March 3, 2009

Medical Technology Survey

I recently read this article at msn, and it raised several questions for me. I wanted to poll your opinions on the subject.
The ability to genetically manipulate embryos is now available (at a hefty price). right now, doctors can predispose a child to be male or female, as well as increase the odds of the baby having certain hair or eye colors. Of course, these manipulations are not 100% successful. Doctors can also screen (possibly manipulate, that part wasn't clear to me) the possibility of certain diseases, things like Down Syndrome, predispositions to certain cancers, and the like. With this power, comes the possibility of future manipulations, say predisposing a child to being highly athletically gifted, or intensely smart. What's your take on this? Is it ok? If so, are there any restrictions on what's ok? Where do you draw the line, if you draw a line?


Tim said...

This is your basic slippery slope scenario, isn't it? It sounds like the best they can do now is "increase the chances" of a certain gender or certain physical features. As researchers learn more and isolate more traits, I bet there will be more "options" available. (Sounds like a car dealership)

From a gender standpoint, I don't think it's right to choose the sex of a baby. It feels to me like picking favorites before the child is even born. I bet a lot of parents would say that all they hoped for was ten fingers and ten toes.

From a purely cosmetic standpoint, I don't think it is right either. You are choosing what you want your child to look like. If they grow up and want blue hair, so be it, but don't force blue hair on them at birth.

From a hereditary disease standpoint, I can see the benefit. I wasn't sure what the article was saying either but if it is possible to prevent a child from being born with a terrible disease, then lets fix it. I think it's ok to do that because, unlike choosing hair color, you are preventing suffering and it's hard to argue with that. I realize it does blur the line between what is ok to change and what isn't, at least in my long-winded argument.

Ultimately, I don't think we know everything we need to and thankfully the article implies we don't. I hope we don't need legislation regarding pregnancies in the future, but after the Octo-mom...maybe we do.

adam wanberg said...

This new technology is way out of bounds and it makes me ill just thinking about it.
I guess im old school because we arent finding out whether were having a boy or girl until its Delivery day.

I think i need to get my own blog so i can get on my soap box about this subject.