Definition: A baby whose genetic make-up has been selected in order to eradicate a particular defect or to ensure that a particular gene is present. How production of designer babies is carried out (rough gist): Parents and doctors can now screen embryos for genetic disorders and select healthy embryos. Designer baby technology or reproductive genetics combines genetic screening and engineering1 processes with in vitro fertilization2 (IVF). This process is known as Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). Steps:
1. Creating an Embryo with In-vitro fertilization (IVF).
2. Removing a single cell from that embryo within the first 5 days of creation
3. Genetically testing the cell
4. The parents decide whether to discard the embryo or implant it in the mother’s womb.
Uses of PGD:
1. Check for diseases such as Huntingdon’s disease and cystic fibrosis or genetic conditions such as Down’s syndrome 2. Create a healthy baby to treat a sick sibling (i.e. saviour sibling) 3. Select the sex of a future child. (Illegal in UK)
Note: The debate over designer baby technology in some ways mirrors the philosophical and moral debate over abortion or embryonic stem cell research.
Should the “production” of designer babies be ethically permitted? YES
Abuse of the use of PGD. Parents may use this technology for superficial purposes such as purposely seeking out a blonde haired, blue eyed baby for appearance concerns only. (DISCLAIMER: This isn’t possible YET, it’s just a concern that it could be possible in the near future)
Prevents genetic diseases such as Down syndrome, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s disease, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and many others.
However, this would mean that children with inborn genetic problems are inferior to those without, which is sending the wrong message to the general public. Parents have a right to prenatal autonomy, which grants them the right to decide the fate of their children. It is treating a sacred human life as a thing
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/03/sperm-donot-lawsuit-racism-eugenics-lesbian-couple-black-donor http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/tvradio/programmes/horizon/babies_prog_summary.shtml http://embryo.asu.edu/pages/ethics-designer-babies