A mother who is the first woman in Britain to have a baby selected free of a gene which causes breast cancer has given birth succesfully! - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-10-2009, 03:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/09010...ancer_children

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"The mother and her little girl are doing very well," said University College London (UCL) of the baby, who grew from an embryo screened to ensure it did not contain the faulty BRCA 1 gene.

"The parents will have been spared the risk of inflicting this disease on their daughter. The lasting legacy is the eradication of the transmission of this form of cancer that has blighted these families for generations," he said.
Cystic fibrosis runs in DH's family. His sister died from it. I could never do what this mom did. It seems so wrong on so many levels to me. This baby will be studied, poked and prodded for the rest of her life.
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Old 01-10-2009, 03:18 PM
 
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Why do you think she will be of medical interest still? The first test tube baby wasn't.
Personaly I don't have a problem with this sort of gene selection. It's not a choice of which child will live, it's giving a child the chance to live without the cloud of breast cancer over their head IMO.
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Old 01-10-2009, 05:53 PM
 
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Actually, it is a choice of which child will live and which won't. From the article: who grew from an embryo screened to ensure it did not contain the faulty BRCA 1 gene.The procedure was carried out using a technique known as pre-implantation genetic diagnosis which has already been used here to screen embryos resulting from in vitro fertilisation for disorders like cystic fibrosis. That is percisely what pre-implantation diagnosis is. Choosing which of the children they created they will give a chance to live. The others are discarded.
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Old 01-10-2009, 06:02 PM
 
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I do not agree with this at all. So only perfect babies are allowed to be born?
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Old 01-10-2009, 06:05 PM
 
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Old 01-10-2009, 06:07 PM
 
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i don't know of any breast cancer victim who wishes she had never been born.
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Old 01-10-2009, 06:15 PM
 
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Creepy. At best.
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Old 01-10-2009, 06:19 PM
 
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I heard of PIGD last year in relation to some other story and it scares me. :

I wouldn't wish on anyone any disease, genetic or otherwise. But culling humans.... :
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Old 01-10-2009, 06:25 PM
 
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Eugenics anyone?

I may be mistaken, but it is my belief that although (nearly) everybody who has the gene develops cancer, not everybody who develops breast cancer posesses the gene. This could have a sadly ironic ending.

It's such a slippery slope. Just because we can screen for and eliminate serious defects/abnormalities/variations doesn't mean we should. Eventually will services for those born "irresponsibly" and against medical advice will be withdrawn? Will babies born different be again relegated to back rooms and institutions?

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Old 01-10-2009, 06:28 PM
 
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well, in defense of PGD. I belong to a support group for people who have balanced chromosomal translocations and often try PGD as a way to have a child. this is often after trying for years with multiple miscarriages, and/or babies born with such crippling birth defects that they die shortly after birth. PGD offers the chance to make a group of embryos at once- we're talking about usually 8 cells, 3 days after fertilization- and put back only the healthy ones. these embryos look like this;

http://www.fertilitynetwork.com/Dr%20images/8cell.gif

I understand some people feel that is a child, regardless. I'm not sure that I would ever go to those lengths for a breast cancer gene, but I think it should be an option, legally. It is used most often for a variety of genetic/chromosomal disorders that are usually life-threatening to the child in childhood. IVG w/ PGD often costs around $30,000, and there is no guarantee of a pregnancy or even finding one healthy embryo. I have a daughter with a chromosome abnormality and while I would never trade her or say I wish I didn't have her, now knowing my situation I can't say I want to put another child, or myself through what we've been through for the past 3.5 years all over again. If I had the money, I would probably do PGD for another child, luckily there are other options available that work for our family instead; but not everyone can say the same.

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Old 01-10-2009, 06:57 PM
 
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Actually, it is a choice of which child will live and which won't. From the article: who grew from an embryo screened to ensure it did not contain the faulty BRCA 1 gene.The procedure was carried out using a technique known as pre-implantation genetic diagnosis which has already been used here to screen embryos resulting from in vitro fertilisation for disorders like cystic fibrosis. That is percisely what pre-implantation diagnosis is. Choosing which of the children they created they will give a chance to live. The others are discarded.
While I think there is a chance of eugenics for this kind of technology, I don't think calling embryos "created children" is appropriate. It is not even a fetus. Most embryos are menstruated out with a woman's cycle- would it be reasonable to say the average woman could have as many as ten babies that died?
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Old 01-10-2009, 07:16 PM
 
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Most embryos are menstruated out with a woman's cycle- would it be reasonable to say the average woman could have as many as ten babies that died?
I'm not clear on why not ... the matter of "at what point a child" being the matter of opinion that it is, I don't see why -- aside from the potential emotional repercussions -- it is less reasonable.
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Old 01-10-2009, 07:24 PM
 
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While I think there is a chance of eugenics for this kind of technology, I don't think calling embryos "created children" is appropriate. It is not even a fetus. Most embryos are menstruated out with a woman's cycle- would it be reasonable to say the average woman could have as many as ten babies that died?
i do not agree... i think it is appropriate.

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I'm not clear on why not ... the matter of "at what point a child" being the matter of opinion that it is, I don't see why -- aside from the potential emotional repercussions -- it is less reasonable.

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Old 01-10-2009, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Old 01-10-2009, 07:41 PM
 
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I'm not clear on why not ... the matter of "at what point a child" being the matter of opinion that it is, I don't see why -- aside from the potential emotional repercussions -- it is less reasonable.
I think it might be a bit much to say, especially in front of someone who very definitely did lose a child via a stillbirth. If you believe that once the sperm hits the egg it is indeed a child, I guess I couldn't argue because nothing would work. We're now in religious and personal belief. I do not think it is equivalent to a child.
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Old 01-10-2009, 07:48 PM
 
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Old 01-10-2009, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Why do you think she will be of medical interest still? The first test tube baby wasn't.
How can she possibly not be of medical interest? That's a better question.

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Personaly I don't have a problem with this sort of gene selection. It's not a choice of which child will live, it's giving a child the chance to live without the cloud of breast cancer over their head IMO.
Where would you draw the line? Cancer, CF, heart defects, visual impairment, hearing impairment, downs syndrome, diabetes, cleft palates, webbed toes, short stature, brown hair...

It is a very slippery slope. All of these things are what make humans what we are. No one is perfect. We are not supposed to be. I don't want humans to end up a mono crop.
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Old 01-10-2009, 07:54 PM
 
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I think it might be a bit much to say, especially in front of someone who very definitely did lose a child via a stillbirth. If you believe that once the sperm hits the egg it is indeed a child, I guess I couldn't argue because nothing would work. We're now in religious and personal belief. I do not think it is equivalent to a child.
I lost my first baby at 9 weeks. While not a stillborn, it was still very painful for our family. Why do we need to put a limit on how sad one is allowed to be based on the gestation time of their lost child?

I believe life begins at conception. To me these are thrown away children. If you don't believe that, that's fine. But I would weep for every baby I lost that I knew about.
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Old 01-10-2009, 08:11 PM
 
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I lost my first baby at 9 weeks. While not a stillborn, it was still very painful for our family. Why do we need to put a limit on how sad one is allowed to be based on the gestation time of their lost child?

I believe life begins at conception. To me these are thrown away children. If you don't believe that, that's fine. But I would weep for every baby I lost that I knew about.
s mama and i totally and 100% agree!!!

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Old 01-10-2009, 08:15 PM
 
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I think it might be a bit much to say, especially in front of someone who very definitely did lose a child via a stillbirth. If you believe that once the sperm hits the egg it is indeed a child, I guess I couldn't argue because nothing would work. We're now in religious and personal belief. I do not think it is equivalent to a child.
And that is insulting to those who have ahd early miscarriages. A loss is a loss is a loss.
Should we not count a 12 week miscarriage? or a 6 week? Or a 10 week? cause I 've had all of those. and they all suck.
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Old 01-10-2009, 08:16 PM
 
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How can she possibly not be of medical interest? That's a better question.



Where would you draw the line? Cancer, CF, heart defects, visual impairment, hearing impairment, downs syndrome, diabetes, cleft palates, webbed toes, short stature, brown hair...

It is a very slippery slope. All of these things are what make humans what we are. No one is perfect. We are not supposed to be. I don't want humans to end up a mono crop.
No kidding. Again- I don't know of anyo woman with breast cancer who wishes she had never been born.
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Old 01-10-2009, 08:17 PM
 
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I lost my first baby at 9 weeks. While not a stillborn, it was still very painful for our family. Why do we need to put a limit on how sad one is allowed to be based on the gestation time of their lost child?
I believe life begins at conception. To me these are thrown away children. If you don't believe that, that's fine. But I would weep for every baby I lost that I knew about.


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Old 01-10-2009, 08:20 PM
 
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I lost my first baby at 9 weeks. While not a stillborn, it was still very painful for our family. Why do we need to put a limit on how sad one is allowed to be based on the gestation time of their lost child?

I believe life begins at conception. To me these are thrown away children. If you don't believe that, that's fine. But I would weep for every baby I lost that I knew about.

But see, what I'm saying is, most embryos do not stick and go through the menstrual cycle. One would never even know there was conception at all. Miscarriage is pretty common in my family, and my aunt was galled when her miscarriage was described as "tissue" so I do see what your saying. However, I don't think all the women on this board who have gone through IVF have done anything wrong.
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Old 01-10-2009, 08:23 PM
 
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But see, what I'm saying is, most embryos do not stick and go through the menstrual cycle. One would never even know there was conception at all. Miscarriage is pretty common in my family, and my aunt was galled when her miscarriage was described as "tissue" so I do see what your saying. However, I don't think all the women on this board who have gone through IVF have done anything wrong.
I never said going thorough ivf was wrong. what i see as wrong is selecting which babies to keep based on their genes. Only want a perfect baby? Perhaps motherhood isn't for you then. what if you "select" your (general you) child and it gets hit by a car and is left brain damaged? Still want that less than perfect child?
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Old 01-10-2009, 08:35 PM
 
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I never said going thorough ivf was wrong. what i see as wrong is selecting which babies to keep based on their genes. Only want a perfect baby? Perhaps motherhood isn't for you then. what if you "select" your (general you) child and it gets hit by a car and is left brain damaged? Still want that less than perfect child?
With IVF, the embryos are graded for viability. Is that wrong? If you can avoid perhaps Tay Sachs (an unspeakable horror) should you not avoid it if you can? If you are seeking a child with only blue eyes, I would say perhaps motherhood isn't for you, but trying to avoid a deadly defect? I see no problem with that. (Though I think breast cancer is extreme).
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Old 01-10-2009, 08:50 PM
 
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I think it might be a bit much to say, especially in front of someone who very definitely did lose a child via a stillbirth. If you believe that once the sperm hits the egg it is indeed a child, I guess I couldn't argue because nothing would work. We're now in religious and personal belief. I do not think it is equivalent to a child.
Not sure what stillbirths have to do with it, myself ... does believing an embryo already is fully within the fold of human life somehow insult the suffering of a mother who lost a child in such a manner? Honest question; I'm having trouble seeing the connection.

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However, I don't think all the women on this board who have gone through IVF have done anything wrong.
Ahh ... but that gets into whether or not everything that could cause the intentional end of the life, viability, or whatever term one prefers, of an embryo is necessarily wrong, or whether that wrongness is necessarily implied in the belief that "child" is not inappropriate terminology.
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Old 01-10-2009, 08:50 PM
 
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How can she possibly not be of medical interest? That's a better question.
Why would she be? She is not the first child to be born who has gone through this genetic selection routine--- just the first one for this specific issue. I don't even really see why it is a big deal now.

 

 

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Old 01-10-2009, 09:22 PM
 
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Hello,

While this situation does have serious religious and ethical questions can we please not take the thread off topic? We cannot host abortion debate and there is already a backlog of threads that need to be taken care of. If the thread is moved it won't be back for a bit so do try and stay on topic and keep the thread calm.


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Old 01-10-2009, 09:29 PM
 
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Old 01-10-2009, 10:14 PM
 
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I think what the parents chose to do was perfectly reasonable -- why wouldn't you try to prevent your child from unnecessary hardship, if you had that ability?

There are a million and one reasons why I would want to have genetic testing and use embryo selection, if I knew I was a carrier of certain genes. I can't imagine feeling anything about the embryos that were destroyed . . . they're not people, just cells. My concern is with my actual children.

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