The term “designer baby” refers to 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.The term “designer baby” was taken from “Designer clothing” which describes disapproving implication of the transformation of babies. Liberal technophiles, Libertarians, and transhumanists are the people who support it. This process of creating a “designer baby” is often questioned because of ethical reasons.
Pros and Cons of designer babies
Even though there are many questions about genetically modifying babies for being ethical and for the moral reason, there are many pros to this type of treatment:
Designer Babies – Pros
- Installing a better understanding of genetics for biologists.
- It increases human lifespan up to 30 years.
- helps to keep up with modern technologies
- It might help prevent genetic diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s Disease, down syndrome, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and many others.
- It reduces the risk of inherited medical conditions such as anemia, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and much more.
- Enhancement of children.
- It allows parents to give their child a healthy life.
- Genetically engineering babies is an option, not a requirement for all parents. For those that disagree with it, they don’t have to engineer their child.
- Taking folate during pregnancy will reduce the risk of a child developing autism. It is an example of medically altering a child and it is considered ethically acceptable.
- It helps to eliminate mitochondrial disorders.
- The Parents can set their own limits for genetically engineering their baby.
- The government does not have the right to control means of reproduction.
- It allows parents to give their child genes that they do not carry.
With all scientific and technological advancements, there is ethical disparagement, the ethical viewpoints should not cease the advancement of technology
Although there are some positive things which can be obtained from using of genetic engineering used on unborn babies, but it is often wondered if parents will have the “right” reasons to genetically modify their baby, or if reasoning will become more superficial. Here are some of the cons associated with the genetic engineering of babies aka Designer Babies.
Designer Babies – Cons
- Genetic engineers are not perfect people and cannot 100% properly evaluate every gene. They are more than likely mistakes will be made.
- If the process is not done carefully, the embryo could be accidentally terminated.
- The technology used is not 100% safe yet. It is only in the experimental stages at this point.
- A baby cannot consent to have its body altered; therefore some do not believe it’s right as parents do not “own” their children
- Parents may use this technology for superficial purposes, such as purposely seeking out a blonde haired, blue eyed baby for appearance concerns only.
- They could create a gap in society. “Designer” babies would most likely be better looking, smarter, etc. This would create “classes” between designer and nondesigner babies.
- Because the technology is so new, it is unknown whether the babies will affect the gene pool. This can cause difficulties later on throughout the baby’s family tree.
- Because most people will seek out good-looking, intelligent babies with other optimum characteristics, everyone will be relatively similar.
- This procedure is not cheap, and not everyone would be able to afford it. Could create prejudice between “Designer” and “nondesigner” babies.