Some ethical concerns held by opponents of designer babies are related to the social implications of creating children with preferred traits. The social argument against designer babies is that if this technology becomes a realistic and accessible medical practice, then it would create a division between those that can afford the service and those that cannot. Therefore, the wealthy would be able to afford the selection of desirable traits in their offspring, while those of lower socioeconomic standing would not be able to access the same options. As a result, economic divisions may grow into genetic divisions, with social distinctions delineating enhanced individuals from unenhanced individuals. For example, the science-fiction film Gattaca explores this issue by depicting a world in which only genetically-modified individuals can engage in the upper echelon of
The last 150 years have seen the origin of—and rapid expansion in—human knowledge involving the nature and mechanisms of trait and disease inheritance in human beings. Advances in genetic research hold great promise for the future development of effective prevention and treatment strategies for a great many, often devastating, heritable conditions. However, these advances also raise a series of policy, legal and fundamentally ethical questions concerning what we should and should not do with the knowledge and technology we acquire. These questions are numerous and both imminently practical and speculative, ranging from the exhausted, yet still largely unresolved, question of the moral status of the human embryo to fears about slippery slopes into a Brave New World or Gattaca-style dystopic future characterized by designer children and a genetic underclass.
At 1:28:34 a film called Gattaca is showed where in a bleak future everyone has access to everyone’s DNA and it shows how a baby’s exact cause of death is already known at conception which is a disturbing image. At 1:41:00 is another scene from a film where the doctor is taking out all of the bad genes from a baby that isn’t born yet, but the parents want their baby to be normal. This is what the counter argument believes, while the scientists believe “Doctors will be able to address the fundamental causes of countless human disorders and will have a better change of predicting the side effects of drugs” (The Human Genome Discover,
As we stand in the world today, we as humans have never been more technologically advanced or scientifically intelligent. We have the ability to explore outer space and the depths of the oceans. We are even in the process of developing organs using 3D printing technology. But there is a limit to the extent of advancements that humankind can reach before some begin to pose dangers to humanity or become unethical. Currently, technology is being developed to expand the procedure of in vitro fertilization to genetically modify embryos. The products of this engineering are commonly known as “designer babies”. This technology, when fully developed, would grant parents the opportunity to select against possibly life threatening or altering conditions such as cystic fibrosis, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s. Using this technology, parents would also be able to make extensive selections regarding their baby’s gender, physical characteristics, and possibly even personality traits and talents. While it is positive advancement to be able to select against life-threatening diseases, the creation of an a-la-carte baby is unethical and crosses the line between positive sociological developments and immoral manipulations of nature for many reasons.
While the previous ethical dilemma is more cut and dry, Sandel also grapples with the morality of futuristic technology that can engineer children to be a product of their parents’ will. Sandel mentions the Gattaca scenario, of a society that can remove any malignant gene from an embryo, creating perfectly healthy children with greater potential physically and mentally. Gattaca focuses on ethical issues such as the polarization of society between the genetically enhanced and the naturally normal, and the value of human individuality; however, Sandel chooses to focus on the morality of engineered progeny in terms of personal relationships (Philosophical Films, 1997). Sandel suggests that parent creating children exactly how they want them to be is immoral because it turns children into an object of man’s will, rather than a gift of life. If a child turned out exactly how a parent wanted it to, the experience of raising a child would be irrevocably altered. Normally parents have children with inevitable shortcomings, but this is good for two reasons; it teaches the parents humility and unconditional love for their child no matter what shortcomings they have, and it emphasizes the talents the child may have, allowing parents to appreciate the natural gifts and talents that the child is endowed with. If a parent engineers the perfect child, they never develop empathy for their child and unconditional love in undermined. If the child is perfect in all aspects,
Biology is the science of life. Technology uses science to solve problems. Our society has progressed in its understanding of life to the point that we are able to manipulate it on a fundamental level through technology. This has led to profound ethical dilemmas. The movie Gattaca explores some important bioethical issues that are currently the focus of much dispute. The underlying thematic issue presented is the question of the extent to which biologically inherent human potential determines the true potential of a person. Perhaps the most controversial issue in Gattaca is the use of genetic engineering technology in humans to create a more perfect society; this is, essentially, a new
Though the use of pre-natal hereditary screening is as of now utilized as a part of high-hazard pregnancies for recognition of illness, for example, Down syndrome and Huntington 's chorea (Ridley 55, 98). As researchers decide the qualities for extra hereditary conditions, screening of incipient organisms will give more data to potential biological parents, former to their offspring has advanced. On the off chance that a screened embryo were found to convey qualities for a specific malady or inability, its guardians may specifically prematurely end it. This gives parents a choice of raising a child with a disability or back out if they don’t have the means to support the child financially, physically, emotionally or mentally. This is a good thing despite what others say because if a child is born with a disability in to family that doesn’t have the means to support it, it is unfair to all parties
Although the intentions of genetically modifying DNA in human embryos is aimed to rid society of genetic defects, it is still essential that this scientific discovery remains ethical. In an article on NPR.org, Rob Stein describes an experiment that scientists have been conducting in which they modify human DNA in order to eliminate life threatening genetic diseases that could be passed on for generations (Stein). In Portland, at Oregon Health & Science University, Paula Amato, an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology, explains “that their work is aimed at preventing terrible diseases, not creating genetically enhanced people...much more research is needed to confirm the technique is safe and effective before anyone tries to make a baby this way”(Stein). Because scientists like Amato realize their research is controversial, they are taking every precaution to assure what they are doing is morally correct, they are not intending to corrupt society. Although their intentions are good, it is their job to make sure their research is being used in an ethical way. If not, millions of people, who are already obsessed with the idea of perfection, will be able to do something about
Life extensions are critically dependent on futuristic medical advancements. However, a strong noble compass is needed to ensure scientific advancements do not cross moral ethics of life. Brave New World, written by Aldous Huxley, and the movie Gattaca, directed by Andrew Niccol, propose technologically advanced societies that challenge ethical and moral views. Although Brave New World and Gattaca relate in genetic discrimination, they differ in technology’s powers and limits, as well as the resiliency of the human spirit.
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.
Gina Kolata’s article, Ethics Questions Arise as Genetic Testing of Embryos Increases (2014), explains that as the increase of the testing of embryos for parents to choose whether or not to have children has also brought its ethical questions in the light. Kolata uses the Kalinskys case, a family in the article, and how their neurological disease, Gerstmann-Straussler-Schinker (GSS), has raised questions for ethicists who have looked into the case. Kolata’s purpose in writing this article is to inform the audience on the growing topic of embryo testing and also the ethical question that also accompany in order to have the audience to develop a personal view on the issue. Given how the author explains the technical terms used within the article, Kolata is writing to an audience that is not fully aware of genetic testing.
To start off with the population that is born with defects or disabilities view the test results as a discriminating factor against them because of parents wanting to abort children like them. According to Professor Daniel Williams, he shows that a speculative society standards may arise to “…produce a healthy child…” due to the test results (Crayton, R.J.). Also, Peter Chipman expands to say that due to the results parents think of the face-value of the disability and not the authenticity of the disability.
Although this in itself arises another question who are the individuals that part take the decision of what is humane and what isn’t. This then arises the question of the morality of the doctors that in the future will partake in the creation of our children to not only be healthy but also as possibly eradicate several diseases. With cases such as the ones in Philadelphia committed by doctor Kermit Gosnell can serve us to question to think if we can trust doctors to not only keep us safe but make the desicion that ultimately benefit us and not their bank accounts. Consequently, this is one of the ethical issues with regards to designer babies because not only are we trusting one person to safely create our children and see them as humans and not a mass production that gives high earning objects.
As a person who as has a sibling that I love dearly I think it is completely unethical to separate twins at birth for no other reason than to study them. They deprived these of a childhood, and the resulting bond, with their twin. In addition, the researchers did not tell the children or parents what the object of the study was. All the adoptive parents knew was that their child was part of an ongoing child development study. Separating children at birth also raises the question of whether anyone has the right to make that decision like that for someone else. Obviously if they were infants there is no way they could have sighed an informed consent form. The decision was made to separate them without their knowledge or consent. To me this is wrong and a violation of their basic rights. If we allow ourselves to make such momentous decisions for other people in the name of science, where does it end? What else will researches be allowed t do? If we allowed unethical studies such as this one to continue unchecked, the violations of privacy and personal right would be
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.