Why Is Designer Babies Wrong

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Designer Babies: A Right to Choose? By Brandon Keim March 9, 2009 Categories: Biotech When a Los Angeles fertility clinic offered last month to let parents choose their kids’ hair and eye color, public outrage followed. On March 2, the clinic shut the program down — and that, says transhumanist author James Hughes, is a shame. According to Hughes, using reproductive technologies — in this case, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), in which doctors screen embryos before implanting them — for cosmetic purposes is just an old-fashioned parental impulse, translated into 21st century technology. If nobody gets hurt and everybody has access, says Hughes, then genetic modification is perfectly fine, and restricting it is an assault on reproductive freedom. "It’s in the same category…show more content…
And besides, the fact that this option might only be available to wealthy parents for now is not a good reason for restricting reproductive freedom. If PGD could double the intelligence of children then that could have the potential to increase inequality so it would have to be available to everyone. But PGD can’t double intelligence, so there is no problem. Wired.com: It’s hard to imagine PGD ever being available to everyone. Hughes: Our public healthcare system already provides fertility services, even though some people say that fertility is not a health issue. We also pay for people to have cosmetic surgery if they have horrible scars. We pay for it because it improves quality of life. Wired.com: Some ethicists say that non-therapeutic reproductive technologies shouldn’t be used until the industry is better-regulated. Hughes: Fertility clinics and reproductive medicine’s regulatory systems need to be reformed. Many of the procedures are not being monitored for safety and effectiveness. But those are the only two grounds on which to base a legitimate societal

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