“The embryonic stage to exclude or produce certain traits.

“The prospect of engineering a child with specific traits is not far-fetched. IVF has become an increasingly common procedure to help couples with infertility problems conceive children, and the practice of IVF confers the ability to pre-select embryos before implantation,” states Sarah Ly, PhD Candidate at the University of Pennsylvania. Designer babies refer to children whose genetics have been artificially selected or manipulated at the embryonic stage to exclude or produce certain traits. Designer baby technology combines genetics screening and engineering processes with in vitro fertilization (IVF).  In vitro fertilization (IVF) is an assisted reproduction technology process involving the fertilization of ova by sperm outside of the body in a laboratory setting. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis(PGD) is a technique using in vitro fertilization to ensure that a baby does not possess a known genetic defect of either parent. Genetic engineering is the process by which the genes are manipulated or combined to produce desired traits that either may not or could not occur naturally. Even though with designer babies people can make them immune to certain diseases, people should not have/make designer babies because there could be negative consequences in the future, it will divide society, and it is unethical. Designer babies will have negative consequences in the future because of the way they were born and made. Having parents chose their desirable traits in a child will influence the parents to focus on environmental choices supporting their selected traits. This will affect the way the child matures. Anne Harding, from the Lancet medical journal, adds, “Sandel makes the compelling case that genetic engineering to gain advantage for ourselves and our children is deeply disempowering, because it turns us away from the communal good, toward self-centered striving” (qtd. In Sandel). This foreshadows that people with selected traits won’t try to better themselves for the good of society or for the good of themselves. This also implies that selected traits would represent a bid for mastery and dominion that fails to appreciate the gifted character of human powers and achievements. In addition, tinkering with genetics to change the human brain which is the most complex object known in the universe would be very dangerous. Trying to change genetics could do more harm than good. Paul Knoepfler, professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy at UC Davis, declares,”You might well end up  causing cognitive impairments and brain diseases”(Knoepfler). It stands to reason that prematurely making the decisions on how your child will be when he/she grows up will affect the child negatively. Having designer babies will divide society into groups. The wealthy would be able to afford the selection of desirable traits in their offspring, while those of lower socioeconomic standing would not be able to access the options. Silver, a professor at Princeton, predicts, “An upper class of the “GenRich”, who are genetically modified (GM) people that control society and a lower class of “naturals” who are not” (  Knoepfler ). This not only considers society being controlled by the wealthy but also the fact that the process of creating a designer baby would be expensive so that only the rich could have them. Having the rich be the designer baby will only separate them more from everyone else. Another way designer babies could separate society is it creates a kind of thinking of a checklist approach for potential mate/child. Having this way of thinking would ruin human relationships. Sigrid Sterckx of the Bioethics Institute of Ghent University in Belgium states, “Promoting this attitude that human beings, whether a mate or a child, have to meet a number of specific criteria in order to be acceptable or desirable as a mate or child is not a very helpful view of human relationships” (Rojahn). So having GM people in society will divide society into two groups which will turn people prejudice and against each other. It is unethical to have/make designer babies. In order to have a “correct” designer baby, scientists need to do experiments and tests. This mean they have to experiment on unborn babies and pregnant women. The test would consist of a few dozen fertilized human eggs or embryos where half would be genetically modified, all would be carried to term, and the development of the children would be followed throughout their lives to determine whether the genetic modification worked and worked safely. No animal studies can answer these questions. Sheldon Krimsky, Lenore Stern Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences at Tufts University and an adjunct professor of public health and community medicine, expresses, “It is unimaginable that any humane society would permit such a trial, where the potential risks so outweigh the social benefits”(Krimsky). Being able to create your baby can also  affect sex selection which could lead to sex discrimination. In addition, having parents choose and control their child’s outcome sets up the dynamic of potentially tyrannical expectations over what the child will do or be. Therefore, it is unethical to test on infants and control them for it is a human life.