Stem Cells

I’m watching a program on ABC about a family whose little girl was diagnosed with leukemia. She’s in remission now, but a nurse casually asked her if she was going to have any more children. She was then told that if she were to have another child, the stem cells from that baby could save their daughter should she relapse. So the couple got pregnant again, and then found out that unless the daughter relapsed, they wouldn’t find out if those stem cells were a match. In a check up with their doctor a couple of weeks prior to the birth of the baby, they found out that there is only a 25% chance of those stem cells being a perfect match, and if they ARE a perfect match, then there’s only 50% chance the transplant would work, anyway.

The mother said if they found out this baby’s stem cells were not a match, they would have another child.

I’m not sure how I feel about this. It would make me question why these children were being brought into the world, and what if they’re not matches? How many children do you have? Do you get to the point of resenting them for not being a match? Another family on there said that unless you’ve gone through what these families are going through, you can’t judge them for having more children with the intent to harvest stem cells. Maybe I can’t judge, but I can have an opinion. And my opinion is that they make a good argument against the legalisation of stem cells.

Our hospital doesn’t do cord blood collection, but there are private banks that can come in and do it if you desire. Its expensive, and I guess if it was guaranteed to help/save someone, it would be worth it. But 50% chance after it only having a 25% chance of being a match…I don’t know if its worth it.


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