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EDITIONS
 Friday, 10 January, 2003, 10:31 GMT
Family vow to have designer baby
Zain and Shahana Hashmi
Zain is seriously ill
A couple banned from creating a baby to help their seriously-ill son have vowed to go abroad for treatment if necessary.

Raj and Shahana Hashmi want doctors to use pioneering IVF technology to select an embryo that will provide a perfect match for their three-year-old son Zain.

He has the rare and potentially fatal blood disorder thalassaemia and urgently needs a bone marrow transplant.

We are choosing an option that will give our son a life that is disease and pain free

Shahana Hashmi

A suitable genetic match has so far not been found and his parents want to have another baby to help them to save their son.

The High Court ruled in December that the couple, from Leeds, could not use IVF technology to select a perfect match embryo.

The couple have vowed to challenge that decision in the House of Lords.

Determined

Mrs Hashmi said she was determined to press ahead with having the baby.

"We as parents should be allowed to have a choice and we are choosing an option that will give our son a life that is disease and pain free."

She added: "Anybody who has ever loved know they will go to the ends of the earth to help the person they love. We will follow our instincts."

The procedure was originally backed by UK regulators last year. However, the High Court ruled that the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority had no right under current legislation to license the technique.

The ruling followed a challenge by Josephine Quintavalle, of the public interest group Comment on Reproductive Ethics (Core).

It claimed that claimed the screening of test tube embryos to provide "donor siblings" for sick children was "ethically objectionable".

The HFEA has said it will appeal the decision.

Dr Simon Fishel, director of CARE at The Park Hospital in Nottingham, criticised the High Court decision to stop the Hasmi's from undergoing treatment at his clinic.

"We are dismayed that the opportunity of improving and helping to save lives of these children is now on hold through mooted legal technicality.

"We also believe it is utterly wrong to deny access to life-saving technology when a family can benefit without any intrusion or harm upon our society in general," he said.

See also:

20 Dec 02 | Health
22 Feb 02 | Health
20 Dec 02 | Health
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