Sunday, January 9, 2011

Designer Babies

"Designer babies" is the term being used by the media to describe the future of modifying or selecting our children's genes for desirable characteristics (medical and cosmetic). Are things getting out of hand with our research into genetic processes?

The Oxford Dictionary defines the term 'Designer Babies' as "a baby whose genetic makeup has been artificially selected by genetic engineering combined with in vitro fertilization to ensure the presence or absence of particular genes or characteristics."

Usually, a male's and a female's way of concieving a baby was just through intercourse. The parents would think about what their baby would look like and predict which traits their baby would have that ressembles themselves.
Now, with increased technology parents are able to pick and choose what characteristics their child can have, and cosmetic features the child can have also. A parent can even choose to make their child go through the process to eliminate certain diseases that the baby is able to get considering the fact that we do live in a world where there are many catchable diseases.

Simply, a system in the lab called "In- Virto Fertilisation" or also known as IVF is used to fertilize eggs with sperm in test tubes outside of the females body. Carrying out this action outside the females body in a test tube is to allow that the chances of the child to having a genetic disorder to be reduced. The embryos are then screened to see if any of them have a genetic problem/disease. The selected ones that are fine are then implanted back into the females womb which is called "Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis" or also known as PGD.

Personally, I believe that designer babies are going too far. I believe that people shouldn't have the right to alter their child because it seems cruel. For religious people, it is against our faith. Especially in the Catholic faith. People should be able to accept their baby for the way they will be born because it gives the baby their true identity. Altering the baby takes away identity from the baby and also natural ways of life. Everyone should experience sickness, and everyone should be allowed to be who they are suppose to be. Having a baby be born the way they are suppose to be born originally allows the baby to have true real features, altering them in a lab makes them seem less real and more "computerized."

I also believe that if a embryo is being screened for any sicknesses or disease, it can be seen as a positive because then it can decrease the chances of sickness in the baby. Yet, having a embryo go through this procedure just for the fact of changing the baby cosmetically is going way to far. People should really take into consideration when they are thinking of going through a procedure like this because it has its pros and it has its cons. In the end, a pro would be for decreasing future health issues in the baby, or for allowing a baby to be altered so that it can help save another child that has a health problem. A con would be going through this process just for "wants." Meaning changing your baby because you want your baby to look or act a certain way.

Picture one:,r:0,s:59&biw=1579&bih=691

Picture 2:,r:16,s:0&tx=86&ty=91


Information sources:
Definition of Designer baby:

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