Blogging with my daugther on my lap about cool and contoversial things happening in kids and parents lifes and spice it up with some shopping happenings from Cool Junior

Monday, 13 July 2009

Custom babies

Can I have a baby? And please be sure is blue eyed, blond haired and pale skin...

Yesterday, I came across an interesting interview in, about a procedure done during the fertilisation in vitro named pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and used to scan embryos for cosmetic traits. The interview was with Mark Hughes, one of the fathers of PGD process.

The procedure has been used before to scan embryos for life-threatening diseases for children. Although it has been banned in many countries for gender selection, in US is still allowed and because of these permissive laws, the science behind it, progressed in a different direction to the point to offer customised babies. Fertility Institutes, a clinic in Los Angeles, already announced this service last December, but had to suspend it due to the public outrage.

Hughes was asked what he thinks about using this procedure by parents to choose cosmetic traits for their babies. According to him, these technologies are a natural extension to the choice of having a baby or not. He also believes that when people refer to this technique as creating ‘designer babies’ is an ‘insult to parents, because it says that parents basically don’t have their kids’ best interest at hart.’

Further, Mr. Hughes defended PGD process by saying that every parent wants to give its child the best choices in life. I’m wondering if the colour of their eyes or hair will really make a difference for their future.

Screening embryos for cosmetic characteristic is just the beginning. Currently there is no stopping that in the near future we will screen for social characteristics like intelligence. We already let a deaf lesbian couple in Chicago to choose a deaf baby. What is next? Aren’t we opening a door for more testing that will enable parents with money to create a super race of children? It seems to me that Hitler’s dream is about to become reality…

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