The Interfamilial Principle and the Harvest Festival

in European Journal of Health Law
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It is widely accepted that younger children can act as saviour siblings by donating cord blood or bone marrow to their gravely-ill brothers or sisters. However, it is under dispute whether these procedures are in the best interests of the child. This article suggests that parents may be relying on a thinly-veiled interfamilial approach, where the wider benefit to the whole family is used to justify the procedure to the Human Tissue Authority in the United Kingdom. This article suggests that the merging of familial interests to validate a non-therapeutic bone marrow harvest on a child forces altruism in a patient too young to understand, rendering the harvests unlawful under current law.

The Interfamilial Principle and the Harvest Festival

in European Journal of Health Law




Per Calvo J pp. 1343-1344. Calvo J did not approve the harvest and the child in this case died.


[1997] Fam. 110 pp. 115-116. This was supported by writers including: R. Bailey-Harris Re Y (Mental Incapacity: Bone Marrow Transplant) [1996] 2 flr 787 (case note) in [1997] Fam. Law. 91 at p. 92.


0 (1990) 566 n.e.2d 1319 pp. 1343-4.


[1997] Fam. 110 pp. 112 113 and 115.


L.F. Ross‘Moral Grounding for the Participation of Children as Organ Donors’Journal of Law Medicine and Ethics 21 (1993) 251pp. 253 254 and 255. Also see: L.F. Ross ‘Justice For Children: The Child as Organ Donor’ Bioethics 8(2) (1994) 105 pp. 110 114 115 118 and 119.


A. Glannon and L.F. Ross‘Do Genetic Relationships Create Moral Obligations in Organ Transplantation?’Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 11 (2002) 153pp. 153 and 154.


R. Crouch and C. Elliott‘Moral Agency and the Family: The Case of Living Related Organ Transplantation’Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 8 (1999) 275at p. 282.


R.W. Griner‘Live Organ Donations Between Siblings and the Best Interest Standard: Time for Stricter Judicial Intervention’Georgia State University Law Review 10 (1994) 589at p. 603.


R.E. Ladd‘The Child as Living Donor: Parental Consent and Child Assent’Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 13 (2004) 143pp. 146-147.


At p. 1335. The benefit was not to be ‘one of personal individual altruism in an abstract theoretical sense’ at p. 1343.


Ibid. p. 1336.


L.A. Jansen‘Child Organ Donation, Family Autonomy, and Intimate Attachments’Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 13 (2004) 133pp. 139-140; S. Sheldon and S. Wilkinson ‘Hashmi and Whitaker: An Unjustifiable and Misguided Distinction?’ Medical Law Review 12(2) (2004) 137 at p. 142.


Crouch and Elliottsupra note 18 at p. 278.


Per Calvo J pp. 134313441319 1326 and 1336. Bosze argued in response that if Jean Pierre was kept alive the twins would have the opportunity to get to know him. This speculative future benefit did not hold any weight in court.


N.S. Jecker‘Conceiving a Child to Save a Child: Reproductive and Filial Ethics’The Journal of Clinical Ethics 1(2) (1990) 99 at p. 100.


L. Delany‘Protecting Children from Forced Altruism: The Legal Approach’British Medical Journal 312 (1996) 240.2.


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