You have a sharp nose that you want your future child to have, as well as your partner’s beautiful eyes. Thanks to advances in modern medical technologies, these wishes can now turn into realities in the form of a designer baby. A “designer baby” is a baby whose genetic makeup has been artificially selected in-vitro by genetic engineering to ensure the presence or absence of particular genes or characteristics.
The term “Designer Baby” was taken from “Designer clothing” which describes the 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.
Designer Babies Pros and Cons
As with all novel technologies, there are some pros as well as cons of having a designer baby. So, here is a list of the designer babies pros and cons that you should know:
Pros of Designer Babies
Even though there are many questions about genetically modifying babies for being ethical and for moral reason, there are many pros to this type of treatment. (Genetic Engineering of Babies)
Pros of genetically engineered baby
- Installing a better understanding of genetics for biologists.
- It increases human lifespan for 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.
- 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 the 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.
1. It will help increase the life expectancy
By editing out an unborn baby’s defective genes and only retaining the healthy genes, the baby will grow up healthier. Therefore, you may increase their overall life expectancy by up to 30 years.
2. Positive Influence on the Baby
A designer baby will have an overall positive take on various parts of life. Some aspects of your baby’s life that you can surely create a positive impact on are your baby’s health, your baby’s intelligence, your baby’s looks and more.
3. Altering the lifestyle earlier
You might influence the child’s thinking and life by adding various influences to it. Instead of influencing the child later in life, designing a baby may help you create some similar types of influences but even before the baby is born. Like instead of pushing the baby to study hard and do well in the academic field, you can already enhance your baby’s mental capabilities before your baby is even born.
4. It reduces the chances of genetic disorders
When you use the genetic modification technology to create a designer baby, it will help to reduce the chances of various genetic disorders in your baby. In many instances, these are not only a means to reduce your baby’s chances of getting affected with certain health conditions, but are also a way of increasing your baby’s chances of survival.
5. You call the shots
As a parent, you have the say in what all parts of your baby’s life you want to change for the better. You will be able to set all the limits and keep a check on what all changes your baby will go through and how much of the same you want to be done.
6. Other Benefits
- Fewer chances of getting genetic diseases
- Provides a better understanding of genetics for biologists and medical professionals
- Eliminates the occurrence of known diseases in future generations
Cons of designer babies
Although there are some positive things which can be obtained from using genetic engineering used on unborn babies, 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.
Cons of genetically engineered baby
- 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.
1. Not error-free
The process of genetic modification to create designer babies is still in its nascent experimental stage, and it needs time and research to progress forward. Genetics are not always a hundred percent sure, which means that it is very likely possible that error may come up at some point in the future in the case of designer babies. Researchers worry that when they will do everything possible to eradicate any illness in the baby while modifying the genes, an accidental error could give rise to some new form of illness, something they may not be aware of how to treat.
2. Ethical And Moral Issues
It is almost the same as carrying out an abortion when you have plenty of choices to eliminate the unwanted ones. In some cases, the parents have also gone ahead and aborted the baby, depending on their reasons for creating the baby in the first place. Sometimes parents do it for money they will get as compensation for donating the stem cells and have no thought whatsoever of the baby.
3. Violation Of Your Baby’s Rights
When you go ahead with the process of creating a designer baby, you essentially change the life and mind of a living human being without taking the person’s permission or choice in regard. In this case, you will alter your baby’s mental, emotional and physical makeup for life, without your baby having any say in whether or not it is something your baby wanted or not. It is a process in which your baby will be used as a scientific experiment, instead of being treated more like a human being.
4. Can Create A Marked Gap In Society
If more parents decide to go in for designer babies, the world will soon be divided into a class of babies who are designer babies as compared to non-designer babies. As a result, those babies who are created as part of the designer baby series will feel more superior to those who are born naturally without any form of genetic manipulation. Those who follow social norms believe that it could lead to a hostile environment in the future.
5. Other Shortcomings
- Not completely error-free and could lead to the death of the unborn baby.
- May accidentally give rise to new forms of illnesses that scientists are not yet aware of
- Is not affordable by all and will create a class divide where only the rich can afford designer babies
- Takes away from the child’s individual personality
- May remove certain genes that could have been good for the baby’s overall development and growth
Should We Make Designer Babies? Watch this video