Monday, July 22, 2019
Ethics of Designer Babies Essay Example for Free
Ethics of Designer Babies Essay I believe that it is unacceptable to reproduce genetically designed babies, unless it is to prevent disease or disability. Genetically designing babies can be used in many different ways. You can choose their hair and eye color, their IQ, and their special talents. People are beginning to predispose their children to be whatever they think they should be. Some want their children to be superstar athletes, while others want the next Beethoven. Others want their children to be just as they are. A deaf lesbian couple wanted to have a deaf child. Their friend donated the sperm and they asked the geneticists if it were possible to create a deaf child. A few months later, the child was born as a fully deaf baby. I believe that it is wrong to intentionally harm a fetus by giving them a disability or disease. It prevents them from living a fully functional life. If a couple were to research or visit a gene therapist, and they determined if the couple were to have a male child, the child would most definitely be born with a heart defect and would only live a few years, but if they had a female child that she would be perfectly healthy, then it is okay to provide the family security by enabling them to have a female child. By doing this, they are preventing a disability or disease. If the couple has four boys and intentionally says Ã¢â¬Å" If I am having a male, I want an abortion. Ã¢â¬ then that is completely immoral. In one book, Choosing Children, It asks the question: Ã¢â¬Å"People use antenatal or pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to have a child without disability. Is this a form of eugenics? Is it a part of a slide toward what the NaziÃ¢â¬â¢s did? Ã¢â¬ . I believe that it is a form of eugenics. We are bettering the society by providing fully functional human beings. NaziÃ¢â¬â¢s werenÃ¢â¬â¢t trying to prevent a disease or disability, they were worried about the physical features of the Jewish descent. Another book, Disability and Genetic Choice, asked if it were okay to have a Down Syndrome test. I believe that it is okay to have the testing as long as it is not the determining factor in terminating a pregnancy. This gives the parent(s) a chance to prepare themselves and be educated or give them a chance to arrange an adoption. I draw the line of designing babies at preventing disability. It is unnecessary to chose a babies hair or eye color. Just because they have a certain hair or eye color does not mean that they will be treated or act differently in society. Every genetic change has a downside, so while creating a child that is an athlete by making their uscles work harder, it is causing their heart to weaken a lot faster than someone who was not Ã¢â¬Å"designedÃ¢â¬ . Genetically Ã¢â¬Å"strengtheningÃ¢â¬ babies can provide a family with a piece of mind that they will have a healthy child. Although many people want to chose how their children may look or act, having a healthy, functioning, strong child will triumph over how they may look or act. Before one thought that he could genetically design a child, In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) came about. IVF then paved the way for preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and preimplantation genetic selection (PGS). PGD is the process in which the doctors screen the embryos to see if any genetic disorders are present. Many of the disorders that are screened are life changing, disabling conditions. PGS is the process in which they Ã¢â¬Å"hand pickÃ¢â¬ the embryo without any genetic disorders and implant it back into the mother. This is the first red flag many people see in how genetically designed babies came about. This may be the only (mostly) uncontroversial part of genetics and IVF. The only ones who criticize this are those who believe that life starts at contraception. I believe that this is okay to do since it promotes bettering ones life, but this is where the line should be drawn. Another technique that is often used along with this is gender selection. The only reason I believe that it is morally correct to choose a babyÃ¢â¬â¢s gender is preventing disease. For example, if all the women in the family die from breast cancer, or cervical cancer by the age of 40, then it is morally acceptable to want to increase the chances of having a male child. If the only reason one wants to have a certain gendered child is for convenience then it is unacceptable. Also along these lines comes having a child to better another childÃ¢â¬â¢s life. Like in the book, My Sisters Keeper, the older sister was dying from a rare cancer, and the parents only choice to keep her alive was to have another child to use as Ã¢â¬Å"spare partsÃ¢â¬ . I believe that this is done with good intention, but it is not ethical. An article, Designer Babies: Eugenics Repackaged or Consumer Options, discusses one child being sick and his brother gave him his red blood cells before he was even born, and the sick brother was cured. They questioned this process: Ã¢â¬Å"Is this the beginning of a slippery slope toward Ã¢â¬Å"designerÃ¢â¬ or Ã¢â¬Å"spare partsÃ¢â¬ babies, or is the result that there are now two happy, healthy children instead of one very sick child a justification to pursue and continue procedures such as this one? Ã¢â¬ . This is the exact question I would expect anyone to ask. Although there are miracles, and high percentage rates that if a child would receive particular Ã¢â¬Å"partsÃ¢â¬ from a sibling then they can be cured, but there are mistakes and the unfortunate occasions where it does not work. This puts the healthy child at risk and causes them to go through unnecessary pain. I believe that the risks may outweigh the benefits in many cases. The child conceived or Ã¢â¬Å"designedÃ¢â¬ to better the other childÃ¢â¬â¢s life is just as much human as the sick `child, therefore, it is their human right that they shall be treated just as any other human being. The other ethical position would likely believe that it is the parents choice to do as they please, in means, to their children. The article The art of medicine: Designer Babies: choosing our childrenÃ¢â¬â¢s genes, discusses the absurdity of the parents to not want the best for their children. This is shown in the following statement from the article: Ã¢â¬Å" Ã¢â¬ ¦. That is exactly what parents are supposed to do. To get our children to be healthy, well mannered, intellectually curious, and well behaved, we control what they eat, have them vaccinated, teach them manners, read to them, and discipline them when they misbehave. It would be absurd for a parent to say, I never attempt to influence my childrens development. I just love them for who they are. Thus, it is not influencing our childrens traits that is objectionable, but rather the means to accomplish this, that is, choosing their genes. Ã¢â¬ . This statement is true, in fact, its absolutely correct for one to think in this manner. But it is the lengths that parents go to ensure that their child will be perfect that is unethical. Although parents should shape their childÃ¢â¬â¢s live to be well behaved, healthy, and curious, it is up to the children to decide who they would like to be, and not be predisposed to be something in particular. The topic is so controversial, the same article that believes it is ethical to genetically design babies, The art of medicine: Designer Babies: choosing our childrenÃ¢â¬â¢s genes stated that: Ã¢â¬Å"A more serious objection stems from the idea that people who want to choose, in advance, the traits their child will have, and are willing to spend so much money to get a child with certain traits, demonstrate a kind of desire for perfectionism that seems incompatible with being a good parent. An insistence on having a child of a certain sort, whether a musician or an athlete or a politician, amounts to parental tyranny. Ã¢â¬ . This is also true, the idea that a parent would spend significant amounts of money to sustain perfection is ridiculous. Parents have the right to want their children to be almost Ã¢â¬Å"perfectÃ¢â¬ but it is their job to teach them the right way to live. By spending all of their money to ensure perfection, they are almost cheating at being a parent. Another objection to Ã¢â¬Å"designer babiesÃ¢â¬ would be genetically designing perfect children can create a social gap in society. The art of medicine: Designer Babies: choosing our childrenÃ¢â¬â¢s genes stated that: Ã¢â¬Å"Ã¢â¬ ¦this would exacerbate social differences and the gap between rich and poor. I seriously doubt that genetic interventions would have more of an influence than existing causes of inequality, such as rotten neighborhoods and lousy schools. In any event, prebirth genetic enhancement could be used to combat social inequality, by giving children from disadvantaged backgrounds a leg up. Ã¢â¬ . How would you tell a child the reason they arenÃ¢â¬â¢t as smart or as attractive as some of the other children is that they donÃ¢â¬â¢t have special enough blood or genes? There is already enough separation in our society. Not only rich and poor, but jocks, musicians, geeks, race, sexuality and many other groups also exist in schools. How would one like to hear of one of the new cliches in school, the Ã¢â¬Å"enhanced childrenÃ¢â¬ ? I canÃ¢â¬â¢t imagine how it would feel to be one of the children whose parents couldnÃ¢â¬â¢t afford to have them Ã¢â¬Å"custom madeÃ¢â¬ . Eventually weak and poor individuals would be terminated using this new technology. Weak children would all eventually be used as spare parts to the sick children that have been genetically designed. Parents would have children just to benefit an already existing child, and once the child was cured, the spare parts child would not have any use. Parenting would also be a thing of the past. Parents wouldnÃ¢â¬â¢t have to worry about teaching their children the correct ways to function in society, their children would already be predisposed to be perfect and act the correct ways. Instead of moving forward in society and technology, technically we are reverting back to the days of Hitler. Hitler terminated all the individuals that he believed were lesser human beings. The act of Hitler terminating Jewish descent individuals and the act of genetically designing babies is all in the search for perfection -the perfect human being.