18 November 2015
Designing Life: Right or wrong?
Since the beginning of time, the genome of every living organism has been in a constant state of change, in fact, if it were not for this change of genome, every “human” being may still be a single celled organism. This state of change however, occurs due to natural occurrences which called for adaptation which is the reason why so many different species have come to be. Human’s have become so advanced with technology that it is now possible to chose the gender of one’s child. However, choosing all of the “desirable” traits for one’s offspring has remained in movies, for now. It all burns down to the question: “How far should we go in using genetics to enhance human life?” Messing with the natural change of the human genome for the benefit of “genetic perfection” can be much more detrimental than beneficial.
The advances in technology make it possible to be able to manipulate human genetics to produce genetically perfect humans however, these advancements do not make it a good idea. In the essay, “Designer Babies and other Fairy Tales”, (published in British magazine the New Statesman2002), author Maureen Freely argues that the many aspects and complexities of reproductive issues and the use of reproductive technology should be debated and decided publicly in a democratic way. Her argument is based on a British case regarding Raj and Hashmis, parents of a three-year-old boy, who were recommended
We are living is a world where very soon it will be possible for people to create ‘designer babies’ that have all the features they wish for. In the article Building Baby from the Genes Up, Ronald M. Green talks about all the positive impacts that genetic modification of human beings can have on our future generations. Green acknowledges some of the negatives such as parents creating perfect children and being able to give them any trait the parent wants. However in the end he comes to the conclusion that the positive impacts of getting rid of genes that cause obesity, cancer, learning disorders, and many other diseases and disorders, outweighs the negative aspects. Richard Hayes, author of Genetically Modified Humans? No Thanks, takes the stance that we should not be able to change anything about human beings through genetic modification. He believes that once we start modifying a few features, it will slowly turn into every parent altering as many of their babies’ genes that they want. While he does acknowledge the positive impacts of getting rid of negative genes such as Tay-Sachs, he believes that it is not worth the risk of having parents manipulate all their future children’s genes to their liking. Green and Hayes stand on opposite sides of the debate about genetic modification of human beings and this essay will explore the similarities and the differences of their articles.
A Brave New World published in 1932 by Aldous Huxley was about a utopian society in which people were placed in castes because of how their embryos were modified. Little did the author know less than a century later the idea of “designer babies” might be a reality. Designer babies are very similar to Huxley’s idea; a person could be genetically altered before they were born. Unlike Huxley’s book, in which embryos were genetically modified due to government industrial control, designer babies’ destinies are determined by parental control. Although, gene alteration can prevent genetic diseases, predetermining genetic outcomes should be illegal because of its negative effects on society; the effect genes have on each other, and the underwhelming success rate.
Picture a young couple in a waiting room looking through a catalogue together. This catalogue is a little different from what you might expect. In this catalogue, specific traits for babies are being sold to couples to help them create the "perfect baby." This may seem like a bizarre scenario, but it may not be too far off in the future. Designing babies using genetic enhancement is an issue that is gaining more and more attention in the news. This controversial issue, once thought to be only possible in the realm of science-fiction, is causing people to discuss the moral issues surrounding genetic enhancement and germ line engineering. Though genetic research can prove beneficial to learning how to prevent hereditary
Recently the world has turned its attention to a new development in science, cloning. Cloning is defined as “the process of producing a clone” (Dictionary.com). This has become a big deal because the endless ways we can bring back extinct creatures. Such as, the extinct wooly mammoth, the Tasmanian tiger, and Quagga. With the endless ability to bring back animal from the past with DNA there comes a problem. With human DNA made available so easily science has come to the idea and process of making designer babies. A designer baby is a baby whose genetic makeup has been selected in order to eradicate a particular defect, or to ensure that a particular gene is present. A family gene might be a bad disease which a baby might get when born. Before this, cloning a baby was science fiction idea to people. It was never imagined or even thought possible, but now it is not. Scientist have already started to create ways to clone babies. With this comes the problem of how far should scientist go? This could be both a blessing and a curse.
Although this may be the case in many areas of people’s lives today, it is not always beneficial, or necessary. People may have trouble deciding whether messing with human genes and cells is ethical. Designing the “perfect child” in many parent’s eyes becomes a harsh question of reality. The concept of a parent’s unconditional love for their child is questioned because of the desire to make their child perfect. If genetically engineering humans becomes a dominant medical option, people could have the chance to create their child however they like: from physical appearances, genetically enhanced genes, and the possibility to decide what a child thinks and acts, parents have access to designing their entire child. Naturally, people could be creating a super-human. Issues between different races, and eventually creating new prejudices against genetically engineered humans may increase. People may not realize how expensive genetic screening is at first. With only the rich being able to “enhance” their children, another social issue might occur, giving the world another type of people to outcast.
Though it is evident that the concept of “Designer Babies” would prove unpopular amongst the majority of society, there still remains to be advocates for a future compromising of GM children. It is argued that gene technology will bring about a new age of human beings who are happier, smarter and healthier. Supporters look forward to a future when parents could quite literally assemble their children from genes listed in a catalogue. A future in which the health, appearance, personality and life span of our children become mere artefacts of genetic modification.
This following essay will discuss about how the advantages of designer babies potentially act as the enhancer that emerge the harms in the society. It is just because of this advanced benefits that introduced the disadvantages of designer babies. It is likely that there will be both moral and safety objections as there has been for in vitro fertilization, stem cell science and early gene therapy. The moral objections range from concerns about the manipulation of the germline to worries about the patenting or commercialization of the technology itself. The safety concerns, much like we saw with early recombinant DNA research include both potential dangers to the offspring of patients treated and to the
The future of genetic engineering results in ethical issues pertaining to the unlawful decision to design a child. D’Souza describes the possibility to design a child: “He envisions that, in the not too distant future, couples who want to have a child will review a long list of traits on the computer screen, put together combinations of “virtual children,” decide on one they want, click on the appropriate selection, and thus--in effect--design their own offspring” (D’Souza, 2010, p.810). Giving parents’ the authority to design their child affects the nature of the children. This authority will place parents’ in power instead of God. Then, D’Souza claims: “Gene therapy has already been successfully carried out in people, and now that the human genome project has made possible a comprehensive understanding of the human genetic code, scientist will possess a new kind of power: the power to design our children, and even to redesign humanity itself” (D’Souza, 2010, p.811).
Rendering to Cynthia R. Daniels and Janet Golden of the scientific journal Popular Eugenics, “consumers can peruse donor catalogues listing the race, ethnicity, height, weight, hair color, hair texture, skin tone, facial structure, IQ, hobbies, talents, and interests of the men whose sperm is for sale”. When we think about a woman taking it into her own hands to make a child we think it’s miraculous and brave, but we don’t think about the process behind it. It is becoming more and more common for women to choose the “perfect” baby, based on society’s views of the “perfect” traits. For example, then every woman would want a “tall Caucasian child with blond hair, blue eyes, tanned skin and a high IQ” (Daniels). Some may think this sounds crazy, but it is in fact a very real concept, in which it is called, “designer babies”. The notion of pre selecting a baby’s ideal genes without them even knowing is unprincipled for the reason that it leads to a world where every one is the same and there is no diversity, and it gives in to the idea that a perfect human exists, which in fact, perfect doesn’t exist, it’s just other people’s ideas of what is accepted. Eugenics, the process of being able to choose your offspring’s characteristics is unethical because it will eventually lead to humans with no health problems, all looking the same, and all being great at everything, creating a treacherous, population growth and leading to the collapse of our
When it comes to the subject of designer babies, or even the thought of being able to create a 'perfect' child there is either controversy or pure relief. The reason being because when it comes to designing babies there is good as well as bad. For example some may say being able to genetically modify a baby so it has no chances of coming out deformed or even with mental or psychical diseases and disabilities is a miracle. Others may say that in the law of ethics this can not be acceptable. The fact the you're choosing your child's fate is ‘wrong’ stating that whether a child ends up with a disease is life, we should not be able to control it. Which makes sense yes, unless you're talking about two parents who can't have children because
Science is now able to better improve human health and safety thanks to the advanced modern technology and medicine that are available. Yet with today's technology being implemented into science comes the questions of human morality, or bioethics. One of the bioethics debates is on the coined term “Designer babies”; on if or where society should draw the line on genetically altering our children before they are born. With the technology able to stop hereditary diseases, the scientific development’s are able to change the child’s “eye color, hair color, social intelligence, right down to whether or not your child would have a widow’s peak” before the child is born. From the options on choosing whether or not your child will look or act a certain
Within the last 100 years or so scientists have many valuable discoveries that have benefited mankind. These discoveries include the discovery of genes. Scientists have discovered what makes humans so unique from one another. However, with this newly gained knowledge of the function of genes comes the ability to alter or change them. Just imagine in the not so near future, you and your partner want to start a family together. You travel to your local gene councillor to pick the physical and characteristic traits of your child. That’s right. With the knowledge that has been gained about genes, scientists can “create” the perfect child genetically. The thought is scary. Nature has always taken us down the right path but are we really ready
The birth of a child is supposed to be a time of joy, the uncertainty of life leads to this one point in time. Will she or he be the next president, a star athlete, a genius or just fall into the crowd as another citizen. With recent advancements in science, this uncertainty has become a thing of the past. The human being is now seen as a commodity and no more is valued in the uncertainty of individuality. The parent can now choose how they want their child to come out or develop into. Sandel’s book The Case Against Perfection: Ethics in the Case of Modern Eugenics is a well researched look into examples of modern eugenics and the problems that arise from it. These topics range from the ethics of cloning, athletes using performance enhancing drugs, and other practical uses in everyday life. Sandel’s argument is that there is value in human nature (even with all its flaws), and genetic engineering will forever change human nature. Destroying the very essence of what it is to be human and scarring humanity. The main features of human nature that will be altered: are responsibility, humility and solidarity.
Genetically Engineered Children is a political article from The Cagle Post published in 2012 by Tom Purcell. The writer is trying to inform the reader how technology has spread so much that it is being used in something as natural as child birth. In the article, the doctor is promoting the use of the genetic modification procedure while the couple are finding it difficult to accept his offer. Through stereotypes, allusion and dialogue, Purcell explores the conflict of values and puts forth a serious message of how today’s society is attaching itself to science and technology practices that are unethical. The argument between the doctor and the couple, and the illustration, convey the future of society in an amusing manner. By using stereotypes, allusion