Ethics of Designer Babies

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  • Topic: Genetics, Preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Medical genetics
  • Pages : 5 (1925 words )
  • Download(s) : 311
  • Published : March 29, 2012
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I believe that it is unacceptable to reproduce genetically designed babies, unless it is to prevent disease or disability. Genetically designing babies can be used in many different ways. You can choose their hair and eye color, their IQ, and their special talents. People are beginning to predispose their children to be whatever they think they should be. Some want their children to be superstar athletes, while others want the next Beethoven. Others want their children to be just as they are. A deaf lesbian couple wanted to have a deaf child. Their friend donated the sperm and they asked the geneticists if it were possible to create a deaf child. A few months later, the child was born as a fully deaf baby. I believe that it is wrong to intentionally harm a fetus by giving them a disability or disease. It prevents them from living a fully functional life. If a couple were to research or visit a gene therapist, and they determined if the couple were to have a male child, the child would most definitely be born with a heart defect and would only live a few years, but if they had a female child that she would be perfectly healthy, then it is okay to provide the family security by enabling them to have a female child. By doing this, they are preventing a disability or disease. If the couple has four boys and intentionally says “ If I am having a male, I want an abortion.” then that is completely immoral. In one book, Choosing Children, It asks the question: “People use antenatal or pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to have a child without disability. Is this a form of eugenics? Is it a part of a slide toward what the Nazi’s did?” . I believe that it is a form of eugenics. We are bettering the society by providing fully functional human beings. Nazi’s weren’t trying to prevent a disease or disability, they were worried about the physical features of the Jewish descent. Another book, Disability and Genetic Choice, asked if it were okay to have a Down Syndrome test. I believe that it is okay to have the testing as long as it is not the determining factor in terminating a pregnancy. This gives the parent(s) a chance to prepare themselves and be educated or give them a chance to arrange an adoption. I draw the line of designing babies at preventing disability. It is unnecessary to chose a babies hair or eye color. Just because they have a certain hair or eye color does not mean that they will be treated or act differently in society. Every genetic change has a downside, so while creating a child that is an athlete by making their muscles work harder, it is causing their heart to weaken a lot faster than someone who was not “designed”. Genetically “strengthening” babies can provide a family with a piece of mind that they will have a healthy child. Although many people want to chose how their children may look or act, having a healthy, functioning, strong child will triumph over how they may look or act.

Before one thought that he could genetically design a child, In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) came about. IVF then paved the way for preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and preimplantation genetic selection (PGS). PGD is the process in which the doctors screen the embryos to see if any genetic disorders are present. Many of the disorders that are screened are life changing, disabling conditions. PGS is the process in which they “hand pick” the embryo without any genetic disorders and implant it back into the mother. This is the first red flag many people see in how genetically designed babies came about. This may be the only (mostly) uncontroversial part of genetics and IVF. The only ones who criticize this are those who believe that life starts at contraception. I believe that this is okay to do since it promotes bettering ones life, but this is where the line should be drawn. Another technique that is often used along with this is gender selection. The only reason I believe that it is morally correct to choose a baby’s gender is...
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