Free Designer Babies: Ethical Consideration Essay Example
The article begins with defining what exactly designer babies are. It says that the designer babies are those whose genetic makeup is decided by adding or deleting genes which represent a particular character. These babies are created by IVF, the embryo is then made to undergo genetic engineering which results in the desired modifications. After the alterations are made, the resultant embryo is placed in the womb (Agar, 2006). This method is currently used in plants to make them resistant again certain pesticides and pesticides. But doing the same in the human beings is not as easy as it seems. There are many associated health risks and implications which need to be looked after. While inserting the required gene there are chances that it may land in a different genome and alter the normal functioning of another gene, this may have serious repercussions on the health of the individual. Some genes may have more than one function. In such a case, along with the desired characteristics, there may be certain more features which may be expressed later in the organism and they can be undesirable too. At times, the characteristics that are being sought after, may be present in more than one gene. In these cases it becomes difficult to obtain the desired results.
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis is already going on in different parts of the world in order to diagnose any genetic abnormality in the fetus (Bionetonline.org, 2015). In this method some of the embryos are collected and grown to eight celled stage. These embryos are then studied by taking out one or two cells out of the eight, only the embryos lacking any genetic abnormality are used for implantation in the uterus. It is an expensive procedure, hence used only for couples having the risk of a genetically abnormal baby. PGD is comparatively safer as it does not involve any genetic modification. However some researchers have contradictory views on this issue. Some say that taking out one or two cells may lead to health hazards in the children, whereas others say that those remaining cells are totipotent cells, they can form any human body organ.
Another method is cloning. Here the nucleus of the cell is replaced by the nucleus of the person who has to be cloned. This cell is now placed in the womb for implantation. This method has lot of ethical issues. The child hence born will have little genetic connection with his real parents.
There may be arguments among the use of genetic modification as a therapeutical measure and for enhancement purposes. While used for therapeutic purposes, the use is justified, logical and moral. However enhancement is not ethical and logical. Cloning, PGD and genetic modifications have lately become a method for the parent to enhance the abilities of their kid.
The article very aptly describes the ethical considerations associated with genetic modification. It explains in detail about each point related to the issue. The main strength of the article lies in its presentation. Each point is well elucidated and the flow of words binds the reader to the article.
I would say genetic modifications should be kept up to the level of therapeutic purpose only. Enhancements will lead to emotional and moral issues which may complicate interpersonal relations between the human beings.
Agar, N. (2006). Actionbioscience | Designer Babies: Ethical Considerations. Actionbioscience.org. Retrieved 9 April 2015, from http://www.actionbioscience.org/biotech/agar.html
Bionetonline.org,. (2015). What is a designer baby?. Retrieved 9 April 2015, from http://www.bionetonline.org/english/content/db_cont1.htm