrible? Our daughter needs to live and to just change something so minor doesn't seem like a very big price to pay, as in the child wouldn't know any different and we would be getting our second child we have always wanted...

It's so tough and I'm definitely not decided, hence I'm asking here

Kelsoooo Fri 03-Jun-16 17:38:21

Sounds like a book I read....

takemetomars Fri 03-Jun-16 17:39:40

you need to do what you need to do. Go for it and Don't listen to the nay sayers.
Good luck and best wishes to your family at this difficult time

KnobJockey Fri 03-Jun-16 17:39:52

I would 100% do it, without thinking twice. The issue would be how it pans in the future, future illness, etc. If it happened by simple genetics would you use it? If she/he naturally was the same type?

DisneyMillie Fri 03-Jun-16 17:40:29

Seems reasonable to me given you'd have numbed two anyway and he/she won't be caused pain / put through procedures

OddBoots Fri 03-Jun-16 17:41:07

This is not terrible in my opinion but there are specialists who are experts at counselling people looking at options such as this, you need to have a long talk with one before you decide.

UnusualPolarBear Fri 03-Jun-16 17:41:23

Kelsoooo, my sisters keeper?

U2HasTheEdge Fri 03-Jun-16 17:42:37

I would do it in a heartbeat.


AndYourBirdCanSing Fri 03-Jun-16 17:43:35

Yes I would do it as well. Definitely.

VestalVirgin Fri 03-Jun-16 17:44:16

I'd say force some anti-choicers at gunpoint to donate bone marrow, as they're always so concerned about babies' right to live ...

But since the blood type is so rare, you probably can't go with my advice ... well, if you only use the cord, I'd say it is justifiable.

What one should consider is that the other child might also require blood or bone marrow donations one day.

expatinscotland Fri 03-Jun-16 17:45:00

I'd do it. I hope, however, it's not a condition that is so time-sensitive (such as cancer, which can relapse and/or has a window in which the patient must be transplanted after the end of their last chemo) the patient cannot afford to wait the 40 weeks until the cord blood becomes available.

JacketPoTayTo Fri 03-Jun-16 17:48:31

I would do it, 100%. I wouldn't feel an ounce of guilt.

I think the issues with this arise where the second child wasn't actually wanted other than as a donor. Or where they would be expected to undergo lots of painful treatments to harvest bone marrow etc. (I'm just picking a random example, I don't know enough to know whether that would be particularly painful). But in your case, where the child is very much wanted and they are not expected to endure any pain or trauma then I absolutely can't see a problem with it.

MoonDuke Fri 03-Jun-16 17:50:56

It's almost exactly same scenario as My sisters keeper (the donor child was the 3rd).

Can you really be sure you'd stop at cord blood? What if 2 years later you needed some more? Then bone marrow a bit later? At what point do you say stop?

cinnamonorange Fri 03-Jun-16 17:51:18

Yes, do it. The child is wanted and will be loved, not used. It's amazing that this is even possible, so make the most of it.

OddBoots Fri 03-Jun-16 17:51:19

The biggest question mark from me would be if your daughter's health required the cord blood sooner than would be healthy for your new baby to be delivered. It would be one heck of a choice as to having that baby be premature with all the risks that brings to make use of the cells.

blaeberry Fri 03-Jun-16 17:51:26

You can't change your child's genetics. You could do IVF and screen the embryos for a match and only implant those that match. This may work or it may not . If your daughters condition might be genetic than that doesn't sound like a very good idea. In either case, this is not a quick solution - at least 11 months. Does your dd have that long? Have they checked the donor registers?

Notthebumtroll Fri 03-Jun-16 17:52:47

Absolutely. I don't understand the argument against actually.

dillydotty Fri 03-Jun-16 17:54:59

I have a biker friend who has led a colorful life, one of the hardest men I know. He said that donating bone marrow was the most painful thing he has experienced.

Cord blood is one thing but would it lead on to other things?

SueTrinder Fri 03-Jun-16 17:55:23

OK, assuming you're not a troll, what do you think you can get?

Do you want to have IVF, screen the embryos and just implant one or two embryos with the correct genes? This is not allowed in the UK, it might be allowed in some states in the US but there are a lot of ethical questions around this that you need to really think about before you do it, not least the generation of multiple healthy embryos that you will reject because they don't have the correct bloodtype.

Or do you think you can get your embryo genetically modified to expressed the desired genes? That is illegal in pretty much every country in the world. China have done it apparently and genetic modification of embryos is allowed in the UK for research purposes only. The modified embryos can't be inserted into a woman.

ThomasRichard Fri 03-Jun-16 17:57:46

I'd be concerned about the slippery slope aspect. You might think you would only stick at cord blood, but what about later down the line if your DD needs more: blood, bone marrow, perhaps an organ transplant?

VocalDuck Fri 03-Jun-16 17:57:50

I've also read My Sister's Keeper and this was the intention in the book. However, it didn't end there. What would you do if there was just one more thing the new baby could do to save your child's life, and then one more...?

NatalieRushman Sat 04-Jun-16 10:24:13

In My Sister's Keeper, the little girl was created just for her umbilical cord. In fact, the situation was exactly identical to your post. But then as she grew up, her sister started needing blood, bone marrow, then a finally, a kidney. The kidney is what causes her to finally sue her parents, but she spends most of her life thinking she isn't as important as her sister.

If the post really is genuine, YAB a little U, because if your child ever finds out, they are likely to think that the only reason they were born was for their cells, and it might cause resentment. Particularly if (and this is very likely) you need more blood or bone marrow in the future. However, if it was my daughter, I would probably still do it.

MaryMcCarthy Thu 09-Jun-16 15:41:04

It's very concerning that you mention "changing your child's genetics" without providing any insight whatsoever into what that would entail. I work in the medical field and have no idea what you are even referring to. confused

What's even more concerning are the people saying "100% do it, without thinking". What motivates people to say such things from positions of such complete ignorance?

BlueLeopard Thu 09-Jun-16 15:44:00

Read My Sisters Keeper by Jodi Picoult. That should help give you an insight to what you are thinking about.

Or maybe you've read it already?

MaryMcCarthy Thu 09-Jun-16 16:30:17

There's no mention in My Sister's Keeper of "changing a child's genetics".

I can't emphasise enough that it's not only highly unethical, but illegal.

But yeah, follow the MN advice and "Do it, 100%, without thinking!"

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