My Child/My Sibling

Hat tip to friends Annie and Lauren: The debate between reproductive health advocates and the disability rights community is usually framed as a question of how far medicine can ethically go to prevent disability without further stigmatizing the disabled. There is deep concern, for example, about the fact that 90 percent of expectant parents who receive a definitive prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome are choosing to terminate their pregnancies.

Here’s a new ethical quandry: The mother of a Canadian little girl born with Turner’s syndrome, a genetic condition that results in infertility, has frozen her own eggs for possible future use by her daughter. Of course, if the girl does want children someday, she will have the option of either using these eggs or taking another route, such as adoption. Though sister-sister egg donation is relatively common, this is the first time a mother has donated to a child. And there’s concern that having your mother also be your sister could cause "geneaological bewilderment" for a child.

Josephine Quintavalle of Comment on Reproductive Ethics told the BBC, "We have to stop thinking of women only in terms of their reproductive potential. The daughter could live a full and happy life without having children of her own."

-cross-posted at TAPPED

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