Monday, June 22, 2009

The best solution :D

After contemplating the four solutions presented earlier, our group feels that the best solution at the moment is restricting PGD (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis) to couples who have the possibility of conceiving embryos with ‘dangerous’ genes, such as the down syndrome. Although there are many grey areas, we feel that if regulated correctly, it is the best solution that can effectively prevent the exploitation of this technology and at the same time, create a new generation of healthier children.

To employ this method, however, values such as integrity and responsibility are very important and will determine if this solution will indeed be the most justified. The decision makers have to decide each case on a case by case basis and possess the moral integrity to approve or disapprove of each case based on the situation instead of the couple’s financial or social status. The less famous or powerful should not be deprived of this option because of corrupt officials who only care for wealth and status. The decision makers are responsible for every embryo that is genetically engineered and every life created. If they should choose to only grant this technology to only the affluent and famous, a superior race would be created which would no doubt give rise to many social problems. Hence, we feel that the decision makers in this case have to be carefully selected by the government to be morally upright. There should also be a fixed group or department that couples have to go to if they are contemplating PGD to minimise confusion. However, it is also overly idealistic to think that humans can be totally objective. As such, the government could agree on a list of hereditary diseases that allow for this technology to be used as a guideline for decision bodies to make sure that the decisions made are fair and impartial. The government could also restrict PGD to public hospitals and polyclinics so that it can be better regulated and controlled, as compared to private clinics where the doctors have more autonomy to make decisions that may not comply with the government regulations.

Additionally, this solution does follow by the values of integrity and responsibility, because it does not allow parents to insert desired genes, such as raising the IQ or creating larger eyes. Should parents be allowed to do that, it could be deemed socially irresponsible as it could result in the creation of a superior race. Also, inserting desirable genes at will could be termed ‘playing God’, which would then also be a breach of integrity. Though this solution prohibits parents from inserting genes, it does not totally withhold the technology by allowing parents to cancel out harmful genes, thus helping to provide children with healthier lives, and this is a demonstration of integrity. Thus, this solution is indeed a choice that does not compromise responsibility and integrity.

Furthermore, we have chosen this solution because it is beneficial to more than half of the identified stakeholders, namely the babies, the parents and the government. Firstly, humans know little of PGD, especially in the area of introducing genes. Thus, it would be unwise to legalise it and allow babies to become ‘guinea pigs’. If mistakes occur, these babies would be affected for life. Hence, by choosing this solution, we are effectively protecting the babies, and at the same time, allowing those babies who have hereditary diseases a new lease of life. Therefore, babies are one of the stakeholders that stand to benefit from this solution.

Moreover, the parents are another stakeholder that can obtain benefits from this solution. Those whose genome contains ‘dangerous’ genes will be able to remove these genes from their children, allowing their children to live a healthier and disease-free life. All parents would want the best for their children, thus benefit to the child would also be benefit to the parent.

Lastly, this solution would also make the government’s job easier. Establishing a list of hereditary diseases dangerous enough to warrant PGD, and restricting the practice of PGD to government hospitals and clinics would make it easy for the government to keep the PGD practice in check, and ensure that medical practitioners do not use PGD for anything other than rectifying genes that can cause disease. It has been covered in earlier posts that should there be any negative effects, the government would have to shoulder the blame. Thus, this solution helps the government ensure that they can control the situation, and prevent the negative effects from occurring. It is thus beneficial to the government.

As can be seen, this solution we have chosen - restricting PGD (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis) to couples who have the possibility of conceiving embryos with ‘dangerous’ genes, can meet the values of responsibility and integrity, and at the same time, benefit at least 3 other stakeholders. It is therefore, the best and most viable solution.

Cherise and Clarissa


Blogger von Volvaria said...

Hello. I'm doing a research project on this subject and I was wondering, hopefully, if you could elaborate on any known, prominent long-term effects of the designer babies?

Much appreciated,

August 7, 2009 at 6:34 PM  

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