However, the rapid advancement of technology before and after the turn of the twenty-first century makes designer babies an increasingly real possibility. An early and well-known case of gender selection took place in 1996 when Monique and Scott Collins saw doctors at the Genetics & IVF Institute in Fairfax, Virginia, for in vitro fertilization. Other bioethicists have argued that parents have a right to prenatal autonomy, which grants them the right to decide the fate of their children. 0000005298 00000 n Prior to the Collins decision to choose the sex of their child, The Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs released a statement in 1994 in support of using genetic selection as a means to prevent, cure or specific diseases, but that selection based on benign characteristics was not ethical. Additionally, other arguments in favor of designer baby technologies suggest that parents already possess a high degree of control over the outcome of their children’s lives in the form of environmental choices, and that this should absolve some of the ethical concerns facing genetic selection. As a result, designer babies have become an important topic in bioethical debates, and in 2004 the term “designer baby” even became an official entry in the Oxford English Dictionary. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES YOU MAY FIND HELPFUL ON THIS TOPIC: 2065 Half Day Road, Deerfield, IL 60015 USA, “Bioethics Past, Present, and Future: Important Signposts in Human Dignity”, “The Ethics & Theology of Synthetic Gametes”, “Embryoids: Unique Entities or Protected Like Human Embryos?”, “CRISPR Update: Considerations for a Rapidly Evolving and Transformative Technology.”, Bioethics at the Box Office -- Genetic Ethics Edition, Primetime Bioethics -- Genetic Ethics Edition, A Quick Guide to Embryo-Like Things: Products and Processes, Human Genomic Medicine & Engineering from a Catholic Perspective, Did Jesus Look Like Joseph, Mary, or Neither? As far as I know, no one has tried to use genetic engineering for sex selection. 0000025743 00000 n The prospect of engineering a child with specific traits is not far-fetched. • To understand the role of regulation. “Creating Perfect People.” In. Furthermore, evolving technological innovations in genetic interventions such as the development of CRISPR continue to demonstrate the importance of moral considerations and societal discourse regarding the proper limits of these technologies, particularly within the realm of human germline interventions. 0000001071 00000 n Video resources from our Academy of Fellow Consultations on, Interested in more resources on genetic ethics? Ultimately, designer babies represent great potential in the field of medicine and scientific research, but there remain many ethical questions that need to be addressed. 0000061643 00000 n 0000002956 00000 n IVF has become an increasingly common procedure to help couples with infertility problems conceive children, and the practice of IVF confers the ability to pre-select embryos before implantation. Though the Collins’ case only involved choice of gender, it raised the issues of selection for other traits such as eye color, hair color, athleticism, or height that are not generally related to the health of the child. © Arizona Board of Regents Licensed as Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0), American Institute of Biological Sciences,,, Annas, George. Genetic medicine is changing how we view behavior and personal responsibility, the gift of children, and the identity and nature of human beings. Such advances have led to the altering of genes through gene therapies and other genetic interventions for the treatment of disease, but also raise concerns about potential future use of such interventions that move beyond mere therapeutic goals toward human enhancement ends. Designer babies represent an area within embryology that has not yet become a practical reality, but nonetheless draws out ethical concerns about whether or not it will become necessary to implement limitations regarding designer babies in the future. 0000060776 00000 n The social argument against designer babies is that if this technology becomes a realistic and ac… But given the rapid advances in the human genome project and genetic engineering generally, it seems that its possibility is not remote. 0000000820 00000 n “Choosing Your Baby’s Gender.”, Verlinsky, Yuri. Gene editing is the modification of DNA sequences in living cells. 0000002131 00000 n What that means in reality is that researchers can either add mutations or substitute genes in cells or organisms. • PGD for sex selection for nonmedical reasons is prohibited in the UK. Basic Questions on Genetics, Stem Cell Research, and Cloning: Are These Technologies Okay to Use? 18 How would this method work? For this reason, PGD is commonly used in medicine when parents carry genes that place their children at risk for serious diseases such as cystic fibrosis or sickle cell anemia. For example, the science-fiction film Gattaca explores this issue by depicting a world in which only genetically-modified individuals can engage in the upper echelon of society. NHGRI considers the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) of genomics research, including the following key issues: genetic discrimination, health disparities, human subjects research, informed consent, intellectual property, privacy and confidentiality and regulation and coverage of genetic tests.