Saturday, February 14, 2009

Genetically Engineered Babies

I know, I cringed too when I first read it at Religion and Morality.


While the advertised benefits of choosing eye color, hair, skin tone, and other physical or even mental traits may be questionable, the ability to isolate and remove malformities and genetic disease presents, in my mind, a great possibility.

The downside of the issue for Pro-life people is what happens to the embryos, fetuses, or even babies that don't "come out right". Questions about their treatment or even disposal are to me valid and in some cases, horrific to consider. Other issues stem from the morality of tampering with our genetics at all.

What makes me consider this as a positive development, or at least the potential for such, is the eradication over time of all genetic maladies. The suffering of countless individuals throughout all of human history has always been a driving force for medical progress and improvement. This opportunity should not be dismissed out of hand because "something can go wrong".

To (be lazy, there, I said it...) quote myself from the "Comments" area on the above-linked site:

"I will be the first to say that humanity is unscrupulous at times, especially when it gets a new 'toy'. Common sense goes out the window, but lessons are learned. I have hope for us yet, but it takes risks not stagnancy to achieve what may yet be our best days to come."

To paraphrase another of my comments, God gave us intellects to use for our betterment. To ignore a technology that could save lives and remove one of the most highly touted, and indeed more ethically plausible reasons for abortion (the case of malformity or severe mental defect), would be an irresponsible and inhuman act.

I oppose the ill-treatment of human fetuses as I believe in "Life at Conception", but surely through animal experimentation (here comes PETA) we can refine to near-perfection the process to minimize the risk of lost embryos.

You can keep the "selective traits" options, I just want my children to be healthy...

H/T:Religion and Morality