Genetic Engineering Essay

935 words - 4 pages

WHAT ARE THE ETHICAL IMPLICATIONS ASSOCIATED WITH GENETICALLY MODIFIED CHILDREN?By Elise BodenThe 21st century is the era of the DNA. The century before, was the era of computers, which brought about remarkable technological advancements to society and these have also contributed to the current genetic revolution, which promises to do for life what computers did for information. This increasing power and accessibility may one day give parents the option of genetically engineering the "designer baby". This may be used to spare the unborn from disease or, possibly, make them tall, intelligent and blessed with any desirable traits. Genetic engineering has given humans the power to alter the very basis of life on earth which will forever change life as we know it. This essay will explain the various views on genetic engineering but will primarily concentrate on "the ethics of genetically engineering the designer baby".Genetic engineering is described as the use of various methods to intentionally manipulate DNA, to produce biological products or to change hereditary traits. It has many uses that include repairing a genetic defect, picking a select group of genes to achieve a specific outcome - in the case of designer babies, curing diseases by altering the gene, and testing for inherited diseases.Genetic engineering would allow humans to consciously choose a better life for our offspring and the widespread use could potentially create an improved version of humanity. Just think; genetic engineering to reduce disease, increase intellect, reduce obesity, increase athleticism, reduce mental disorders and, increase life span. Perhaps even one day genetic engineering in combination with bio-mechanical augmentation, may allow humans to adapt to harsher atmospheric conditions brought about by increased industrialisation. This might be the only way for humanity to keep up to date with the staggering pace of technological advancement.The benefits of genetic engineering are boundless. This medical intervention would allow a family to virtually eradicate a genetic disease in only a few generations. Muscular Dystrophy (MD) is a great example. MD is a group of genetic and muscle diseases that weaken the muscles of the body. With the new advances of technology, doctors can test each of the eggs for the gene for MD. If they find an egg that does not carry the gene, they can implant it and reduce the chances for this disease. This also means less money will be spent in hospitals for medical treatments needed for a sick child in the future.The possibility of perfecting the human gene is very exciting; however it can also be very alarming. Are doctors and parents playing "God"? We were created a certain way and it goes against nature, and religion, to pick and choose how we want our children to be. Do they have the right to predetermine how their baby will look, what genes they will carry, and for what purpose? Who determines what traits are acceptable?To genetically...

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