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Image Analysis- Genetic Modification (pg. 519)
Angela Meraklis-Lyons Every parent wants their child to be healthy. Though this is not always the case, the science behind genetic modification can improve the odds of that child being born healthy, as well as decrease the odds of the child developing diseases later in life. The image depicting an expecting mother lovingly holding her expanding belly is fairly typical. The catch is that the woman’s belly has a large barcode printed on it. By doing so, the photographer is implying that the child is being purchased. It is referring to genetic modification. The photographer is using an ethical appeal. Many people believe the creation of a child to be a very natural and beautiful occurrence, however, the image suggests that by using genetic modification, the creation of a child has become commercialized and processed. For those parents who carry known diseases, genetic modification is a dream come true. No longer do they need to worry whether it would be ethical to conceive a child that may be sentenced to a lifetime of suffering, humiliation, or possibly premature death. They can choose to eliminate those genes and/or embryos that carry the disease. As a parent, I can truly sympathize with this incredibly heart wrenching decision. On the other hand, not all children who could develop these disease will end up with them. They may very well live full, healthy lives. So the question we now face is, is it ethical to genetically engineer a child? Should embryos with potential risk be discarded without knowing, with all certainty, that there will be future problems? These embryos could end up growing into adulthood, living until 40 – 50 years of age before a problem ever occurs. Some people believe that genetic modification crosses the line of “playing God.” At what point do we stop trying to perfect nature? The concern is that parents will try to engineer the perfect child. But in doing so, will that

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