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» Designer Babies

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Zizelly



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    30th of Jan '16 @ 2:59 PM


How far is too far when it comes to human life?

Many of us believe in birth control which is choosing to have a baby or not, so can we also choose gender, eye color, and even skin color? Science is extremely close to making this possible, so it is definitely worth thinking critically about.

What are your thoughts?



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brokenribbon



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    6th of Feb '16 @ 2:50 PM


Science isn't close to making this possible- it already is. But honestly, the media has blown this topic completely out of proportion. The popular belief of genetics technology is that we are working on creating "superhumans". But the reality of it is that we are focused on cancer research, gene therapy to treat genetic diseases and personalized medicine.

So my opinion of designer babies? A media-created frenzy, based on a misinterpretation of genetics technology and science fiction.


I am a tap-dancing ballerina fairy princess veterinarian...or possibly a ball-playing cowboy superhero soldier pirate.


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    7th of Feb '16 @ 3:28 PM


Has anyone here seen the movie Gattaca?

The basic premise, without going too much into the movie, is that in the future all babies will be genetically altered to reflect the best possible health outcome of the child.

Family history of heart disease? Gone. Predisposed to cancer? Erase it.

I mean, really, who wouldn't want to give their child their best chance at life? If you had the option to make sure that your child wouldn't die early from disease or wouldn't have to struggle though illness, wouldn't you take it?

The movie goes on to suggest that as a society, we would come to see those who were not altered to be a lesser class of human. That those people would be forced to live in poverty and work menial, unimportant jobs. While those who were designed to be the healthiest specimens would be the superior class, partaking in all the high-end careers and leadership roles.

While I don't personally agree with the movie that society's views on the issue would be so extreme, it's really something to think about. Sure, at this point in time, genetic altering is an expensive process that not many people can afford. But what about in ten years? Twenty years? Fifty years?

This process is only going to become more readily available to the public. Who's to say that our grandchildren or our great-grandchildren won't all be genetically designed? And who's to say that any of us would want to stop it?

Personally, my family has a history of cancer on both sides. I know that if f I was given the choice, I wouldn't want my child to inherit that. It would destroy me inside to know that genetically, I forced that upon my child. Can you honestly say that you know anyone who wouldn't would feel the same?

So what happens socially onto society?
Does being a 'designer baby' make you superior to those who were not altered? Or does it make you lesser?
Or does it have no consequence at all, either way?



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Nati
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Zizelly



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    12th of Feb '16 @ 11:04 PM


@brokenribbon @Nati

You both bring up good points, and I think many of us who would be offered the option regarding the HEALTH of the child, we'd take it.

However, I'm more asking about choosing to give your baby blue eyes rather than green, straight hair rather than curly, darker skin, rather than lighter skin, ect.



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brokenribbon



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    13th of Feb '16 @ 7:57 AM


@Zizelly

Like I said- choosing features is technically already possible. Just because it isn't offered to the general public doesn't mean that it isn't already possible.

As for Gattaca, I've seen the movie, studied it, written the term paper on it, the whole shebang. Unfortunately, Gattaca is the epitome of what I think is wrong with the designer babies debate. Popular culture and the media tend to confuse science fiction with reality. Gattaca is science fiction. Reality is that there are much better uses for genetics technology than creating designer babies.

I am a tap-dancing ballerina fairy princess veterinarian...or possibly a ball-playing cowboy superhero soldier pirate.


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Nexinhah
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    13th of Feb '16 @ 9:30 PM


Designer babies does sound appealing.
If I were to have babies, I'd pay so much for them to not have chronic migraines and celiac disease. However, I think having a baby that looks like you and the person you love is magical. I know that's not what happens every time, but I feel like a lot of the interesting parts of genetics - creating someone that looks like you and/or your family - would be lost.
That being said, if I ever wanted to have a baby artificially, I'd 100% choose a ginger donor, so I guess being able to choose is very appealing, no matter what.

I think being able to improve the next generation's health would be great (not discussing their looks), but how many experiments would we have to do/are we doing to perfect it? Are people or animals getting hurt in the process?
I just thought that might be worth adding to the discussion too.



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    18th of Jul '16 @ 6:04 AM


Science Fiction of today is the science fact of tomorrow. If writers can dream it, scientists one day can do it. Many of Ray BRadbury's notions were brought to reality. Anyway, eventually are people to decide if they want their child to be a doctor, legal brain, scientist, teacher, athletic, artistic, what? Where does it end?

What will happen to the wondrous mystery of growing up...the discovering who you truly are deep down inside, rather than who you were genetically designed to become. smile_unsure.gif



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Lokki



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Kittikatt



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    11th of Nov '16 @ 1:58 AM


Posted by Nati


Has anyone here seen the movie Gattaca?

The basic premise, without going too much into the movie, is that in the future all babies will be genetically altered to reflect the best possible health outcome of the child.


This is EXACTLY what I thought of when I read the first post.

In my opinion for myself and my family, I would expect my family members not to consider altering or aborting a child if they had a kind of issue.

(I myself am currently pregnant, and told the doctor I didn't want to know gender, disabilities, etc. of the child. He seemed INCREDIBLY surprised, since apparently it's a very common thing to want to know predispositions to specific things)

I understand that having a child with autism or down syndrome would be inconvenient and could be medically costly... but I've known a few people with autism and a few mentally challenged individuals, and so what? Autism children can be some of the sweetest and most affectionate children ever... I say give them as good a life as you can. If they have a heart problem, don't abort them, give them a good life, let them live as long as they can, instead of deciding for yourself...

I think getting rid of someone based on their genetics is disgusting... That's what makes us all individuals, and to get rid of any faults would be to get rid of humanity in general. We're a faulted species, that's the whole point.



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