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Benefits Of Genetically Engineered Humans

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Imagine a time where you’ll be able to choose what colour hair, what colour eyes, how intelligent or even how tall your child will be. Scientific advances in gene editing techniques have paved a way for genetically engineered humans. In 2015, the UK became the first country to approve laws that will allow the creation of three-parent babies. The rapid progress in germ-line engineering has caused controversy between scientists and the public and thus journalists first coined the notion ‘designer baby’. Whilst, there are benefits that this brings, is this ethically acceptable?

The genetic modifying process for “three-parent babies” is similar to in-vitro fertilization. In the IVF treatment the eggs from the mother and the sperm from the
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Religious organisations claim it’s playing Gold, whilst others state that this would cause a gap between the rich and the poor and only the wealthy will be able to make a purchase. On the other hand, you have science claiming this would harness greatness and save future generations from diseases.

The “designer baby” concept is controversial because of the moral platform the term falls on and the ethical dilemmas it brings. There are many debates surrounding the advantages and the disadvantages for the creation of ‘designer babies’. One of the main benefits is the possibility of lowering the risk of certain inherited medical conditions and genetic diseases being passed on. These include Down Syndrome, Alzheimer’s, obesity, cancer, anemia and many others. On the contrary, it highlights challenges and issues with the child’s identity, and the societal divide and impact on civilization.

The dictionary definition of designer baby is “a baby whose genetic make-up has been selected in order to eradicate a particular defect, or to ensure that a particular gene is present.” In the year 2000, Adam Nash was conceived using pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and named the “world’s first savior sibling” and “the first designer baby”.

Adam’s sister Molly Nash was born with a blood disorder a severe type of Falcon anemia. In order to save Molly, Adam was conceived through IVF and PGD so that the blood from his umbilical cord could be transported to his
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