The Future of Designer Babies Essay
2383 Words10 Pages
A man and woman walk into an office where they are greeted by a fertility specialist, who then sets them in front of a computer. Here, the couple is able to scroll through various traits and characteristics, then mix and match them onto a computer generated infant so they can see how their chosen attributes will look when paired together. The man and woman decide on a baby boy with cornsilk blonde hair and emerald green eyes. Their future son will grow to 6 feet tall with an athletic build, have a genius IQ, and a predisposition for baseball. The doctor takes their order, and then schedules an appointment with the soon-to-be-parents to implant the embryo containing all those traits into the mother. While this scene may seem like a moment…show more content…
And the most detrimental dilemma has to be that diversity would become non-existent, as humans cease to naturally evolve and gain unique traits. Due to all these factors, and the many other that exist, genetically modifying human embryos to produce what are considered desirable traits is a wrong and completely unethical practice that should not be implemented by anyone. The whole idea of having designer babies is a very heated and controversial subject in the medical and scientific community. There have been numerous doctors, scientists, researchers, and other prominent figures of the sort, who have offered commentary on the highly negative effects of having designer babies in our society. Nicholas Agar, author of Action Bioscience article Designer Babies: Ethical Considerations, is a professor of ethics at Victoria University of Wellington and has a Ph.D from the Australian National University. He has published several books and articles regarding ethics in genetics, human enhancement, and related topics. Marcy Darnosvsky, author of the Center of Genetics and Society article The Case Against Designer Babies, is an Associate Executive Director for the Center of Genetics and Society. She speaks and writes on the politics of human biotechnology, her primary focus being social justice and public interest implications. Darnovsky has a Ph.D from the University of California, Santa Cruz where she studied the History of
Imagine a world where no children are born with diseases like Down Syndrome or Asperger’s disorder. Genetic engineering might make that possible. But what if scientists used genetic engineering to modify the genes of a fetus that did not have anything wrong?
For example, maybe you always wanted a child with blond hair and brown eyes and a genetic predisposition to excel at baseball, but both you and your partner have dark hair, blue eyes and are clumsy. Would you have your child genetically altered for something so vain?
If the technology to do such a thing becomes available, we must ask: Is it ethical?
No, it is not.
Since people would actually be designed to better suit certain jobs, those who hadn’t been altered would be restricted to the grunt work. Socio-economic status would no longer be determined by people’s achievements, but rather, by their genome — at the moment of birth. This concept may seem far-fetched, but is it really?
There are not only social risks to genetic engineering, but biological ones as well. Since this process has never been performed before, there would be no way for scientists to be sure which gene to manipulate to acquire the desired result. And some traits are quantitative where many genes work together to create one specific trait while others are polygenic with one trait being controlled by multiple genes.
Many scientific breakthroughs throughout history were originally perceived as great discoveries, but have since then been found to cause more harm than good.
We, as a society, need to monitor what we're putting in to and taking out of our genome. It's the little things that make us all unique.
Ashley Monroe is a senior at Paw Paw High School.
So genetic engineering can be helpful. It is possible for scientists to discover what causes genetic mutations and to correct the mutation before the baby is developed.
While this is ethical, engineering what a child will look like is not because doing nature’s job is unethical and interrupts what nature intended.
If parents choose to genetically engineer their children, they can choose hair color, eye color and sometimes even height. These days, the more money parents can pay the person responsible for engineering their baby, the more characteristics they have to choose from.
By choosing the characteristics of their baby, parents are taking the place of nature. To me, that is something people should not be able to do. It takes away the surprise element, because the parents already have a good idea of what their children will look like even before they are born and a general idea of what their children will look like as adults.
Genetically engineering a fetus in this way allows society to be too concerned with looks. It also teaches future generations to value appearances, rather than intelligence and accomplishments. That is not wise.
However, we should also think about the impact these new discoveries could have on nature. There would be no more mistakes in the human race, and virtually every human would have a perfect genetic makeup. Nature is not supposed to work like this; nature is supposed to create mistakes. Without mistakes, there would be no natural selection, or other vital processes in nature.
So, I do not agree with genetically engineering designer babies. It makes vanity the most important thing and allows humans to take the place of nature. This will only one day result in consequences which go against how nature is supposed to work.
Larissa Weld is a senior at Galesburg-Augusta High School.
Every new technological breakthrough comes with controversy, and this is no different. Many people see sculpting your children’s characteristics before they are born as unethical and morally wrong.
While it may be personally beneficial to genetically engineer your children, there are several problems at a personal level and a societal level.
First, is whether parents have the right to permanently alter their children’s personal traits. Imagine wondering who you would really be if you had been born with the traits you were meant to have.
Considering those changes would be permanent, there could be immense psychological problems associated with such a drastic genetic deviation. Also, there is hardly enough evidence to prove these procedures are safe for humans, and by using this technology, parents risk damaging their children with crippling, lifelong problems. It is simply unfair to risk putting children in these circumstances.
But while it could be dangerous to attempt the alteration of a genome, genetic engineering could also prevent diseases, and for that reason there should be extreme discretion regarding who could receive this treatment and who couldn’t.
Genetic engineering children could be potentially harmful to the human population as a whole. Some people believe such procedures could cause a split in the human race, eventually leading to two separate species.
As engineered babies reproduce, they pass their selected traits onto their children and this continues for generations. While these repercussions are somewhat farfetched, the possibility of genetic engineering is very much a reality, and any possible negative effect should be taken seriously.
When considering the possibilities of genetic engineering, we should keep in mind that this technology could be effective in treating genetic diseases but could potentially be dangerous if allowed to grow without any controls.
Chris Henneman is a senior at Three Rivers High School.