Author(s): Pennings G, R Schots, I Liebaers
Recently, several requests were made by couples with an affected child who wanted preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to select embryos in the hope of conceiving an HLA identical donor sibling. This article considers the ethical arguments for and against the application of PGD for this goal. Only embryos HLA matched with an existing sibling in need of a compatible donor of haematopoietic stem cells would be transferred. The main arguments are the instrumentalization of the child, the best-interests standard, the postnatal test for acceptability and the experience of the donor child. It is argued that conceiving a child to save a child is a morally defensible decision on the condition that the operation that will be performed on the future child is acceptable to perform on an existing child. The instrumentalization of the donor child does not demonstrate disrespect for its autonomy or its intrinsic worth.