Little Javier was born last week into a world of controversy.
That's because the little Spanish boy was conceived for one reason only: to provide stem cells for his older brother, Andrés, who suffers from a congenital form of anaemia. Stem cells from Javier's umbilical cord will be used in a bone marrow transfer to his six-year-old sibling in hopes of curing his condition.
Javier was screened before birth to ensure he was free of the condition, which has led the Roman Catholic Church in Spain to condemn the situation, since such screenings mean other embryos that were not free of the condition were discarded.
“You cannot kill one human being to save another,” the Spanish Bishops' Conference said in a statement.
Parents Soledad Puertas and Andrés Mariscal said they wanted only what is the best for their son.
Spain legalized stem-cell research in 2006 and Andalusia, in the south, where Javier was born, became the first region to allow embryo screening as a public health right.
Despite the position of the church, the majority of Spanish people are in favour of the use of embryos to cure illnesses.