Essay on Gender Selection in Human embryos

Essay on Gender Selection in Human embryos

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History of Gender Selection in Human Embryos
Over the course of human history, the gender of a newborn child has mostly been a welcomed surprise and an uncontrollable aspect of the lifecycle. Technology advancements have allowed parents to not only know the gender of their child before birth but to choose the child’s gender before being implanted in the womb. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) been available since the early 1990’s after Alan Handyside and his colleagues successfully identified and implanted female embryos for several couples at risk of X linked recessive diseases (Handyside, 1990). Every cell in the human body contains 46 packages of DNA known as chromosomes, which are divided into 23 pairs. One of these pairs contains sex chromosomes. Women have two X chromosomes while men have one X chromosome and one Y chromosome. The factor that determines a child's sex is which of the man's sperm reaches the female egg. About half of a man's sperm contain girl-producing X chromosomes, while the other half contain boy-producing Y chromosomes ;whichever kind of sperm reaches the egg first wins the gender battle. But the new methods, some of which remain in question within the medical community, try and control that coin toss (Onion, April 26). The three factors that we will explore are the: legal, moral and ethical perspective on gender selection. Do the consequences of actions always direct what is morally required? What should happen when two principles come into conflict? For example, should patient autonomy be considered more important than beneficence? Are moral and ethically rules always binding, or are they only guidelines to be assessed in each case? The final topic to explore is society’s acceptanc...


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LaFraniere, S. Chinese Bias for Baby Boys Creates a Gap of 32 Million. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/11/world/asia/11china.html?_r=0 April 10, 2009.
Macer, R. J. Ethic and Prenatal Diagnosis. Journal in Genetic Disorders and the Fetus: Diagnosis, Prevention and Treatment, eds. Milunsky, A. (John Hopkins University Press 1998) pp. 999-1024.
Onion, A. Gender Selection, More Possible, But Controversial. http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story (April 26).
Singularity Hub. Designer Babies. Like it or not here they come. http://singularityhub.com/2009/02/25/designer-babies-like-it-or-not-here-they-come/



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