posted on Oct, 31 2004 @ 08:02 PM
PEOPLE with inherited forms of cancer have won the right to select embryos free from genes that might trigger the disease in future generations, The
Times has learnt.
The ruling by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority deepens the controversy over designer babies. It sets a precedent that will allow
doctors to “cherry-pick” embryos for a much wider range of traits than at present. Applications to extend the procedure are expected within months.
While selecting an embryo free of cancer seems harmless and for the best, it suggests of a technology that can lead to much more socially influenced
choices. How soon will it be until you can easily select physical traits? Will the rich and poor be seperated by appearance in the future?
Health is one thing - trying to have healthy children, but It's hard to place limits on such technology once it exists. Also, will those that are
handicapped or disabled or ill be social outcasts? Will diseases belong only to those that do not have the money to buy such proceedures? Will we
start creating multiple embryos per woman and have her choose which she wants?
It's also hard to know what else about a person is tied to a particular gene. Maybe the gene for musical aptitude is tied to the 'butt-ugly' gene
and by having a generation of beautiful children, we have bland music and lack culture. You never know what will happen in the future... having a
random mix is a good thing.