SPUC expresses concern at birth of designer baby
19 June 2003
SPUC expresses concern at birth of "designer-baby" Westminster, 19 June 2003--The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has commented in the light of the recently-reported birth of a child who was selected at embryo stage for his suitability to provide tissue to treat his four-year-old brother. John Smeaton, SPUC's national director, said: "While our hearts go out to everybody involved, and we welcome Jamie Whitaker's birth, there are profound issues of concern here. Human beings who were not the perfect match were simply discarded and a child has been created with the primary purpose of benefiting his elder brother. This does not conform to Jamie's human dignity. "Jamie's mother said that, as she held her new baby, she was holding UK history. What matters, though, is that he is a human with a right to live - a right denied to his embryonic brothers and sisters. Indeed, what happened to his unwanted embryonic siblings? Were they flushed down the sink? Frozen? Used for experiments?" According to reports, Jamie Whitaker was born in south Yorkshire on Monday. His British parents went to Chicago for the procedure because it was not allowed in Britain. Charlie, Jamie's brother, has the rare diamond blackfan anaemia. Reports differ on the possible outcome and treatment of the condition, some saying that tissue-based therapy is essential for survival while others state that Charlie is being kept alive with five injections per week.