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Raising Awareness of Ethical Dilemmas Behind Designer Babies
What are designer babies?
A designer baby is a baby genetically engineered in vitro (IVF) for specially selected traits, which can vary from lowered disease-risk to gender selection. (1) 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 near future. (1)
Advancements in technology, especially IVF, have allowed scientists to make designer babies an upcoming reality. However, is this new technology safe? The only way to fully understand this topic is through scientific testing. Unknown outcomes, including death or horrible mutation, will inevitably be a result.
Creating babies with desired traits such as being athletic, smart, beautiful, may cause larger gap already set in society. Will genetic enhancement bring this social arrangement to an end, creating societies in which unenhanced people are viewed by their genetic superiors in much the same way that we currently view chimpanzees, suitable for drug testing and zoo exhibits but little else?
IVF costs around $15,000 a try, and is not guaranteed to work on the first try. (3) With picking and choosing traits to be added, cost levels can range anywhere between $50,000-$100,000. (3) With the production of these babies being so expensive, only the rich would be able to afford it. This, in turn, would create an even larger social gap.