Should We Allow Designer Babies?

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  • Published : February 25, 2012
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In this case study I am going to find out if allowing people to have designer babies is a good idea. I will be looking on the internet, in newspapers and magazines for evidence for and against the argument this will then help me to make my own opinion.

The Science
A designer baby is a term often used by the media to explain the recent genetic advances to be able to ‘design’ your own baby. Designer babies are made by using new technology to screen specific characteristics in an embryo. This is done by using In vitro fertilisation (IVF) which is a process where eggs are removed from the female’s ovaries. The sperm are then put under a microscope and examined to find out what ones are healthy so that these can fertilize the egg to be able to have the best chance of having a healthy baby with no genetic or inherited disorders. The fertilised egg (embryo is then placed in the woman’s womb. IVF is followed by Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) which is a technique that enables people with a specific inherited condition in their family to avoid passing it on to their children.

Ethics are a set of principles on how to conduct ourselves based on our morals and values. We each have our own idea of what is right or wrong and we use this everyday to make decisions. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) decide which clinics can carry out IVF treatment and which couples should be allowed PGD. The HFEA consider each case individually. For example, if a couple wish to have a baby to save an older child, the authority say that this can only be done if embryo screening is needed for another reason besides providing a match for the brother or sister. Ethics is linked into the making of the HFEA’S decisions by them having to consider morals and values for the person involved and the unborn child.

Articles / Case studies
1. Article – "Banned designer baby is born"
This article is about the Whitakers who were refused...
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