[personal profile] lashemos
Starting with the moment two people realize they are about to be parents either for the first time or for another time. Thinking about their future and the future of their child, and whether or not they can really do everything they need to, to give them the best quality of life available. Other thoughts evolve in the mind, will the baby be healthy, will it be a boy or a girl, will it grow up to be handsome, beautiful, smart or talented? Well now, parents no longer need to wait to find out. One final decision, designer baby yes or no?
A designer baby or a child that has been turned into an experiment. “In simpler terms, using biotechnology to choose what type of baby you want.” (Hanson, 2016) Depending on religious views, what was once a product of science or a miracle from God has now become a genetically modified experiment. A designer baby is made when scientists alter the DNA within an embryo, taking out or adding a certain gene to create a desired child. With this a designer baby can be altered in multiple ways, the parents would be able to scientifically choose the sex, height, hair color, intelligence, or even certain looks of the child before its born.
No more waiting would be needed to find if they had a perfect child, because they got to choose everything. This may sound like a dream, but it can also be a nightmare in all reality. Some pros for this alteration are giving the child certain genes that the parents do not carry, reducing genetic diseases that are past down from the parents which can also help stop the passing of bad genes when the designer child reproduces. Cons of this alteration could be a termination of the embryo, the baby has no choice, it can only be done by those that can afford it, or loss of individuality. In opinions the cons outweigh the pros in just terms of accidental termination of the embryo.
Starting with the pros, with the child getting genes that the parents do not carry could be a plus. Perhaps the parents come from a line of brown hair brown eye family, and they desire a blonde hair blue eye child. If that trait is created, it is placed in the genetic line for many generations to come. Reducing genetic diseases, this may be the only real positivity to a designer baby, being able to take out a specific gene that may cause Down syndrome or Muscular dystrophy. Giving that child an opportunity to be normal and the family an opportunity to have a less stressful life by taking those certain diseases out of the genetics. Helping to stop the passing of bad genes to other generation would be another plus, such as obesity, cancers, or something small such as webbed feet.
Cons for designer babies is the whole process, first being that the baby has no choice. Just like the baby had no choice in coming into this world, the baby wouldn’t have a choice of being normal. They would always be a special human, one that was made to be their parent’s idea of perfect. This being a very expensive modification costing twice as much as it would other than having a natural child, many people cannot afford this and believing this is a good thing, will hopefully discourage people to attempt it. Loss of individuality is a big part of why designer babies are a bad idea. With genetic modification, the parents have made a child that they see as perfect, that they have high hopes for and may want them to be the best at whatever they do. In reality, they have taken away their individuality, they may wonder why they just can’t be normal, be able to fail and succeed based on who they are as a person. When in reality they were designed to succeed and be superior like robots.
Lastly for the worst of all, the termination of the embryo. This procedure is not 100% effective yet. Meaning that during the process of making the parents a perfect child, the embryo dies, meaning the baby dies. In the end, they lost an already perfect child because of something they wanted and thoughts may always be present to them of what if. What if they wouldn’t have tried to design a special child. Would their child still be alive or would they have already had all the things that they tried to genetically modify that made them special. “The potential harms, such as a parents forcing a child to study trombone when the kid would rather play soccer, don’t seem big enough to interfere with parental choice.” (Ghose, 2014) In the end the child will have their own unique personality and the parent creating them to be something they want may not even be realistic in the child’s mind because they want so much to be normal.
For instance, a movie was released in 2009 called My Sisters Keeper. The result of this movie was a family had a daughter named Kate who when she was very little was diagnosed with leukemia, as her body failed her parents were not matches for transplants to save her life. The doctors stated they could design a child to be a perfect match for Kate. So they made a designer child, a little girl named Anna. From the moment Anna was born they started taking things from her to give to Kate, using her for body parts, bone marrow etc. Forcing her against her will at times holding her down to get what they wanted. In the end she sued her parents for the rights to her own body so it would all stop. The end result is her sister died, that’s what she wanted because she was tired of fighting. Only then did the parents finally see Anna as a person.
Many people have said that they would not do what they did. In reality a person wouldn’t know what to do unless they were in that situation and about to lose a child. Had Kate been a designer baby could they have gotten rid of the gene that caused leukemia? Perhaps. If Anna was not a designer baby, would Kate have died younger? Perhaps. In the end there is no right answer, but it fell under the pros and cons of this topic. Pro, she got to grow up with her sister and help her, con was she wasn’t seen as much of a person till Kate died and having to have multiple tests and surgeries, it stole her individuality. “Based on the strong arguments against genetic engineering and the appeal of human rights, it is not surprising that so many people see this new technology as immoral.” (Catalano, 2012)
“A prominent scientist has already spelled out a list of 10 conditions, things like stronger bones, slow-fast-twitch muscles, so that the resulting child could be good at an endurance or sprinting sport, and sleep- there’s a gene that’s correlated with people needing less sleep.” (Liss-Schultz, 2016) These are no longer children, they are lab rats, no longer normal, and scientists are trying to play God. Robots that hardly need sleep, what would be next, could they go days without food and be perfectly healthy? Children are not animals, they are blessings and should not be tampered with. They were created by two people, accident or purpose they are still living breathing human beings but being a designer baby, not by choice is what they may fear most. Not fitting in, not being normal and only being the person someone else wants them to be and not being themselves.

Works Cited
Catalano, M. (2012). The Prospect of Designer Babies: Is It Inevitable? Retrieved from Pit Jourmnal: pitjournal..unc.edu/article/prospect-designer-babies-it-invitable
Ghose, T. (2014, March 13). Children to Order: The Ethics of 'Designer Babies'. Retrieved from Lives Science: www.livesscience.com/44807-designer-babies-ethics.html
Hanson, J. (2016). Retrieved from Future For All: www.futureforall.org/bioengineering/designer-babies.html
Liss-Schultz, N. (2016, February 8). We Are This Close To "Designer Babies". Retrieved from Mother Jones: www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/02/genome-embryo-crispr-designer-babies
My Sister's Keeper (2009). [Motion Picture].



April 2017


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