Genetically Enhanced Babies

? Curing disease is a potential act of greatness; saving a life, by eliminating a deadly killing factor is not at all in the least an insult to democracy. Pre-mature illnesses such as “spinal muscular atrophy”(http://singularityhub.com/2009/02/25/designer-babies-like-it-or-not-here-they-come/) have a reputation, as a disease children are diagnosed with through the genetics theyre born with; that kills children at an extremely young age. Physicians have learnt how to decontaminate the specific gene that causes a life threatening disease, such as, “spinal muscular atrophey.
A physician working for The Fertility Institute discovered how to save children who had a strong chance of being born with the “genetic disorder”(spinal muscular trophy). Dr. Hughes uses a new modern technology called embryo screening, or PGD(pre-implantation genetic diagnosis). With this technology Dr. Hughes can identify which embryos are contaminated with disease, and which are disease-free. Then Dr. Hughes would use IVF (InVitro Fertilization); a procedure which fertilizes the females egg with a sperm cell. However, the egg is not fertilized in the womans body, but yet inside a scientific laboratory.(http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/04/13/60II/main611618.shtml) This procedure has the potential to prohibit a gene, or cell that is contaminated with disease. Hence the egg which then evolves into a womb is free of contaminated genes, when the child is born he, and his family will not have to live with the fact that his life will end extremely short. Thomas Hobbes argues that every single human being dreads death. Now human civilization is a step ahead, human beings have developed a practical method in accordance to producing, a cure for death causing diseases.

Anticipating Thomas Hobbes he would probably agree genetically enhancing babies scientifically using a practical method is an act of appetite and aversion. Simply that it is an aversion of human nature to dislike certain things.(Leviathan, vi) Hobbes would agree that all humans have one aversion in common with each other, and that is; that all humans fear death.(Leviathan, xiii) Those are characteristics of what is “the core of liberalism”. North America is based upon a liberal democratic regime, citizens have the right to pursue their appetites, and attempt to abandon their aversions. In accordance to genetically enhancing babies, without a doubt it would be in ones appetite to save their own life, or the future life of their unborn child. On the contrary; it would be in ones aversion to fear the death of their unborn child. An aversion people all over the world have experienced. Specific children whose genes may be infected with death threatening diseases, for the past few years, certain physicians have been successful in using a procedure to abandon those disease-infected genes. The result would then be; the abandonment of a long lasting aversion; that has lived on for centuries. All social status would be able to receive the treatments required; to ensure ones healthy lifestyle. Hobbes may even argue that it is in the commonwealths responsibility; every child has a right to genetic enhancement treatment, or “IVF” in accordance to saving that child from the worst aversion, death, and that is liberalism.(Leviathan, 18) Since it is the governments responsibility to enforce “natural law”, it would then be there fault, if one didnt receive the treatments required to ensure a healthy lifestyle.
J.S Mill would also agree with Hobbes, but may perhaps relate the significance behind this new scientific technology to something different. J.S Mills opinion would probably be similar to; for one to reach there potential maximization, one must be left to there healthiest state, when can be. When facing the threat of harming the healthiest state, everything that can be done must be done so to destroy that threat. John Locke would probably say something among the lines of; it is in the governments responsibility to secure all the people, however, the labour being done, in terms of maintaing security, must be accredited. Today citizens from Canada pay taxes to their government, and in return the government pays for health care, police officers, teachers, etc.; essential necessities of a functional society. Government taxes can obviously relate back to all three of these political philosophers(Hobbes, Mill, and Locke), in one way, or another. Aristotle would probably say that it is in the definition of equality. All people are entitled to a chance at living a life, the principle of equality would be to ensure that those who cant afford the treatment, are then granted the treatment. For instance; today every child is entitled to receiving an education. Therefore shouldnt every child be entitled to receiving a healthy life. Would it not be wrong; social class has created a barrier over health care. In conclusion, anticipating several political philosophers; most of which, would agree with each other; genetically enhancing babies is for the good of humankind. However, genetically enhancing babies produces more than just health benefactors. Using the exact same technology physicians can now allow parents to choose what sex their unborn child will be.
The Fertility Institute is “the first company to boldly offer couples the opportunity to screen their embryos not only for diseases and gender, but also for completely benign characteristics such as eye color, hair color, and complexion. The Fertility Institutes proudly claims this is just the tip of the iceberg, and plans to offer almost any conceivable customization as science makes them available.” (Keith Kleiner, http://singularityhub.com/2009/02/25/designer-babies-like-it-or-not-here-they-come/) Therefore using the same procedure(IVF) the parents can now officially choose the sex of their child(male or female) using a safe procedure by physicians, but at an expensive price. The Fertility Institutes claim that at a “100% success rate”(Keith Kleiner) The Fertility Institutes can help parents choose the sex of their child for a price of, “$18, 400”. “Dr. Steinberg, Director at The Fertility Institutes” says “70% of their clients” come to the “Institute purely for opportunity to choose the sex of their baby.”(Keith Kleiner)
Should parents have the option of choosing the sex of their child This is a highly controversial question. Most religions would argue that it is in the hands of god to decide the sex of humans. Technologically deciding the sex of ones child, may as well; be slapping god in the face. However, putting religion, and god aside for a moment. The focus is, what would inspire a parent to think that it is okay to choose the sex of their child. A parent may defend themselves by saying something like; “selecting the sex of a baby is a dream come true.”(Rebecca Leung, http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/04/13/60II/main611618.shtml) “every time, the Millers had a boy. They ended up with three, so Sharla wanted a guarantee that the next child would be a girl.”(Rebecca Leung) The most popular defense taken by parents who have chosen to change the sex of their unborn child; to ensure that are family is well balanced. Liberally one owns the privilege to decide what they spend their money on. Because one has contributed labour to earn money, therefore one can exchange earnings for something they desire. However, if one desires something that may harm anothers security, that desire should be prohibited in less its purpose is to ensure safety, in accordance to self defense. There is no harm in spending money in accordance to decide the sex of ones unborn child. However, many people would probably feel that spiritually it would be incorrect to mess around with something as natural, as birth. The Fertility Institutes will in the future, likely be able to offer services, regarding other optional choices in relation to a childs characteristics. Such as: eye color, hair color, and skin complexion. There is a possibility that science can lead up to other alterations in accordance to i.q, height, athletic ability, etc. Many people would see this as an unfair advantage to the rich class. In other words parents will be purchasing their children. The idea that one could spend money on a desire, that desire is what will bring a parent, a pro athlete for a son. There is something quite wrong with that picture, though the definitions of liberal democracy do not go against the idea of purchasing “super humans”.

Aristotle argues that politics are a way of bringing about equality in society. When everyone comes together they will be better than one singular individual. What if genetically enhancement of babies leads to a new race of human beings, that may have the ability to do the impossible, that could in definitely have a genocide over their minors. A race that if they come together, will be totally superior to all the other races of mankind. This particular ideology is very scary all of present day humanity to consider. Therefore it would be undoubtedly illogical to genetically enhance a babies athletic ability, or its i.q. This is a similar case to that of the “sex scene, in Aristophanes play The Assembly of Women”. Ugly women were brought to a higher standard because men had to perform on the ugly women before they could perform on the younger, and more beautiful women. The ugly womens standard was uplifted, the mens standard was degraded, and the young women were left neutral. Relating it to genetic enhancement; the babies standard would be upgraded, the average class of humans would be degraded, and the already upper class of humans would probably float around in a neutral state.
Hobbes might argue that if it is in ones appetite to have a male child, and aversion to have a female child; one can pursue their appetite, to have a male child. He may also say; since the acts of choosing an unborn childs sex is not at all harmful to anyone, then there is not a single reason for it to be prohibited. Enhancing the i.q, and the athletic ability of unborn children has a potential threat to civil war. Therefore since civil war is the worst evil Enhancement of i.q, and athletic ability shall be prohibited.
J.S Mill claims that individuality is the key to happiness. Part of individuality is to make decisions individually. Perhaps one wants their child to fall under one of the two specific categories regarding sex(m or f). However, the harm principle (J.S Mill) will come into play, in regarding to the enhancement of characteristics; i.q, and athletic ability, etc. Therefore since a child whos i.q, athletic ability, etc. have been enhanced are harmful to the lives of others; that type of enhancement will be prohibited. While the sex enhancement is not harmful, and the disease curing enhancement is not harmful; they will be left alone, and are free to the public.
Therefore since genetic enhancement in the forms of PGD, and IVF have been used to save lives of unborn children. There is no reason why they should be prohibited, it would be all the right reason to embrace this break through, and try and extend how many diseases PGD, and IVF can cure(100) (Rebecca Leung). People who live in a liberal democracy, have the right to choose specific characteristics. Such as: hair color, eye color, skin complexion, and sex. The ability of choosing ones i.q, athletic ability,etc. would be prohibited in a liberal democratic society, because of the threat to the safety, and security of others.