A recent story in The New York Times offered a chilling front-page headline: “Scientists Seek Ban on Method Of Editing the Human Genome.” At issue: Preserving humanity, natural selection, and leaving science out of our bodies.
This means that if doctors can fix it so that your baby is born without certain diseases, they can’t do it, but it also means if you want to produce a designer baby, filled with unnatural doses of beauty, brains, and athleticism, that’s out too.
At first glance, you might say that science is already in our bodies, via surgery, drugs, robotics, altered foods, and changes in our environment. On the other hand, once we use science to dictate a path for the unborn and those who will inherit new traits that didn’t exist before, we bristle. But what if there were a way to genetically alter a fetus so that we can ascribe the writer gene, if such a thing even existed?
Would you wave a magic wand and choose your child’s career path and lifestyle? Where’s that baby’s right to choose his destiny?
We should write about it!