Genetic Engineering: The Ethics Of Prenatal Genetic Modification?

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The Ethics of Prenatal Genetic Modification Genetic engineering is a method of altering the genetic makeup of an organism with the intention of improving the organism. The technology that is used for this modification is still in its early stages, but was intended to be used in the manufacturing of insulin, various hormones, and antibodies, as well as disease research and gene therapy. This technology is beginning to encroach into reproduction, where it has the potential to be used to prevent certain sex-linked diseases and screen for embryos that are predisposed to certain genetic conditions. Once this technology is integrated into reproductive processes, a door will be opened for parents to have “designer babies,” which is a term that describes …show more content…
When people become parents, they are endowed with certain rights, such as the right to make decisions for their child, what the child eats, where the child goes to school, and the environment in which the child grows. Parents also have the right to make medical decisions on behalf of their child. Parental rights are necessary for parents to carry out their responsibilities and duties to their children. If a situation arises where parental rights would put a child in danger, such as neglect or mistreatment, and if the overriding of parental rights would benefit the child, then parental rights would be limited. However, if parents take seriously the wellbeing of their children, then they maintain their parental rights. Parents also have obligations toward their children. Parents are obligated to provide the best environment possible for their child and ensure that they are provided with enriching experiences. This is where genetic modification would fall inside the realm of parent …show more content…
Virtuous parents show compassion and love for their children. If virtuous parents decided to modify their child’s genome, they would do it because of the love for their child and they would do it for the child’s sake. They would intend for whichever traits they select to improve their child’s life by helping them to flourish in an attempt to achieve Eudaimonia. Virtuous parents are aware that both genetic manipulation and environmental intervention can shape a child’s life, and both are strategies that they can use to provide their child with the opportunities necessary so that the child might practice virtues so as to also become virtuous. Virtuous parents also recognize that genetic manipulation cannot take the place of interacting and forming a relationship with the child, but rather can supplement opportunities that the parents might not be able to otherwise provide. For example, if a child is born of two extremely bashful people, it is likely that the child will be bashful as well. Even if the parents were to give the child ample opportunity to interact with others, such as signing him up for clubs and sports teams and other organizations, the child still has a biological tendency toward bashfulness.

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