• Question: Is it right to genetically modify babies (in other words make 'designer babies')?

    Asked by leas to Joanne, Martin, Paige on 22 Mar 2012.
    • Photo: Joanne Davies

      Joanne Davies answered on 22 Mar 2012:

      Hello leas, pleased to meet you. 🙂

      Great question.

      I don’t think designer babies is a good thing. I think people should be satisfied that we can do everything possible to deliver healthy babies because that is the most important issue. 🙂

    • Photo: Paige Brown

      Paige Brown answered on 22 Mar 2012:

      Hi leas!!!!

      What a great question!!! So this is definitely an ethical issue. What if doctors and engineers could perform genetic therapy on your baby while it was still in the womb, and cure that baby of some genetic disease that It was going to be born with otherwise? Wouldn’t this be a wonderful thing for the baby? But what if people went too far, and started genetically modifying their babies to have blue eyes, or even a certain blood type so that the baby could later be a blood donor for another child in the family with cancer or a bad disease? (This has actually happened, and is very controversial).

      The problem is not that the Technology is bad in itself, but that we have to be able to draw an ethical line somewhere.

    • Photo: Martin Wallace

      Martin Wallace answered on 22 Mar 2012:

      I don’t think it’s right to genetically engineer a human life. In my view all people are important and deserve to have a chance in life. No-one has the right to decide whether a child has a chance or not.
      There are arguments for genetically modifying out possible defects in human births, for example it may be possible in the future to engineer out a deformity that could cause someone problems throughout their life. I understand that disabilities are a big problem for the people who live with them, and can make someone’s quality of life very poor, but to not even give someone a chance seems almost barbaric.