Email For years, reproductive specialists have been helping people become parents, even enabling them to choose the sex of their baby.
Share via Email What is a "designer baby"? Using a revolutionary new technique, called a "pre-implantation process", scientists genetically selected his embryo so that he would have the right cells to save the life of his dying sister.
His parents, Lisa and Jack, were able to conceive normally but their sperm and eggs were manipulated in a laboratory to create 15 embryos. Normally, there would be a very high chance any baby they had would also have the disease.
For many the specifics of the Nash case lie outside the main ethical issues. But, in the main, fears revolve around the precedent this birth sets and that the technique could be extended to allow parents to "design" children with a variety of genetic traits.
What would be available to parents deciding to have a "designer baby"? Eye colour, athletic ability, beauty, intelligence, height, stopping a propensity towards obesity, guaranteeing freedom from certain mental and physical illnesses, all of these could in the future be determined by genetic science.
Even characteristics such as sexuality could be selected. The problem for many is that the frontiers of what is now genetically possible are being pushed back far quicker than the ethical debate can keep up with.
In Britain, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has not even finished its public consultation about the pros and cons of pre-implantation genetic screening, and the debate has already rushed on. Who are the people worried about genetics?
Some scientists have voiced concerns although many echo the views of Dr John Wagner, of the University of Minnesota, who carried out the Nash operation. The anti-abortion charity Life said selecting top quality embryos was more akin to the farmyard and that one child should not be used to save the life of another.
Groups worried about social injustices, and the gap between rich and poor, are also concerned at a future where the wealthy can purchase a perfect offspring. Last year, related controversy was created when a US entrepreneur started a website offering the embryos of models.
How will the debate pan out? As the knowledge of what each gene does grows then it will become possible to predict most, if not all, diseases and details of other characteristics, before birth.
A key issue for genetic commentators is how parents respond to the increasing possibilities that will be offered to them.
In specific health cases, if you compare it to the case of the conjoined twins Jodie and Mary, their future has rested in the hands of judges. However, if parents are given the choice of having further children to help existing ones, many will take those.Buy The Honest Company Designer Baby Wipes, Rose Blossom, 72 Count on initiativeblog.com FREE SHIPPING on qualified orders.
The case for genetically engineered babies But a fear of designer babies should not distract us from the goal of healthy babies. We know that some genes are bad in nearly every conceivable. Creating designer babies who are free from disease and super athletic or smart may finally be around the corner.
Detailed Hong Kong shopping guide to designer brand stores, local fashion and Sham Shui Po street bargains, factory outlets and airport duty-free prices, by Vijay Verghese. When creating a designer baby, many health risks should be considered before the process begins (How have the risks). Because the process of genetically designing a baby is a fairly new process, doctors have a hard time predicting the outcomes of the procedure (How have the risks).
Some designer babies can be used as a sort of spare part baby.
Children with serious blood diseases can then have a tailor made brother or sister act as a donor for blood or bone marrow. Report Post.