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Designer Babies: Defect Free Or New Child

1302 words - 6 pages

Tall, pretty, athletic, intelligent, blue eyes, blonde hair, these are just a few options that the world’s wealthy class may soon be able to choose for their children. Occasionally referred to as similar to “the eugenics of Hitler’s Third Reich,” the new genetics technology is open to the public (“Designer Babies” n.p) and it tests embryos for a variety of characteristics in its’ DNA (“A Big Step Toward ‘Designer Babies’ n.p.). Using those identified characteristics, doctors can alter the DNA of an embryo to a healthier or even a more accepted state, but there have been differences in people’s opinions of the morality of altering embryo’s DNA before they are implanted. A recent advance in genetically altering embryos coined “designer babies” produces controversy about the morality of this process.
After the discovery of genetically altering an embryo before implantation, “designer babies” was coined to describe a child genetically altered “to ensure specific intellectual and cosmetic characteristics.” ("Designer Babies” n.p.). This process combines genetic engineering and In Vitro Fertilization to make sure certain characteristics are absent or present (Thadani n.p.). The topic is rather controversial in the United States, but in China “that’s not the case,” says head of research at a Chinese company, Zhao Bowen (qtd. in Smith 7). This procedure consists of taking a cell from an embryo to be used in screening or preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) (Stock n.p.). If any abnormalities or unwanted characteristics are located, the doctor would inform the parents and at this point it is up to the parents to decide the future of their child. In this stage of altering an embryo, the child could be deprived of life altering diseases or defects or even what their hair color would have been, had they not been genetically altered. This procedure offers changes in hair color, eye color, athleticism, beauty, removing diseases or defects such as deafness, and more. Where the morality of the process comes into play is when a parent or possibly the government has to decide where ethically is the correct area to draw the line between altering just defects and entirely changing the child’s physique.
Once just the dream of a science fiction author, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley introduces the idea of ousting natural reproduction by altering embryos to predestine characteristics such as intelligence, beauty, physical abilities, and more. In the book, society has changed into individualized workers with a certain purpose and if they feel anything besides what they are supposed to there is a drug to fix it. The main character begins to feel different and refuses the drug, but as he is almost sent away, he stages an uprising that shames the company’s leader for being called someone’s father. The son becomes famous as he learns the society’s ways from the main character, but he does not like them and refuses to indulge like the other people in that utopia...

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