Designer babies have been a controversial topic since the sass. It brings up ethical and moral Issues and creates major debates on whether or not it should be permitted. From preventing deadly diseases to placing out a child’s eye color, numerous possibilities are scientifically possible. With people spending over three billion dollars in the business of baby conception, the growing industry is quickly expanding and being known on an international level.
Regardless of the fact that designer babies can be born healthier, their creation is unethical and morally wrong nice they reduce individuality and have the potential to create genetic discrimination. One often hears the term “designer babies” spoken in today’s society but the exact science behind it involves pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, genetic analysis, gender selection and more. It involves genetic change in offspring and future descendants by altering the genetic makeup of the human gremlin: meaning eggs, sperm, the cells that give rise to eggs and sperm, or early human embryos.
Pre-lamentation genetic diagnosis, also known as PEG, describes a procedure that screens the embryo prior to Implantation. PEG Is considered an alternative to prenatal diagnosis. For decades, this technology has enabled In Volts Fertilization (the process by which egg cells are fertilized by sperm outside the body) clinics to screen embryos for more than 100 potentially debilitating and often deadly diseases before the embryo is implanted into the mother. Using this method, the baby will almost be free of all diseases.
For example, the case of Cindy and John Whitley perfectly describes this situation. Their first child died at the age of nine months from a deadly genetic disorder called spinal muscular atrophy. Genetic analysis uncovered that the Whittles statistically had a 1 in 4 chance of creating a child with spinal muscular atrophy each time they conceived. Unwilling to risk having another child with the deadly disorder, the Whitey’s used PEG to conceive three children, all healthy, This method assists reproductive technology and requires In Vitro Fertilization to obtain octets or embryos for evaluation.
Regardless of the fact that PEG can reduce the percentage of fatal pregnancies, ethical issues arise from the topic and will result in an increase of unreasonable fear or hatred towards foreigners or anyone who appears different. Since this procedure can determine the gender of the embryo, it can create sex preferences and future “family imbalances”. Furthermore, it may be the possible reason for “social selection” and introduce socio- economic concerns since is a very expensive procedure. Genetic engineering, if accepted, will have a negative impact on the society. People with genetic defects will be socially rejected.
They will be called ‘gene poor’ and will be separated from society too. Today, people who have genetic defects are already treated differently and cast out from society In several parts across the world. The National Director of Christian Voice, Stephen Green, salad “The objection to the Idea of designer babies Is that It divorces procreation from the act of sexual congress, and there’s a real sense In which it is playing God. ” Critics point out that the level of biodiversity in the human overpopulate and every newborn will have the same genetic makeup, reducing diversity, which is strongly required for reproduction.
It is thanks to gene diversity that reproduction is available. By having identical genetic traits, all of humanity would be at a high risk of diseases and would not be able to defend itself. If everybody had the same genetic makeup, one disease would annihilate an entire population. Although In Vitro Fertilization was originally designed to help parents that were unable to conceive children naturally, Steinberg says that a staggering 70% of their clients have absolutely no difficulty conceiving children, coming to the Institute purely for opportunity to choose the sex of their baby.
The “designer babies” concept is being used simply for the purpose of enhancement and not as a cure, which could eventually lead to discrimination on the basis of certain qualities or traits. Children of rich families will receive genetic enhancement, leading to genetic aristocracy. This gives them an unfair advantage over other children. People unable to afford genetic engineering will be looked down upon, thereby creating a greater rift in society. Moreover, most parts of the world are still male-dominated, and sex or gender determination of the baby can lead to gender discrimination across the globe.
Nature has developed certain measures by which overpopulation is prevented. It also has a natural cycle that cleans the earth of pollution and recycles all organic life. Disease itself is a function of nature that is necessary to deal with overcrowding and pollution. How does this play into designer babies? Tampering with the DNA makeup is not a natural form of reproduction. The same goes for artificial insemination, test tube conception, fertility drugs, etc. To modify genes we must copy old genetic material. If too many generations of copies are present, then degeneration sets in.
Furthermore, there is the socio-economic problem of people not dying, but new people are still being born. This leads to overpopulation, overcompensation, depletion of resources, and class struggles. Such conditions always end in conflict for resources, I. E. War. War results in masses of dead bodies, which in turn cause an increase in pathogens, which result in pandemic outbreaks, nature’s way of returning to a balance. So, regardless of the fact that designer babies are the “ideal” beings, it is clear that many negative consequences overpower, creating a vicious cycle.
A main issue is in the way people view their offspring. Will children become a mere commodity designed by their parents to fit into the world as an accessory and not as an individual in their own right? Moreover, the fact that signing babies can modify their IQ level or alter their interests is a form of human limitation. It decreases the free will of the child. For instance, if the child was designed to excel in sports, it will be designed with bigger muscle mass, stronger stamina or even taller; it could prevent the individual from perhaps being a pianist, or a scientist.
It limits the person and gives the opportunity to the parent to decide the future career, looks, and ability of the child. Taken to the extreme, will the use of PEG create a race of perfect unblemished stereotyped people with variety only oncoming out of changes in fashion? Who will ultimately make the decisions about what is acceptable what is not and how can we ensure that the technology will be used responsibly? Scientists believe that this experiment is an important discovery in solving the genetics involving cancer, cardiovascular, nervous, immunological and order to defeat Nature.
Even though designing can prevent certain common diseases such as Down Syndrome, ATA-Sacks Disease, Sickle Cell Anemia, Cystic Fibrosis and Huntington Disease, people can abuse this possibility and design their own version f the perfect baby, purely for cosmetic purposes, possibly creating a whole new society. Unfortunately, the procedure of designing babies has been an ever-growing project that has attracted many buyers. Prima Johnson, an analyst at Alberta Health Services states that in 1995, there were 30 fertility clinics in the U.
S. A and decades later, there were more than 300. More than one million couples seek fertility treatment each year, and spend more than $3 billion in pursuit of babies. Fees for IF, the simplest procedure offered, vary between $5,000 and $1 5,000, with another 2,000 to $3,000 for fertility drugs. Moreover, the price for each baby is $15,000 to $18,000. Dry. Steinberg, director at The Fertility Institutes, claims that they are performing on the order of ten gender selection fertilization every week, each for a fee of $18,400.
Considering the fact that there are more important things in life than changing the physical and mental capabilities and qualities of a newborn, parents go to every extreme to modify and change the simple beauty of nature, even when it comes to spending thousands of dollars. There are ethical problems involving pre- implantation genetics and In Vito-fertilization when people seek to play God by testing embryos to see if they have certain features and discarding them when they do not meet the high expectations.
In fact, such picking and choosing sounds extremely heartless. Many oppose it as it defies the laws of nature whereas others support it since it is a scientific discovery that should be pursued. Certainly, these procedures are beneficial if they can eliminate a life of endless suffering and eliminate the exorbitant medical costs required to keep disabled people alive, as Refine mentions in The Ultimate Therapy. However, ethical and social consequences will be profound regarding designer babies: science can alter the very fabrics of life (Bird, Stephen).
Bird refers to science possibly altering the very fabrics of life since with the help of PEG, women over 35 could give birth, children could be designed at free will, diseases could be tamed and all of which are naturally impossible without the help of the sciences. In the 20 years leading up to 2002, the number of women giving birth aged 35 and over has nearly doubled from 1,565 to 3,061, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics. Beyond the early ass, women’s fertility begins to fall off, while the chances of their children having genetic disorders increase. Because there are more risks to the fetus if a woman is over 35, issues around screening are going to become more important,” said Proof Richards. The adoption of genetic engineering for cosmetic reasons, for genetic enhancements has spearheaded a lot of controversies. People have begun asking the question: “Is it ethical to create designer babies with enhanced physical ability and appearance? ” Then again, using the pre-implantation process to screen embryos for any genetic eases and eliminate it is understandable, however, how does one explain deliberate crippling of children.
Is it ethical to allow parents to choose disabilities for their children? Julian Cupules, director of the Oxford Centre for Applied Ethics, gives the example of a deaf lesbian couple, Sharon Duchesses and Candy McCullough, from the US, who used this method of genetic engineering to create from a family with five generations of deafness. Yet, how ethical is this? Although the deaf lesbian couple feels that deafness is not a disability, instead a cultural identity, s deliberately choosing deafness for their child, the right thing to do?
Aren’t they playing God? Many could relate to this example when discussing the extremes of genetically modifying genes. We are losing the concept that a higher force gives life to us and it is not ours to control or to manipulate. The core of this debate is centered is the status that we give to the human embryo. There are many differences of opinions surrounding this issue, as has already been stated. Designer babies upset a balance nature has set up in order to maintain life on the planet. Genetic engineering is not something to play with.
It is complex and any mistake can alter the lives of many future generations. In addition, we never know when a particular mutation can lead to a new virus or disease that could annihilate an entire population with the same genes. We as humans did not choose to enter this world and there are a myriad of things that we do not understand about our genetic makeup, as well as the world around us. It is time to realize that we cannot control everything in this world, although our flesh desires to.