Genetic Engineering and Eugenics
The idea of genetic engineering has been a very heated topic of discussion lately. The possibilities of this topic range from cloning to gene therapy and eugenics. The most recent type, eugenics through gene therapy has created a lot of controversy. Eugenics is the study of how to improve human genetic heritage. This basically is the engineering of babies. The thought of these new designer babies raises many new questions. What are the consequences of these advances? Is it right to design an embryo in a certain way to make it into what the parents want it to be? These are just a couple of the very important questions raised by this issue. As the debate to whether eugenics should be allowed rages on, the technology comes closer to making this possibility into a reality.
The way in which this new technology will be used is by correcting genetic problems in embryos. Extensive DNA testing will soon be able to show awaiting parents an accurate view of their embryoís genes. This will allow any defects of the child to be seen. If the unborn child is perfectly healthy, no changes will be made. If a problem is spotted, the parents may turn to abortion or gene therapy. Gene therapy is the treatment of genetic diseases by introducing genetic material into the patientís genes. This new process of having children where the parents decide what type of child they will have is called genetic counseling. This process will be able to not only identify health issues, but also personality traits. This is another topic that raises an interesting controversy. It allows a baby to be designed to the specific desires of the parent. The presents the question of: who is to say what another person should be like? Instead of a person's individuality being created naturally it will be molded by science. Some might say that this amazing process would create some of the greatest humans that will lead mankind into the future. Others might say...
Cited: Begley, Sharon. "Designer Babies." Newsweek 9 Nov. 1998: 61.
Boukhari, Sophie, and Otchet, Amy. "Uncharted Terrain on Tomorrowís Genetic Map." UNESCO Courier Sep. 1999: 18.
Dudley, William, ed. Genetic Engineering: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1990.
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