Nine Year Old Boy First In UK To Freeze Testicular Tissue
Nathan Crawford, from Cornwall, needs chemo and radiotherapy for an inoperable brain tumour. However, there is a possibility that the treatment might leave him infertile.
So he has become the first in the UK to have testicular tissue frozen, so that he might have a chance of having his own child when he is older.
Readers, I wrote in detail on a similar case, that of the Jarvis family, in 2011.
My views on these topics haven’t changed. My personal view is that a nine year old child is too young to make decisions like these, and decisions about having a family of his own.
Also, the BBC does not reveal whose decision the freezing of tissue was. If it wasn’t the boy’s own decision, then my personal view is that it should not have been made for him. No doubt, his parents, if they didn’t consult him in making this decision, made it out of love and care for their child. But a decision this big, in my personal opinion, should not be made unless it is made, with full understanding, by the person themselves.
Surely, the family’s first priority is to save their son’s life, or extend it for as long as possible? If he is left infertile by the cancer treatment, surely solutions to that can be found once he is old enough to understand them, and to consider having a family?
Even if this means that his own family is not biological, adoption and fostering will still be options open to him when he is old enough to consider them. Since he is only 9 now, it is not unreasonable to think that IVF techniques will be far advanced by that time, too.
Readers, had Nathan Crawford been 16 or 18, I would have felt differently. However, in my personal opinion, making fertility procedures available to children is not a ‘positive step forward.’ It only forces children to think about things they are not yet ready to understand, and it is simply unnecesary.