Source analysis What would the world be like if we had perfect people? Is it right to manufacture perfect people starting in the mother’s womb? As with any debate, there are two opposing perspectives on the genetic engineering of children. The controversy about whether or not a fetus can or should be designed to be “perfect” brings up many ethical issues. In Michael Catalano’s scholarly article “The Prospect of Designer Babies: Is it Inevitable?”, his research and survey highlights and gives factual information about both sides of the argument.
Aldous Huxley envisioned a future in which natural reproduction in mankind would be eliminated due to advances in fertility technology in his 1932 novel, Brave New World. He believed expecting parents would decide in advance their child's physical appearance as well as his or her mental abilities, including height, eye color, hair color, and gender. According to Huxley, embryos could be genetically altered to meet their requests. Though this may seem unreal and unlikely, some scientists claim the technology will be available to do this very soon("Designer Babies" 1). "In the next several decades, new biotechnology may allow parents to create 'built-to-order' babies by manipulating genetic material" (Smith 1).
This new concept is known as ‘designer babies.’ A designer baby according to the oxford dictionary is a baby whose genetic makeup has been artificially selected by genetic engineering, combined with in vitro fertilization to ensure the presence or absence of particular genes or characteristics (designer babies). Designer Babies are not illegal, but the public does not take a big shine to it; they think the government should put a ban on it. I however, do not see a problem with it, because a designer baby not only gives you the opportunity to design a beautiful baby, it also cures diseases, prevent genetic diseases, and increase life expectancy. Designer babies, even though they are good, also come with a negative side; the destruction of the unwanted embryos . In order to get the perfect child, several embryos have to be created.
On the other hand, altering the human genome demonstrated that could help to prevent hereditary diseases, but it is used as to create "designer babies" with enhanced appearance, athletic ability, and intelligence is completely unethical and unnatural. On other words, the parents create/customize a perfect child that fits to their lifestyle and desires. Event thought “designer babies” is not a completely reality yet, the idea of developing this proc... ... middle of paper ... ...ical Journal. 351 (2002): 974. InfoTrac Custom Newpapers.
The first concept of a designer baby was developed in the case of Adam Nash. One of the first babies that were created using gene therapy in order to evade a family disease made national headlines. However, the headlines were not in joy or happiness but in fear of what the future might hold. Then the talks began and ideas of being able to pick what personality or intelligence each child had. The lines were drawn and society was split between ethics and desires (Begley, 1998).
The purpose of the process is noble as it is generally aimed at eradicating genetic disorders and diseases (Yin, 2005). However, the question on when the human race will draw the line in regards to the alteration of the genes is a big issue. Who will stop the rich families, as this is an expensive procedure, from using this method to change their children’s genes and have them at an advantage against other children? The designer child debate is a raging debate with more concerns of sidestepping nature as to how it could change the society as we know it today (Ronald, 2007). Ethical considerations into the designer babies’ debate are placed on the basis of the effects that the procedure will have on the baby and the society.
Do we risk creating children as a medical commodity? Could it ultimately lead to parents demanding genetically-engineered offspring with good looks, intelligence, or athletic abilities? It is my position, from a practical medical perspective, that although this research has much potential, the adverse effects outweigh the positive gains. When this research is used under the motives of cosmetics, it will adversely affect our society and the human race as a whole. Presented in this paper are the types of genetic engineering, their purposes, their potential, and the controversy of this research.
(2011). "Designer babies" Ethical? Retrieved December 14, 2011, from http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/03/03/earlyshow/health/main4840346.shtml Dixion, P. (n.d.). Designer babies. Retrieved December 3, 2011, from http://www.globalchange.com/designer.htm HumansFuture.
The doctor takes their order, and then schedules an appointment with the soon-to-be-parents to implant the embryo containing all those traits into the mother. While this scene may seem like a moment out of a science fiction novel, it is not too far off what very well may be available in the near future. Medical sciences and technologies are advancing rapidly, and in a society completely preoccupied with obtaining perfection, it should be no surprise to anyone that scientists are playing around with the idea of genetically engineering perfect humans. It is one thing to make the decision to enhance oneself with things like plastic surgery, steroids, collagen, herbal supplements, and so on. There is also nothing wrong with studying hard and practicing in a certain skill to reach expertise.