Writing and Communication: Section 11
Is Using Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis To “Design” Babies Ethical?
“Blue eyes and blonde hair please.” This incongruous statement may very well be the sort of thing parents say at fertility clinics in the future. With the advance of medical science, it is now possible for parents, by way of Pre Implantation Genetic Diagnosis through in vitro fertilization, to screen embryos for abnormalities, for gender, and even for physical attributes through pre-implantation genetic testing. In fact, it is now possible for parents to ‘choose’ to have a boy or a girl, a deaf child, a healthy child, and discard the embryos they reject. It now stands to reason- where will we draw the line?
First, we must define in-vitro fertilization and Pre Implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD). In-vitro fertilization is defined by medical-dictionary.com as “a procedure in which eggs from a woman's ovary are removed. They are fertilized with sperm in a laboratory procedure, and then the fertilized egg (embryo) is returned to the woman's uterus.” Pre Implantation Genetic Diagnosis is a type of embryo screening, a procedure used in conjunction with in-vitro fertilization to screen for the genetic make-up of embryos before the embryo with the desired traits is transferred it into the mother, while all other embryos are discarded. PGD can tell doctors what genes an embryo possesses, and therefore what traits it possesses- the gene for sickness, for an abnormality, for gender, for nearly everything. Although genetic testing may reduce the chances of genetic illnesses and allow the conceiving of donor siblings; it is questionable if such a monumental decision should be left to parents, it opens up a whole range of possibilities for creating ‘the perfect baby,’ and dehumanizes children until they are nothing more than another commodity.
Firstly, supporters of genetic testing may...