Genetic Engineering is an issue that touches upon the most profound ethical issues. When discussing the topic of genetic engineering we must be aware that there are two different types: therapeutic and enhancement. Therapeutic treatment is considered to be a type of gene restoration, where one's genes would be altered to fit within the parameters of typical person's. On the other hand, the other form of genetic engineering, gene enhancement is the idea of improving average typical genes to be above average. Therapeutic treatment is acceptable, if parents can prevent their child from having a serious or fatal disease, they should be able to pay for genetic treatment if they can afford to do so. However, I completely disagree with the process of genetic enhancement; a parent should not be able to alter their child's genes from typical or average to above average. If humans even consider gene enhancement for their children, they should revise what is morally and ethically right and wrong. The thought of parents one day being able to enhance or perfect the genes of their expected child is by all means wrong. Children should not be born into a world where their ultimate choices have been made by their parents before the moment of their birth. Children's genes should be left untouched unless there is something terribly wrong, such as a sickness or disease.
After recently entering the new millennium, our world has become obsessed with the idea of enhancements. This obsession is most common among young adults. Young adults these days feel pressured to look a certain way, to have exact amounts of muscle or body fat, to have a certain IQ, and to obtain a certain status. A large part of the problem comes from our culture. Just look at the trademark bodies of models, actors and actresses. Youth and beauty seem to go hand-in-hand in mainstream culture, and many young adults strive for the complete package: intelligence, looks and status. Everyone has become infatuated with the idea of perfection; people are constantly trying to be better than the next person. In addition, these same people who are convinced that they need to have all the "right" things; also want their children to be flawless. Many people these days would be in favor of genetically enhancing their child's average typical genes to be above average and almost perfect genes. These people would like to be able to decide from a variety of different genes, which ones their children will have, including eye color, hair color, body type, IQ and possibly many other genes. (Torr 251) Every parent wants a healthy child. Until just a few years ago, making a baby was a hit or miss. Parents with the access to the latest genetic engineering can now determine a baby's sex before conception. In a few years, we will be able to know how tall, what body type, hair and eye color, and even the IQ our baby will be have. (Torr 193) Parents would have access to this information right around the time the baby is conceived. If the process of genetic enhancement is legalized, parents with knowledge of their children's genes, would be able to pay doctors to weed out any unwanted genes and replace them with sought after genes. For example, if a child's parents were told that their child is going to have brown hair and brown eyes, the parents would be able to pay a fee to alter the child's genes, so the child could now have blonde hair and blue eyes, if that was what the parents decided. With genetic enhancement parents would be able to pay doctors to balance out their family. (Lambrecht 56) Childbirth is supposed to be a miracle; a child's genetic future should not be planned out. "Parents, who want to choose their child's genes before their birth for enhancement reasons, are in my mind immoral." (Mae-Wan 25) Parents should be able to look towards genetic engineering for therapeutic reasons, such as making sure their son or daughter isn't going to be born with a...
Cited: DNA : Heredity and Beyond. Home page. 13 Jan. 1998.
Lambrecht, Bill. Dinner at the new gene café: how genetic engineering is changing what we eat, how we live, and the global politics. New York : Thomas Dunne Books, 2001.
Mae-Wan, Ho. Genetic engineering : dream or nightmare? : turning the tide on the brave new world of bad science and big business. New York : Continuum, 2000.
San Diego, CA : Greenhaven Press, 2001
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