So what’s the “Ethical Problem?”

        There is a great deal of controversy over the idea of “designer babies.” Many people argue that it is unethical and unnatural to be able to create your own baby the way you want it, while others argue that it could be used to stop certain genetic diseases in babies.  

                When doctors used certain procedures to help infertile women give birth, or determine whether or not a child has a certain disease, they were seen as heroes.  Being able to see whether or not a child has a disease would give the parents time to prepare for the road ahead, and now doctors are working on fixing certain degenerative diseases through genetic alterations. However, when those same doctors start saying that paying customers can change the sex of their child, people began questioning the business.

                These certain doctors now say that within 10 years, they believe they’ll be able to change eye color and have an 80% accuracy rate. They also think that in the future they’ll be able to give the child “athletic abilities” or make them more academic. There are many ethical problems behind the hopes for these procedures.

                One complaint many people have is the always present “but that isn’t the way your child was made.” Many people see genetic altering as morally wrong because they view it as not accepting your child the way it was. Another issue people have with “designer babies” is the fact that it might set the parents up for disappointment. Dr. Arthur Caplan of the University of Pennsylvania said that if parents pick traits to make their child athletic and the child doesn’t make it onto the soccer team, for example, the parents may get upset with the fact that they paid for a trait that “didn’t pay off.” It could also lead to the child being hurt. If the child found out that their parents picked out how they look or act, it could lead to many problems in the child/parent relationships.

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One response to “So what’s the “Ethical Problem?””

  1. Jordan Porch says :

    This topic is really complicated, especially on a personal level for me. I would really like to see genetic disorders disappear, as you have said that designer babies have the potential to do. The possibility to give birth to a disabled kid is really heartbreaking and extremely tough on the parents, especially emotionally and economically. When I was younger, one of my best friends had some mental disabilities. When I see her today, I realize that I was able to grow up while she has continued to be the same six-year-old in high school. I cannot imagine the struggle that her parents have to try to raise her to be the best she can be. However, engineering your baby to be your dream child is absurd. I would feel mortified and unwanted if I found out that my parents specifically designed my traits to their desires. Human beings aren’t perfect, and choosing their traits is not going to change that. The emotional withdrawal that this knowledge would have on the kids could potentially make them violent or suicidal. There is enough negative energy in the world today; designer babies would only add fuel to the fire.

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