Do you think this could really happen in real life?

@Nana530 (286)
United States
June 10, 2008 3:24pm CST
I am reading a fiction book about a couple who had a duaghter who was dying from cancer. They decided to have another child to use to donate her blood and organs to keep their daughter alive. It's called "My Sister's Keeper". It's really shocking and I began to wonder if anything like this ever happened in real life. That would be awful. Or at least I think it would. What do ya'll think? Is this wrong?
4 people like this
14 responses
• United States
10 Jun 08
I saw a special on PBS once where a couple had to have nother child to make a bone marrow doner for another family member. The father even reversed his vasectamy to have another child. I guess that's not as contriversial as what you're talking about. If giving the organs to their daughter will kill the new child then I think it's wrong. Giving organs from a recently deceased person is one thing, but killing someone to get them is not right.
3 people like this
@Nana530 (286)
• United States
11 Jun 08
It's really hard to know what's right and what's wrong in situations like this. But of course this is a fiction book. But I suppose it could happen. IN the book they at first intended to just use the umbilical cord blood. But then the older daughter just kept needing more and more from the younger sister. In the book the youngest sister is 13 years old and is taking her parents to court because they are trying to force her to donate a kidney. Surely in real life the doctor would not allow anything like that to happen though, don't you think. I do understand a parents need to try almost anything to save their childs life but I think maybe it could go too far. It's really something to think about isn't it?
2 people like this
@eloouuu (176)
11 Jun 08
Did you mention the title of the book or the author? It sounds really interesting and I'd like to give it a read. As far as whether it would be allowed or not, I'm not altogether too sure. I know that parental consent is required by doctors when performing procedures such as these, but I am not sure if that is as well as the patient's consent or instead of. A worrying thought, really! I don't know if you have finished the book or not, but how did the youngest daughter feel about what was expected of her? I think I would feel insignificant. As if I was never as important as my elder sibling, as if I was there just to provide for her and them...
3 people like this
• United States
11 Jun 08
I had heard of one couple who had another child so they'd have a bone marrow doner for their child with cancer. I'm not sure that's a good reason to have a child. This has also been the topic for a show or two. I think one was a Law and Order episode. It was a horriblel show. The younger child knew from the start that her only reason for being was to keep the older child alive.
2 people like this
@tessah (6621)
• United States
10 Jun 08
technically, thatd be murder considering the second child couldnt live without their organs, so the parents would go to jail for killing their newborn baby. and yeah, thatd be a bit wrong o.O however.. there have been real life cases where parents will have another child in order for things nonfatal like bone marrow for another child that needs a transplant or will die and a donor match cannot be found. not really sure where i stand on this issue though.. i know i would do ANYTHING to save the life of my child.. but i also wouldnt harm one of my children either for the benefit of another one. if i had a child that needed a blood transfusion and they were a rare type, and their sibling had the same type of blood.. yeah, id have their sibling be the donor.. it isnt going to hurt them to donate the blood. if my kid had lukemia, and needed a bone marrow donor. and their sibling was a match, yeah, id have them be the donor.. it wouldnt endanger their life and itd save the life of the other. and it IS common practice to test siblings because they have the best chacne of being a match. actually onceiving a child for the specific purpose of possibly creating a donor? i dunno... hopefully i will never ever have to be in the position to make that decision.
3 people like this
@Nana530 (286)
• United States
12 Jun 08
I'm with you tessah, I hope I would never have to make that kind of decision either. It would be very hard.
@TessWhite (3147)
• United States
11 Jun 08
While it may be a fictional book, a similar thing did happen in real life. A family had a daughter dying of cancer. They chose to have another child, hoping they could use the new child's bone marrow to save the one who was dying. Luckily for all involved it worked! The young girl was saved, thanks to a planned pregnancy by her parents. Now if organs were to be "harvested" I don't think the medical field would cooperate. Nor do I think they should. Its one thing to donate something like blood or bone marrow, but another thing entirely to use organs that are needed to sustain life.
@Nana530 (286)
• United States
11 Jun 08
That's kind of my feelings Tess, I think surely the Doctors would not allow it to go that far.
2 people like this
• Philippines
11 Jun 08
This idea seems so sad, and wrong. The parents' concerns were understandable but to conceive a child for the purpose of helping an older sibling? What would that child feel? Parents should know that this kind of upbringing will definitely have an effect on the child - mentally and psychologically. Maybe I just don't understand these issues since I haven't come across anything like this in my life.
2 people like this
@Nana530 (286)
• United States
12 Jun 08
Yes gunslinger maybe I don't understand these issues as well as I should either.
@naseeha (1385)
• India
10 Jun 08
I think the stem cells of the new baby will be collected and be made use of to create and grow body parts. The new baby will not be affected in any way by this. Only the umbilical cord blood will be used which otherwise would be wasted. So there is nothing wrong i suppose. As the new baby does not lose anything but can help save a life. To avoid this, people should be made aware of stem cell research and they should be able to save their children's blood stem cells in advance. They should not think of doing this only when direly necessary.
2 people like this
@Nana530 (286)
• United States
12 Jun 08
You know that would be a really good idea for new mothers to give some thought to. Of course I'll never have to consider that since I am older than dirt. hee hee But I think if I was a young woman having a baby, in this day and time, I probably would give a lot of thought to this.
@eloouuu (176)
10 Jun 08
When responding to the thread, I thought how I would feel if I had only been brought into the world to "cater" for another child. Sure, that child would be my brother or sister, and their life would be important to me. However, a child is a child, and it brings a whole new take on what it means to be the flesh and blood of a parent. Since when did a child become a bag of resources? The subject makes it sound as if we are all just parts which we can mix or match as and when we like. I would not like the thought of being born for no other reason than to provide something and not because I was actually wanted. However, I don't disagree so much with using blood, tissue or organs from existing children providing you have their consent.
2 people like this
@Nana530 (286)
• United States
12 Jun 08
That's really what this book is about. The child is 13 years old when the story starts and she doesn't want to donate one of her kidneys to her sister. So she takes them to court. Very interesting book.
@RebeccaLynn (2256)
• United States
10 Jun 08
It wouldn't surprise me a bit if it started happening. People are having babies to use their' kidneys and bone marrow to save their' sick childs' life so if they took it further, it wouldn't surprise me. I think it's wrong and it's horrible for a child to be brought into the world for the sole purpose of being used for parts. What kind of life is that for the healthy child?
@Nana530 (286)
• United States
12 Jun 08
Yes, it's really a lot to think about isn't it?
@eloouuu (176)
10 Jun 08
It does happen in real life. I've heard of cases where children are conceived to donate bone marrow and tissue to ill siblings. This topic in particular caused a great deal of controversy and led to the question of stem cell research - did you know heart tissue was successfully created by scientists for this exact purpose? I'm not sure exactly what I think of it. It gives me the creeps. I think the idea of creating life for no other purpose than to help another is somewhat immoral. I think that it should be a decision that is taken a lot more seriously. At the end of the day, the child should not be a "donor" but another part of your family. Would you ever feel the same love for a donor child as the love you give to a sick child? On the other hand, I understand that parents would do anything in their power to help a suffering child, even if that was taking drastic measures. I do think however that the same research is going to prove extremely useful to many children, and adults alike, who are suffering from illnesses where no other solution is available. If we are able to do this, what's next? We can only get closer and closer to finding cures, or preventive measures, for illnesses where none currently exist. There are arguments to support both cases.
1 person likes this
@Nana530 (286)
• United States
11 Jun 08
You are so right eloouuu, there are arguments on both cases.
2 people like this
@Nana530 (286)
• United States
12 Jun 08
elooeuu, The name of the book is "My Sister's Keeper" by Jodi Picoult. I haven't finished readng it yet but it is a pretty good book. At least it gets me to thinking about things like this.
• Philippines
11 Jun 08
uwaaa! i know this book! i read it! and it was my favorite book by the way, it from jodi piccoult right? anyway, whoever parents do this to their daughter/sons is so cruel! This is so wrong! i guess, because its inhumane to treat the daughter as a bone marrow bank! not only did they sinned to the younger daughter but to the eldest as well, they just brought her something that even her (elder daughter) conscience could not take!
1 person likes this
@Nana530 (286)
• United States
12 Jun 08
Yes fumi-masaki it is written by Jodi Picoult, and is a very good book no matter what our opinion is about the subject matter. I read another book by her, I think it was called "19 Minutes" that was an excellent book.
• Philippines
12 Jun 08
19 minutes, huh... i would like to read that too... she's my favorite author.. I've read another book of hers titled "the pact", its really good too. I think her books really reflects what's happening to our society right now. It maybe far-fetched for others but that's reality, and it is really possible to happen.
@Pescoe (101)
• Philippines
11 Jun 08
I think I have watched a similar story at CSI...wherein the brother who is sick from cancer has been living thru his sister's regular bone marrow donation...eventually the brother felt pity for himself and his sister and he killed his sister to stop his parents from pursuing their daughter to donate bone marrow for his brother...
1 person likes this
@Nana530 (286)
• United States
12 Jun 08
Oh didn't see that movie Pescoe. But I don't watch CSI anymore. Don't know why I quit watching that show, it was pretty good. I'll have to check and see when it comes on and start watching it again. :o)
@ajayrekha (491)
• India
11 Jun 08
I think its not true. These writers have the capability to write in some a way that they confuse readers mind and that is their actual win. I think you should not involved your mind it this, otherwise such thoughts may dominate your your mind in negative manner. Just get the moral of the story and try to realize that in your life. Thats what I do.
1 person likes this
@Nana530 (286)
• United States
12 Jun 08
You may have a point there ajayrekha. :o)
@sylvia13 (1851)
• Nelson Bay, Australia
11 Jun 08
Yes, I have heard it happening in real life! Having a kid especially for the purpose of saving a sick one. People wonder about the ethics of it all, but I can understand it happening, especially if you love the one who is sick. I guess if that was the case, one would be willing to try anything and conceiving another child to be the saviour does not seem so far fetched.
@Nana530 (286)
• United States
12 Jun 08
Perhaps so sylvia13, if they don't go too far with it. It's really hard to know.
11 Jun 08
It is possible but the ethics of the situation are really tacky. It required a more insightful look into the situation. Nontheless, some cases have occured in the past.
@Nana530 (286)
• United States
12 Jun 08
You're probably right coldfire101, it is possible that this has happened in some cases.
@candymarie (1368)
• Canada
20 Aug 09
Well I heard My Sister's Keeper was based on real events. And yes, this type of thing DOES happen, granted the additional child is for more reasons than that. Time for another child, NOT replacing the child. Maybe initially it wasn't intended as a "donor child", just happened to turn out that way. When parents are struck with something tragic, they end up doing drastic things, and not think of the full consequences, until it's too late. I can't imagine BEING the second child for that though, I can fully understand if they feel like they're being used, and not actually appreciated nor loved, but LIVING that way....ouch.