Remember when we were told that IVF, coupled with pre-implantation
genetic diagnosis (PGD), would only be used to prevent serious genetic
health maladies from being passed to the next generation?
never true, of course. The intent was to get people to accept the
principle that parents should be able to design their children, and
that kind of thing is best promoted via the example of serious
illness--just as in assisted suicide.
But anyone who thought
such restrictions were ever intended to--or would--remain in place
other than as a temporary political expedient, please contact me so I
can sell you a bridge known as the Golden Gate.
once it was widely accepted that parents should be able to decide not
only to have children via IVF fertility treatments, but to decide which
they want and don't want, well why restrict the right to reject
unwanted embryos to those with genetic illnesses?
After all, cosmetics
often matter to a person's success in the world. And who wants a child
one doesn't find attractive? So why not toss embryos because they will
have dark skin or the wrong color eyes to match with the house's decor?
But Wesley, no one would be that shallow about their own children! Oh no? From the story:
US clinic has sparked controversy by offering would-be parents the
chance to select traits like the eye and hair colour of their
offspring. The LA Fertility Institutes run by Dr Jeff Steinberg, a
pioneer of IVF in the 1970s, expects a trait-selected baby to be born
His clinic also offers sex selection...
involves testing a cell taken from a very early embryo before it is put
into the mother's womb. Doctors then select an embryo free from rogue
genes--or in this case an embryo with the desired physical traits such
as blonde hair and blue eyes--to continue the pregnancy, and discard
Dr Steinberg said couples might seek to use the
clinic's services for both medical and cosmetic reasons. For example, a
couple might want to have a baby with a darker complexion to help guard
against a skin cancer if they already had a child who had developed a
melanoma. But others might just want a boy with blonde hair.
So much for unconditional love of children.
are constantly told that the right of a woman to reproduce is absolute,
including getting pregnant, aborting if the pregnancy is ever unwanted,
and now, genetically engineering progeny to order. But no "right" is
absolute. The time has long since past to put some regulatory controls
over the wild, wild west of IVF.
Read more on this issue: "Sex Selection is Gender Discrimination."
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