What is Genetic Engineering?
Genetic Engineering involves artificially manipulating the presence or absence of certain genes in an embryo; for example:
- Athletic Ability
- Proneness to disease & disabilities
It doesn't necessarily cause any diseases or cancers, but can eliminate the proneness of a person obtaining hereditary diseases.
What has this got to do with genetic mutation?
SBS's Insight Episode on Designer Babies:
Are there any ethical issues surrounding Genetic Engineering?
- At the moment genetic engineering is used to eliminate or minimise the chances of a child obtaining a hereditary disease or genetic disease. However, there is a possibility to use it to modify the cosmetic appearance of a child. Shouldn't a parent love their child despite their appearance? It also sends the message that an attractive person lives a more valuable life than anyone else.
- In terms of disability, it places more value on a non-disabled persons life over a disables person, despite many of them living perfectly normal lives.
- In some countries it can be used for gender selection to avoid things like the Dowry system.
- Fairly new thing, long term side effects are unknown - could they be wore than the diseases that were removed? Does it work long-term?