Re: Redesigning humanity Parents have new choices

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Fri Jul 13 2001 - 01:48:48 MDT

> Soon afterward, Heidi and David were watching “60 Minutes” and
> saw a segment on the salvation of Molly Nash, 6, who was dying of
> Fanconi anemia, an inherited blood disease. Her parents, Lisa
> and Jack Nash of Englewood, Colo., had set out to create a sibling
> bone-marrow donor for Molly, undergoing four cycles of in-vitro
> fertilization to make a total of 30 embryos with Lisa's eggs and
> Jack's sperm.
> Using technology largely developed by Mark Hughes, a former
> National Institutes of Health geneticist, scientists in Illinois had
> tested one cell from each of the 30 embryos and found that five of
> the embryos were free of the disease gene and also perfect
> tissue-type matches for Molly. Four embryos failed to take hold in
> Lisa's womb, but with the fifth one, she became pregnant.
> In September, Lisa gave birth to a boy, Adam. Soon after he was
> born, doctors transfused some of his blood cells into Molly's veins,
> where they settled permanently into her marrow to do the job her
> own cells could not do. Adam's preconception and selection
> prompted an unhappy phone call to the transplant doctor from the
> Vatican a few weeks later, but the doctor took it in stride. Molly was
> already getting better.

This is a beautiful story. I wish I had been born like that. Adam's
creation, in addition to the standard purpose of birthing a full human
being, had the additional purpose of saving another's life. That
secondary purpose doesn't shadow the first; it confirms and uplifts it. I
can't think of a better start in life. It's the opposite of being born
under a shadow; like being born under a star.

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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