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The Ups and Downs of Designer Babies

Powerful Essays
It is the year 1992. The sun is shining and the birds are singing while a couple enters the doctors’ office. They are happy and in the midst of having their first newborn. Once inside the office, the doctor stares at both of them, like if he was trying to say something. His mouth finally opens, pronouncing a group of words that breaks them down. They are carriers of a genetic disease; a rare gene that would render their future child sick before he or she is even born, and, after a few years, get him or her killed. They are both speechless as they see their dreams and hopes crash. However, the doctor tells them that there is still a chance their future baby is born healthy. They see their dreams return back from ashes as the doctor describes a new technique called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. He explains the couple that this procedure consists of creating embryos, with both of their genes. These embryos are later analyzed for any genetic disease. Those with a genetic disease are discarded, leaving only the “healthy” ones, which are later injected into the woman’s uterus through in vitro fertilization.
After the decade of the 90’s, much process has been made in the field of genetics, human genetics. Now, not only is it possible to diagnose genetic diseases and select the “healthy” embryos, but also to genetically change a human being before it is born through a process called genetic engineering, which is “the artificial manipulation, modification, and recombination of DNA or other nucleic acid molecules in order to modify an organism or population of organisms” (Encyclopedia Britannica). Genetic engineering is, as the definition shows, a very broad term that includes every organism on planet Earth. To narrow it down, I wil...

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... give their son or daughter an ADHD treatment. Considering that these diseases can be cured before being born, post-natal engineering seems invasive and inconsiderate.
Designer babies is a very powerful technology that will keep developing and expanding its uses. It will shape our future in many ways. How it changes our future depends on us. If we decide to use this technology for medical uses only, it will bring humans into a new era free from devastating diseases like Hemophilia A or some types of cancer; however, if we decide to use this technology to create “super humans”, we might be putting the first stepping stone towards the destruction of humanity (genetically and evolutionary speaking). This technology needs to be used, but it needs to be used correctly and in order for this to happen, people need to stay involved and critical regarding Designer Babies.
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