In the last posting on this topic, we discussed briefly about the fruits or results of In-vitro Fertilization; today, let’s look at the concept of the Designed Baby.
Designer babies are here! While other nations ban sex selection except for “medical purposes,” couples are taking advantage of America’s morally neutral stance with regard to artificial fertilization, reproduction and designer babies. There is a rush of couples from other nations - which prohibit sex selection except for medical reasons - to facilities like Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg’s Northridge Hospital Medical Center. They come to this clinic to get their boy, their girl, or their “perfect” blue-eyed, blonde baby. They come from here and abroad; some come to Steinberg’s clinic from China, Canada, Australia, Mexico and some European nations. They come because they afford to be picky about their progeny.
Steinberg is proud to offer sex selection services to infertile couples; he is happy to sell consumer eugenics to his conditional parents-to-be. They are conditional because they don’t want certain babies. He offers embryo selection, sex selection, and the prevention of sex-linked or inherited disease to these couples. He offers services that need to be confronted and contended with.
The Caiphas effect is readily obvious when proffered opinions state: “sex selection of embryos is clearly ethical when the method is used to prevent genetic disease but not the choosing of one gender over the other!” Designing babies fails to respect all life - it also dishonors the natural human reproduction processes. The immorality of these artificial reproductive processes should be obvious when the clinics also offer low interest, 100% financing complete with discounted travel packages which include dining, and hotel reservations. This should bother even the conditional parents-to-be - but it doesn't seem to.
Artificial reproduction crossed the bio-ethical line when it moved from assisting natural fertilization to replacing natural fertilization. It crossed the fine moral line when it failed to support and respect all human life.
Artificial reproduction is designed for a very small group of infertile couples who demand and expect pregnancy and view pregnancy as a right rather than a God-given privilege that needs to be safe-guarded and respected.
Artificial reproduction attacks the very entity it is trying to create: new life! It uses Caiphas’ logic to justify certain actions. It treats the creation of human life as a commodity, a consumer good, a profit- making endeavor or a manufacturing process. Soon quality control laboratories will spring up to monitor the “quality” of the designing baby techniques.
In an article from Reason Magazine, Greg Beato ask (3/24/09): “could it be that parents determined to micro-manage their progeny’s eye color are the ones who care the most?” His question is really just an empty pundit because it fails to ask a full question. The real question would ask what these parents care the most about! Could it be that parents determined to micro-manage their progeny’s eye color are the ones who care the most about the intelligence of their baby? Their baby’s looks? Their baby’s height? Their baby’s physical, mental, health characteristics? Could it be that parents determined to micro-manage their progeny’s eye color are the ones who care about – are the most picky about - who they are willing to love? In other words, are the parents, in fact, conditional parents-to-be or caretakers? Is their quest to find the perfect baby because anybody less than perfect just isn’t worth loving and caring for?
These are the real questions that haven’t been asked.
Everyone needs to know that design-a-baby procedures, like design the teddy bear in the shopping malls, occur at $20,000 per procedure. Meanwhile, babies, like my daughter, are especially targeted for extinction! Couples are practicing sexism without being called on the carpet for this prejudice when they only want a boy or a girl. Individuals or couples are hoping to create “genetically superior” offspring by using pre-selected sperm and /or eggs without realizing that even superior offspring can fail miserably in the game of life. More next time...