To Clone a Savior Sibling

In the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) there is a row of large machines, approximately the same size as vending machines. The parents of very sick children are pleased to have access to these machines, for each one is a savior to a sick child. The Voltaire family’s new girl child, Candy, is sick. She is in renal failure. Her heart has two damaged, barely functioning ventricles. She would have been allowed to die if it were not for the machine. Inside the machine is her clone, called an eidete. Grown from her own cells, her eidete is in every respects a living girl, genetically identical to Candy though 9 months behind in development. But her eidete has been kept unconscious by powerful drugs and will continue to be kept unconscious for the rest of her life, until she (the eidete) either dies from surgery or is put to death with a pain-free form of euthanasia. The eidete’s only purpose in life is to grow organs to be transplanted into Candy. Once the heart and kidneys are developmentally ready, they will be removed from the eidete and transplanted into Candy. This will mean death for her eidete. Hopefully this will save Candy’s life. If it doesn’t, then the doctor’s plan to grow another clone from Candy and try again. If, later in her life, more vital organs fail, then the doctors will grow another clone of Candy and take vital organs as needed to restore Candy’s health.

Across the world, General Guevara, widely known as the new Hitler, has been the absolute dictator of nuclear-armed, revolution-exporting Abaddon for 39 years. Guevara has presided over “Medical” camps in which millions of indigenous peoples, homosexuals, capitalists, Jews, Americans, and intelligentsia, died or were killed in experiments. Guevara is now 68 years old and his heart is failing, weakened by a life of debauchery. But growing in the machines in his personal NICU are his eidetes. If it were possible to open the machines and look at them, one would see intubated infants or young children, some with the look of madness in their eyes. The eidetes know nothing outside their machines. Soon one of them will be put on the operating table to have his heart and some other organs removed and transplanted into Guevara. If any transplants fail a second eidete is waiting to be used up. Yet another array of eidetes have had their neurons removed to be implanted into Guevara’s brain to fend off his genetic predisposition to Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related derangement, in a procedure that has been developed and tested on inhabitants of the “Medical” camps, many of whom died horribly in the experiments. But who is keeping count of them? Like the cloned children in the machines, they have been officially declared to be eidetes, not human beings.

And nobody cares about eidetes. For the growing and harvesting of eidetes for the convenience of their luckier relatives is commonplace, all over the world. Eidete therapy is even accepted for Olympic competition, as it is impossible to detect.

Meanwhile, in their machines all over the world, millions of infants and children sleep, dream, or awaken to total sensory deprivation. Many of them go mad in the darkness. But nobody cares for the eidetes. They are merely a crop to be harvested.

It is not true yet. But it could be.The news comes from London, England via Nuke. Bracketed text inserted by me.

PARENTS of sick children in Britain will be allowed to use IVF [in vitro fertilization] to create “spare-part babies” under controversial laws published yesterday.

The legislation will dramatically relax rules on IVF clinics creating “saviour siblings” who can help cure their older brothers and sisters of medical conditions such as leukemia.

Experts said that one day they could create a “designer baby” with kidneys perfectly compatible with a sibling suffering renal failure.

More immediately, saviour siblings could give umbilical cord blood or bone marrow to family members in the hope of treating conditions such as sickle cell anaemia.

The Government’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill will be debated in British Parliament and is expected to become law in 2009.

As Nuke points out, the conversation about using cloned children as organ banks, called savior siblings, has been going on for a while.

And the “Medical” camps of Abaddon are all-too-believable. The Nazi concentration camps of WW2 were not the only places where horrible medical experiments were performed on involuntary subjects. The Japanese Unit 731 in WW2 occupied China, called prisoners “logs” and performed the cruelest, vilest experiments possible on them. And like Mengele, the doctor in charge at Unit 731 escaped justice for many years. Though Mengele was eventually identified and prosecuted, Ishii, the doctor in charge at Unit 731, was never prosecuted for his atrocities.

Trackposted to Big Dog’s Weblog, The Amboy Times, Allie is Wired, Right Truth, and The Populist, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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6 responses to “To Clone a Savior Sibling

  1. Wow, I wish I had written that! That’s breathtaking and very, very disturbing. I think I’m going to have to link to that.


  3. Its also full of inaccuricies and scaremongering.

    1. Growing clones in bottles, a staple of science fiction, is many decades away. Every cloned animal so far has needed a living female to grow in – they need that womb, and all the attached biochemical support. This isn’t going to change. Even if it were possible, the complexity would keep its cost far too high compared to the cheaper approach of working out how to just grow organs.

    Or, failing that, hire a women to grow the child. An artificial womb is so difficult, it might actually be easier to GM a cow for compatability.

    2. The delay of this semi-natural growing would also render it of little use, except to the very rich who could afford a clone-bank on standby.

    3. The use of the Evil General as an example of a prolonged life is just emotional manipulation. Ignoring the ethics of the technology itsself, it would be of no more benefit to Evil General than it would be to a great humanitarian or genius.

    4. If a technology is unethical because it could prolong the life of a bad person, then all medicine should be outlawed.

    5. Even if, somehow, eidetes were created, it wouldn’t be difficult to prevent the cortex forming. Since there is little ethical objection to the slaughter of animals for food, it should be possible to eliminate any ethical difficulty by just growing effectively sacks of meat: No brain, no problem. You could even get rid of it entirely, if you artificially replace the functions of the stem.

    6. Why would anyone need to create prison camps for test subjects? All but the final stages of research are done in cultures and animal models, and there is already a system in place for human trials. If the dictator really needs speed, they only have to take away all regulations – plenty of dying people would offer themselves up for the chance at more time.

    7. Adult neurons probably wouldn’t work, and would certinly be very expensive to produce with the whole artificial-womb arrangement. Fetal neurons would be a more likely candidate. Currently production requires implanting an embryo and aborting the pregnency, but with future developments they could probably be made entirely in the lab.

    8. Candy lives. Need I say more on that one?

  4. Suricou, I like the way you think. I could take your ideas and make my little science fiction scenario even more horrific, with breeder women, most likely enslaved clones themselves, carrying headless cloned babies to term. Have some of them sitting around dumbly in the corridors of the NICU. And the idea of letting the use of eidetes corrupt some wonderful yet naive humanitarians into debased evil gives me a prospective novelist’s frisson of delight. I know you didn’t mean to make the examples even more horrific, but you have. Thank you!

    Candy lives! So did Frankenstein’s monster.

  5. Hmm… thanks. A few minor changes again:

    Breeder women wouldn’t need to be enslaved. Just pick the third-world woman of your choice and wave a wad of cash and plate of food. Its much easier, and quite legal.

    Babies wouldn’t be headless, just brainless. Born vegetables.

    The whole breeder problem is still pointless though – there are more technologically practical approaches than slice-and-dice babies. Cells can be grown in culture, and some whole organs grown in a lab. Given sufficient time, I am hopeful that the xenotransplantation research on pigs will yield something usful for the remaining organs.

  6. Pointless though it may be, the slice and dice baby is the technique that has been covered in the new law in the UK. Not organs grown from pluripotent skin cells. Not organs grown on pigs or cows. Savior siblings were not chosen randomly, but because that is the immediate threat.