Designer Babies- Dare We Play God?

Essay by meaningfreakHigh School, 10th gradeA+, August 2004

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"How about this one?" women points to a baby profile on the screen.

"Ugh. Its got my sea green eyes, but your sub-average intelligence. I've told you, our child must be genetically designed to suit the family law practice."

It will be created to serve a pre-programmed purpose? It will be tailored like an inadequate garment to suit your needs? And it is to be your child?

Such a scenario sounds as if it has been taken from a futuristic science-fiction horror plot, enough to make any loving parent convulse with disgust. But to society's dismay, the practice of designing children has already become reality. These 'designer babies' are children who have been reproduced through external intervention in order to ensure that parents are satisfied with certain characteristics. In the late 1970's, eugenicist Robert K Graham compiled the Depository of Germinal Choice, a genius sperm bank from Nobel Prize winners.

Intending to minimize the 'incompetents and imbeciles that were swamping the intelligent' by increasing the number of brilliant offspring, he sold it to female members of the high IQ society Mensa. And that form of selective breeding was established more than 20 years ago. Science has now made it possible for parents to not only choose the donor, but also to genetically screen the embryos of the couple. Those that will develop into a baby with traits such as eye and hair colour that do not satiate parental tastes are then eliminated. With the rapidly advancing technology, it is only logical to extrapolate that we will soon be able to genetically modify embryos, as we would our food. After all, we customize the options on our vehicles, our houses, and any other major investment. Why not our kids?

Surely, it is thrilling to play God with creation. One has the...