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Copyright (c) 2009 Journal of Health & Biomedical Law
Journal of Health & Biomedical Law

BOOK REVIEW: STEM CELL CENTURY: LAW AND POLICY FOR A BREAKTHROUGH TECHNOLOGY

2009

Journal of Health & Biomedical Law

5 J. Health & Biomed. L. 131

Author

Bob Dockendorff*

Excerpt



Introduction

Nine-year-old Molly Nash has a hereditary genetic bone marrow disorder, and she may die without a transplant. 1 A successful transplant requires bone marrow from a compatible sibling, but Molly is an only child. Molly's parents cannot likely create a viable donor sibling through conventional conception, so they turn to groundbreaking reproductive technology. 2 Molly's parents can undergo in-vitro fertilization ("IVF") coupled with pre-implantation genetic diagnosis ("PGD") to create a compatible donor sibling. 3 Doctors use IVF to create an embryo from a man's sperm and woman's egg, and then use PGD to choose embryos with certain genetic traits. 4 Doctors implant the selected embryos into a woman's uterus, and the newborn exhibits the desired genetic traits. 5 Using this new and risky procedure, doctors impregnated Molly's mother with a compatible donor-child, Adam Nash. 6 The doctors transfused the stem cell-rich blood of Adam's umbilical cord into Molly, and her body functioned normally within a month. 7 In essence, reproductive technology allowed Molly's doctors to create a viable stem cell donor for her.

Society requires an informed government in order to realize the full benefits of stem cell research. PGD - the practice that saved Molly Nash's life - is currently unregulated in the United States, and it is only one of many areas of stem cell technology that has outpaced the legislature. 8 PGD raises several issues and questions, including the scope of government regulation on reproductive technology, whether "donors" like Adam need ...
 
 
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