If you had to the option of making a baby that you know will not have any disabilities and therefore will live a longer and arguably happier life, surely you would take up this offer? The prospect of engineering a child with specific traits is no longer science fiction in this modern era of science and technology. As a result, designer babies have become an important topic in bio-ethical debates, and in 2004 the term “designer baby” even became an official entry in the Oxford English Dictionary. Designer babies represent an area within embryology that has not yet become a practical reality, but nonetheless draws out ethical concerns about whether or not it will become necessary to implement limitations regarding designer babies in the future.
An early case of gender selection took place in 1996 when Monique and Scott Collins saw doctors at the Genetics & IVF Institute in Fairfax, Virginia, for in vitro fertilization. The Collins’ wanted to conceive a girl, as their first two children were boys. This was one of the first highly publicized instances of PGD in which the selection of the embryo was not performed to address a specific medical condition, but to fulfill the parents’ desire to create a more balanced family. The Collins’ decision to choose the sex of their child entered the public eye when they were featured in Time Magazine’s 1999 article “Designer Babies”. Though the Collins’ case only involved choice of gender, it raised the issues of selection for other traits such as eye color, hair color, athleticism that are not generally related to the health of the child. Therefore, who’s to say where the boundary is, furthermore at what point does is not become a form ethnic cleansing by clearing out lesser wanted traits. Lest we forget ethnic cleansing caused a world war which murdered over 70 million people, this was caused by people claiming superiority over their brothers and sisters.
On the other hand, some may argue a world without disability’s and limitations is where the human kind may thrive. The economy would blossom as health care wouldn’t have to be as intensive as baby may be designed to have strong immune system, strong bones, good eyesight and wipe out diabetes type 1. Even genetic disorders will be eradicated, a few examples are, heart issues, cancers and dementia. A new super human will form, one without physical flaws, one without the possibility of bad health. This prospect for many, is the future as there are so many imperfections with the human body that could be fixed, rendering the possibilities endless. Maybe one day we could also design the way people think? Or is this too God like?
Many argue that trying to change the homo sapiens genus is playing god and giving man too much control, and that human kind isn’t ready for this type of “upgrade”. The issue with human mind is that its too greedy and hungry for more power, this is shown in the sudden industrial uprising across the world in the last 200 years. Every country went into this technological race, which still hasn’t ended. Our environment is paying the consequences through loss of thousands of eco systems and rapid change of the climate will live in. Furthermore, a clear example of when man had too much power is the slave trade, man claiming ownership of another man is barbaric, extremely primitive and not even to mention how absurdly wrong the morals are. Lest we forget slavery is still ran today below the grid and officially, it was only abolished 153 years ago.
In conclusion do you agree with the allowing designer babies to take place? Is mankind ready for this type of technological advancement as once the door is open it can never be shut? In a hopeful future would you like to see a form of human embryos being tweaked with to abolish life threatening disabilities and deformities, without the temptation of people changing the aesthetics of their child? Or will this utopia never be achieved with current human ethics and state of our world?