Once you decide to have a designer baby, where do you stop?
Would you prefer a healthy baby or a sick one. Healthy, obviously. But why stop with that question?
If it's ethical to take a peek at the genetic code, and eliminate the babies with known propensities to illness, what about characteristics that are not actually illnesses, but generally considered undesirable? Do you want your child to suffer the humiliation of premature baldness? A tendency to be overweight? Near-sighted?
And why not consider other factors that could make life easier for you and the family? Wouldn't you like to have children who are about the same size, so they can share clothes? Do you really want a left-handed child bumping elbows at the dinner table?
Finally the big question: If you already have a girl, and you're planning to stop at 2, don't you want a boy now?
It can be arranged. It is being arranged, right now, in American fertility clinics.
Ethicists find it troubling. But you'll notice that they can't explain why this particular choice should not be offered, when other choices are.
It's hard to concentrate, with that loud whooshing sound in your ears, as you zoom down the slippery slope.
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Posted by: -
Sep. 22, 2006 3:45 AM ET USA
Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil- I thought that was where we started? The only way to stop the slide is bumping into the other tree- The cross of Calvary
Posted by: -
Sep. 21, 2006 12:56 PM ET USA
It's too bad we can't screen our parents for hideously shallow, immoral and unethical traits.
Posted by: rpp -
Sep. 21, 2006 11:48 AM ET USA
Is not not merely the fact that I am one of those people who would have been murdered (aka "screened out") in this process, it is the fact that a dozen or more people are killed in the process. "But we make people happy." said one murderer/provider. Dr. Mengele would be thrilled.
Posted by: -
Sep. 21, 2006 11:31 AM ET USA
And what will our liberal friends do if they should ever discover a prenatal test for homosexual tendencies? Will those otherwise enlightened hetero couples who demand "equal marriage rights" for all orientations take their little "gay" fetus to term? What will gay activists say about the universal abortion license?
Posted by: Laity1 -
Sep. 21, 2006 9:59 AM ET USA
This is only for those who can afford it. Condoms for the rest of the world.
Posted by: Exaudi nos -
Sep. 21, 2006 9:15 AM ET USA
Illness, premature baldness, overweight, nearsighted, left-handed, My children have all these traits. You would think from the descriptions of the offending traits that my six children should have all been prescreened.This is what gives them uniqueness and character. I find them very endearing. What about freckles?
Posted by: Pseudodionysius -
Sep. 21, 2006 8:47 AM ET USA
It's hard to concentrate, with that loud whooshing sound in your ears, as you zoom down the slippery slope. On your skis, headed towarded the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Fasten your seat belts.