The recent birth of Javier Mariscal, the first “medicinal baby” to be born in Spain since a new law on assisted reproduction was passed by the Socialist government in June of 2006, has led the Bishops’ Conference of Spain to issue a statement warning that the healing of the infirm should not come at the cost of the lives of other human begins.
The statement published last weekend, the bishops noted that on October 12, the first baby conceived for the purpose of healing another person was born in Sevilla. The baby’s brother suffers from a hereditary disease which forces him to undergo constant blood transfusions.
The bishops explained that with the technique that was used, “the embryos obtained through in vitro fertilization are examined to select those that are not carriers of the gene that causes the hereditary disease. From the selected group, an embryo that has the closest genetic profile to the ill sibling is implanted in the uterus. The rest are either destroyed or frozen.”
The bishops pointed out that the Spanish media “has emphasized the good news of the birth of the child and the possibility of curing the illness of his brother.” “Put like this, the news ought to be a source of joy for all. However, the dramatic fact that the sick embryos, and eventually the healthy ones that were not genetically compatible were destroyed has been silenced.”
“The Church wants to lend her voice to the voiceless and to those who have been deprived of the fundamental right to life. These statements are not a judgment upon the conscience or the intentions of anyone. They are meant to draw attention to the objective ethical principles that protect the dignity of all human beings,” the statement indicated.