Essay Designer Babies

1559 Words Oct 22nd, 2012 7 Pages
Critical Review of Designer Babies: The Pros and Cons of Genetic Engineering
Author: Siew Yang Yi
Yin Ren. Designer Babies: The Pros and Cons of Genetic Engineering. MURJ Volume 12, Spring 2005. Genetic engineering is the modification of an organism’s genome through direct human manipulation of the DNA using modern technology. Although classical genetic methods using selective breeding has been done by humans since thousands of years ago, the manipulation of genome of organism through advance technology has only emerged since 1970s (Wikipedia, 2011). By injecting a foreign gene into an organism, we can alter the properties of the organism to generate higher crop yields, more nutritious food and even production of therapeutic agents
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Through this test, one can detect the potential genetic predisposition for genetic disease such as Down syndrome and Huntington’s disease. The family can hereby decide whether to give up the children to prevent any emotional hardships and economic problems many are forced to go through. Yin Ren states that in future, parents can also enhance their children’s physical and mental capabilities via genetic modification to give them extra skills. The writer quoting from Lee Silver, professor of molecular biology and public affairs at Princeton, who called this “no different than giving your child advantages like piano lessons or private school.” On the contrary, the writer states that this will cause the child’s freedom of action to be threatened by their parents. This in turn demeans parenthood and individuality. As mentioned by Leon Kass, “to really produce the optimum baby, you’d have to turn procreation into manufacturing, which degrade parenthood.” Also, Yin Ren says that the effect of adding a gene or trait may cause unknown effects towards individuals and society. As the lifespan of people increases, there will be population crisis, causing several impacts on different countries especially in developing countries. Finally, the author examines the effect of genetic engineering on society. In the article, the supporters of genetic engineering claim that genetic therapy is able

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