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The Ethics of Designer Babies

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Masha Logman

10-03 3/11/19

The Ethics of Designer Babies

With the limits of technology and science being tested every day, a question of whether or not altering human genetic code should be legal arises. Genetically modifying plants and animals have already been done, and the majority percentage of the produce we consume is genetically customized. There are many reasons to be in favor of genetically altering the future generations, but do the benefits outweigh the consequences? Living In a world where someone's genetics define who they are and will be can likely lead to a new wave of oppression. Discrimination of those with weaker genes is likely to occur thus we must take steps toward preventing the altering of genetics.

In the movie Gattaca, we witness how an individual's genetic predispositions are detected at birth and shape their future. Characters like Vincent who are diagnosed with poor health are viewed as invalid and made to stay in professions such as janitors or waiters, they are likely to never be very successful and this is a form of discrimination. Another theme we witnessed in the movie was feeling poorly due to not meeting one's genetic expectations. The character Jerome was made to be biologically the best and when he placed second in a big competition he was disappointed and depressed. This led Jerome to attempt suicide which left him in a wheelchair, and this instance proves that one’s genes don’t limit them from being great nor do they make one's success indubitable. These are just some of the societal implications of designer babies but, there are still some positive outcomes of genetically modifying human beings.

Some scientist will argue that having the ability to edit an embryos genetics is something that families need and in the future will help society. Though embryo tweaking may lead to a lack of individuality in humans, it will also lead to less debilitating diseases in future generations. Author Rob Stein in an article about a Chinese scientist creating a genetically modified baby states, “ CRISPR enables scientists to make very precise changes in DNA much more easily than ever before… including preventing and treating many diseases”, such an early action taken towards a babies genetic predispositions can save it from a lifetime of being in and out of doctors offices. Thus, one may argue that it is

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