THE PROS AND CONS OF “DESIGNER BABIES”

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The process of creating a “designer baby” is often questioned because of it’s shaky moral platform. Though there are certainly some positive things that can be obtained from the use of genetic engineering used on unborn babies, but it is often wondered if parents will have the “right” reasons to genetically modify their baby, or if reasoning will become more superficial. Here are some of the cons associated with the genetic engineering of babies:

  • If the process is not done carefully, the embryo could be accidentally terminated.
  • Furthermore, the technology used is not 100% safe yet. It is only in the experimental stages at this point.
  • Parents may use this technology for superficial purposes; such as purposely seeking out a blonde haired, blue eyed baby for appearance concerns only.
  • Could create a gap in society. “Designer” babies would most likely be better looking, smarter, etc. This could create “classes” between designer and non designer babies.
  • Because the technology is so new, it is unknown whether genetically modifying the babies will effect the gene pool. This could cause difficulties later on throughout the baby’s family tree.
  • A baby cannot consent to having it’s body altered; therefore some do not believe it’s right as parents do not “own” their children.
  • Genes often have more than one use. For example, a gene that controls intelligence could also control anger management. You could end up with a genius, but very angry, child.
  • Geneticists are not perfect people and cannot 100% properly evaluate every gene. It is more than likely mistakes will be made.
  • Individuality will be slighted. Because most people will seek out good-looking, intelligent babies with other optimum characteristics, everyone will be relatively similar.
  • The procedure is not cheap, and not everyone would be able to afford it. Could create prejudice between “Designer” and “non designer” children. Could cause the “non-designer” children to miss opportunities because jobs among other things are more likely to take the “optimum” candidate for something.
  • The ability to “change” as humans will falter.
Although there are many questions of if genetically modifying babies is ethical and for the moral reason, there are many positives to this type of treatment:
  • Installs a better understanding of genetics for genealogists and biologists.
  • Increases human life span up to 30 years.
  • Prevents genetic diseases such as down syndrome, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s Disease, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and many others.
  • Reduces risk of inherited medical conditions such as obesity, anemia, diabetes, cancer, and many more.
  • Keeps up with modern technologies.
  • Enhancement of children.
  • Allows parents to give their child a healthy life.
  • Genetically engineering babies is an option, not a requirement for all parents. For those that disagree with it, they don’t have to engineer their child.
  • Children are already engineered by parents in many ways. Prenatal supplements, education, religion, and morals are all ways parents control their child.
  • Taking folate during pregnancy reduces risk of a child developing autism. This is an example of medically altering a child and it is considered ethically acceptable.
  • Eliminates mitochondrial disorders.
  • Parents set their own limits for genetically engineering their baby.
  • A complete ban will increase the demand and send people to unauthorized biologists or overseas to receive the same treatment that the US is capable of.
  • Government does not have the right to control means of reproduction.
  • Some environmental factors are inevitable so preventative measures should be taken as well.
  • Allows prospective parents to give their child genes that they do not carry.
  • With all scientific and technological advancements there is ethical disparagement, the ethical view points should not cease the advancement of technology.
  • Although not all the kinks in this newly developing technology are fixed, with more clinical trials and experimentation, it has the potential to be a very promising.
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One response to “THE PROS AND CONS OF “DESIGNER BABIES””

  1. Cait Kraemer says :

    This is all very interesting and thought provoking. I think this technology could play a rather interesting role in the future if and when it is developed. Are/will people using/use this technology for cosmetic reasons? Yes. But I think the possibility of pre-diagnosing illnesses such as Austism and Down Syndrome would be such a great thing because then families who might have to deal with those illnesses won’t have to. Does the possibility of misuse overshadow the possibility of affecting countless families for the better? Because there are so many negatives as well as positives, it does makes the topic of designer babies kind of hard to decipher.

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