Genetic Engineering The Perfect Child Essay

1048 words - 4 pages

Modern society has an unquestionable preoccupation with perfection. Indulging in our vanities with things such as plastic surgery, veneers, botox, collagen, hair dye, and so on, have become a part of the socially acceptable norm. People do these things, and more, in an attempt to become their ideal selves. However, many are taking these practices to a completely new extreme, and are not stopping at just altering their own physical characteristics. With recent advances in medical science and technology, couples are now able to genetically modify embryos to create their ideal children. From gender, to eye color, hair color, height, body shape, and more, modern parents have the ability to leave little up to nature and take the designing of their child into their own hands. Whether it is ethical, or not, to engineer designer babies is a highly controversial topic with numerous pros and cons.
Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) is the contentious technology fertility specialists use to engineer what are commonly referred to as designer babies. There are countless experts, scientists, and physicians that fall on either side of the designer baby argument. In an article from CBS News, Dr. Arthur Caplan, Ph.D (director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania) counters fertility specialist Dr. Jeff Steinberg’s (director of Fertility Institute in Los Angeles) opinion on PGD. In the article Designer Babies: Creating the Perfect Child for CNN Tech, Richard Hayes, the Executive Director of The Center for Genetics and Society, made comments on this hot debate.
For centuries, people have been having beautiful, healthy children the au natural way. Many would argue that there is absolutely no reason to tamper with nature and incorporate science into the procreation process. Dr. Caplan stated, “It is going to be possible to pick traits because somebody has a taste for a particular child or a preference for a particular child… Who's to say what's the better trait? Is it better to be red-headed than it is to be brown-haired? Is it better to have freckles or not?” A common fear many share regarding the topic of designer babies is the kind of impression this will have on future generations. If several babies started being produced via PGD, children who do not have desirable traits may feel inferior to the children who were engineered to have said desirable traits. Richard Hayes made the statement, “[The Center for Genetics and Society believes using Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis] for non-medical, cosmetic purposes, would undermine humanity and create a techno-eugenic rat race.” Hayes continues, "This runs many risks… The technologies are going to be accessible to affluent couples and would be used in ways that could increase inequality. The last thing we need now is a genetic elite.” In addition, many feel apprehension regarding what type of affect a preference can result in. Something to consider, if a parent has a child that does...

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