Imagine that you just had your first daughter. From the moment you lay your eyes on her you can’t help but be overrun with joy and happiness. She grows up like a normal child, curious and playful. But one day she changes, she’s no longer vibrant and full of life. You then notice what seem like bruises on her back and take her to the hospital. The doctors there observe that she has a low white blood cell count and recommend that you see an oncologist as a precautionary measure. The diagnosis you receive is one you never could have expected; she leukemia. How far would you go and what would you do in order to keep her alive? The motion picture “My Sister’s Keeper” sets out to put you into this position and does not fail in making you feel every tear jerking moment.
Brian and Sara Fitzgerald, played by Jason Patric and Cameron Diaz, are faced with this troubling dilemma. Their daughter Kate is suffering from acute promyelocytic leukemia causing her to need blood transfusions but neither of them are compatible donors. Sara immediately asks the doctor whether their son could be a donor and the doctor replies he is not, but if they were to have another child he or she could be. He “recommends” that they look into creating a baby that would be genetically identical to Kate. At this suggestion Mr. Fitzgerald questions whether this would be correct considering that they would be giving birth to an individual in order to just sustain another’s life. His wife overpowers him on the subject and she eventually gives birth to Anna Fitzgerald, a designer baby.
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What are Designer Babies?
Anna and babies like her are not made from the miracle of consummation but rather in a laboratory. In the movie, doctors took sperm cells from Mr. Fitzgerald and an egg from Mrs. Fitzgerald and engineered Anna. While this may seem like something from the future, it is what science is capable of doing right now. This technology allows parents to determine their child’s eye color, height, athleticism and various other traits. This brings to light several ethical problems. For one, the idea of designer babies was first thought of in order to prevent the birth of children with debilitating diseases. This reasoning is ethically just because making sure that an individual isn’t born with a harmful disease will make sure that their quality of life is that much better. On the other hand, genetically determining an individual’s physical traits is purely cosmetic and unnecessary for the wellbeing of the individual. Similarly, there has been no research done on the effects of being a designer baby, be it negative or positive. It is not known if having ones genes determined in a lab...