Chapter 16 : Allocation of Resources: Scarcity and Triage

Section 5. Case Study Making Babies for Parts

Megan Brons

Description: Anissa Ayala was a fifteen-year-old girl that was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia. After going through radiation and chemotherapy, Anissa was still in need of a bone marrow transplant. Both Anissas? parents and brother were not sufficiently compatible for them to be donors. Ultimately, Anissa?s parents decided to try to have another baby in the hopes that this bone marrow would be a match for her transplant. Anissa?s father had a reverse vasectomy and at the ages of forty-two and forty-five years old, they conceived their third child. The baby?s bone marrow was a perfect match and wound up saving Anissa?s life.

Url?s for describing the case:






Url?s with ethical position:





NAME: Heidi C. Aho

CASE TITLE: The Ethics of Birthing a Donor

DESCRIPTION: Anissa Ayala was 15 years old when she was diagnosed with chronic

myelogenous leukemia. Although radiation and chemotherapy treatments were able to put

the disease in remission, the treatments damaged Anissa's bone marrow. Basically, her

bone marrow was left unable to produce enough normal red blood cells for her body. All

of her family members were tested for compatibility but there was no match. She was

entered into a public registry in order to try to find a suitable donor. After two years with

no donor, the Ayalas' decided to conceive a child, desperately hoping the child would be a

suitable donor. The odds were 1 in 4 that the child watch match. As luck would have it,

Marissa Eve was born a suitable donor. At the age of fourteen months the child's bone

marrow was extracted and and injected into Anissa. The bone marrow transplant was a


Overview of Alaya Case:

What is Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia?

Ethical Views on this Case and the Organ Donation Crisis:


Your NAME: Kevin Masick

CASE TITLE: Anissa Ayala

DESCRIPTION of the case by student: Anissa was born with chronic myelogenous leukemia and finding a match was virtually impossible. She needed a transplant as soon as possible. After months of deciding what to do the Ayala's thought that having another child would be the only option for a match to Anissa, because it was very hard to find a hispanic donor for Anissa. Finally the Ayala's decided they would have another child in hopes of saving Anissa, but the chances of the child being a match was not very good. It seems a miracle had happened, because not only did Mrs.Ayala become pregnant, but her new born child was an exact match for Anissa. The child was born, Marissa, and the transplant was successful and both are currently living a happy life together.

url's for the Articles Describing case:

url's for Articles with Ethical Position: Philosophers, Theologians, Lawyers, Medical Doctors

Laywers perspective on presumed consent

these 2 websites contain arguments for and against organ selling

Sandra Dowd

Acquiring and Allocating Scarce Medical Resources


Anissa Ayalas was sixteen when she was diagnosed with leukemia. After various agressive treatments had been tried and failed, her family turned to having a baby to provide the necessary stem cells needed to save their daughters life. The issue of acquiring scarce medical resources in this way is under debate. Their are moral issues involved that will be discussed below.

Url's on the story of Anissa Ayala's


The gift of life, The story of the Ayalas

Anissa Ayala's today

Test tube sister born to save dying sister

Marrissa Ayala and how she saved her sister's life




Url's with comments from ethicist on the Ayala's case

Designer Babies, comments from an ethicist

Unnatural Selection comments from an Ethicist on the Families choice

The copy shop, comments from an ethicist on the Ayala's case

Ethics and Fetal Organ Donation

Human cloning and organ donation/transplant views from an ethicist

Douglas Graudons

Case Study Module 13

Description of Case: In 1988 fifteen year old Anissa Ayala was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia. Anissa needed a bone marrow transplant if she had any hope to continue to live. Neither Anissa's parents or brother was a match for her bone marrow type. For two years her parents searched for a donor, but none compatible could be found. So the Ayala's decided to try to have another child, hoping it would be a match for Anissa. First Mr. Ayala had to have his vasectomy reversed, so he could bear children again. They tried and eventually Mrs. Ayala became pregnant. When the child was in the womb it was genetically tested and found to be a close enough match to Anissa's type. The baby was carried to term and born healthy. At fourteen months old Marissa was taken to the OR and had the bone marrow aspirated from her femur. The marrow was then injected into Anissa. The operation was a success and both girls are alive and healthy. The Ayala's received much criticism because of what they had done.

URL's describing the case:


This site describes the case and gives ethical commentary.


This site briefly describes the case.


This article describes the case and the year following the transplantation.


This site describes the case.

URL's with ethical commentary:


This site talks about the ethics involved with the case.


This site talks about the ethics involved in the Ayala case.


This site talks about the ethics involved with organ allocation and transplantation.

4) www.op,org/domcentral/study/kor/90031107.htm

This site talks about the ethics of conceiving a child to save another.



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Copyright Philip A. Pecorino 2002. All Rights reserved.

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