Made-to-order babies WITH genetic defects

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Pandora, Jan 20, 2007.

  1. Pandora

    Pandora New Member

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    CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- The power to create "perfect" designer babies looms over the world of prenatal testing.

    But what if doctors started doing the opposite?

    Creating made-to-order babies with genetic defects would seem to be an ethical minefield, but to some parents with disabilities -- say, deafness or dwarfism -- it just means making babies like them.

    And a recent survey of U.S. clinics that offer embryo screening suggests it's already happening.

    Three percent, or four clinics surveyed, said they have provided the costly, complicated procedure to help families create children with a disability.

    Some doctors have denounced the practice. Others question whether it's true. Blogs are abuzz with the news, with armchair critics saying the phenomenon, if real, is taking the concept of designer babies way too far.

    "Old fear: designer babies. New fear: deformer babies," the online magazine Slate wrote, calling it "the deliberate crippling of children."

    But the survey also has led to a debate about the definition of "normal" and inspires a glimpse into deaf and dwarf cultures where many people do not consider themselves disabled.


    More at link:
    http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/parenting/01/18/designerd.disability.ap/index.html


    I can't even imagine DELIBERATELY trying to create a child w/ a disability! Any ideas why someone would choose to do this? 'Cause I'm really not getting it! I don't agree w/ the concept of designer babies either, although I do understand screening embryos for recessive genes that both parents carry. (To me, that's not the same thing as shooting for a 170 IQ basketball player.)
     
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  3. southcitymom

    southcitymom New Member

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    This really does raise some interesting questions - my jury is still out on a lot of the answers. In this article, the couple in question wanted a dwarf child like them. Instead, they have decided to adopt a dwarf child. I do not perceive dwarfism to be a deformity.
     
  4. Mira

    Mira Country Girl

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    yes, interesting questions. i also do not believe dwarfism to be a 'deformity' but it does have some health problems, and im not sure if it would be right or ethical to lay those problems on a child deliberately.

    adopting is a whole 'nother thing, and i hope they get their child.
     
  5. angelmom

    angelmom The love stays...forever in our hearts

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    I don't consider dwarfism to be a deformity, but it is definitely a health problem. There are many other issues that go along with dwarfism, and some of them are fatal. A coworker of mine had a baby girl with dwarfism and a fatal heart defect that is apparently common in dwarves. She also had a multitide of other physical birth defects that would have been challenging even if she could have survived the heart defect.

    Being deaf is tough. I know that there is a strong deaf community, but I can't imagine deliberately taking one of my child's senses away on purpose.

    I really think that this is not a good plan, either way. Genetic screening for severe problems is one thing, but trying to plan your child's appearance, talent or intelligence is just asking for trouble. Aiming away from the norm seems like a real risk.
     
  6. Taximom

    Taximom Former Member

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    I think it's wrong to mess with the genetics, period.
     
  7. GlitchWizard

    GlitchWizard Reprobate

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    I can see finding your own donor if you don't trust a sperm bank. Checking to be sure the guy has good looking kids, is the right hair, eyes, skin color for your taste, a good health profile, maybe even is a certain height that runs in his family. No problem there. I can see checking for major health problems while pregnant, and having surgery or injecting the right whatever is missing to fix the problem. I can even see separating the spermies into active and inactive to greater your chances at a boy or girl.

    I'd be REALLY nervous to mess with anything else, though. Morals aside, if you wanted a baby with a genius IQ, for example, and someone said they could do that for you - if it didn't work, and some other weird thing happened instead - it would be your fault. You could have maimed your child. *shudder*
     
  8. Linda7NJ

    Linda7NJ Active Member

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    Genius IQ they've already tried that

    http://www.slate.com/id/100331/

    Twenty years ago, on an outbuilding of his Southern California estate, tycoon Robert K. Graham began a most remarkable project: the Repository for Germinal Choice, a sperm bank for Nobel Prize winners. Part altruism, part social engineering, part science experiment, the repository was supposed to help reverse the genetic decay Graham saw all around him by preserving and multiplying the best genes of his generation. By the time Graham's repository closed in 1999, his genius sperm had been responsible for more than 200 children.

    much more at link

    The above I can agree with..............not with deliberatly reproducing genetic DEFECTS.
     
  9. RoughlyCollie

    RoughlyCollie New Member

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    IMO, it is extremely selfish of a parent to purposely try to create a child with a disability. I don't think it's unethical -- I think it's sick.

     
  10. Taximom

    Taximom Former Member

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    I still can't get over this. I have two children with two different genetic issues. One is very serious and one nobody even notices and isn't so serious. It is so hard to get help paying for medical care, therapies and equipment, let alone respite care and school costs (if you chose a private school) etc. We have incurred so much debt just trying to get my youngest what she needs to function, and have been turned down from several agencies because she doesn't meet all the qualifications or we make too much money. (HA!)


    Anyway, I guess my point is that if you chose to genetically alter your future child in a way that causes a disability, you shouldn't be able to get any of the financial aid that is sometimes necessary and helpful for the care of that child. You are on your own. Although the mommy in me feels like that is punishing the child....

    This is just so wrong.
     
  11. GlitchWizard

    GlitchWizard Reprobate

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    To be honest, I tried that, too. Only without genetics. From the time I conceived, I read to my tummy, I played all kinds of music very loudly and from birth she had all her senses stimulated every day. She was dressed in loud colors, had classical music playing during lunch and naptimes, and was given every single exploratory opportunity I could come up with relatively safely. (Not always extremely safely, since she was allowed to run in the house and jump off the couch into a pile of stuffed animals, etc.) I home schooled her with all the other kids under my care and ended up with a handfull (six) of kids who were ALL independantly scoring above average for their age group by different psychiatrists picked out of the phone book by their parents at age 4. Trust me when I say, the genetics weren't all there for these kids to be smart!

    Anyway, my experiement proved to me, if no one else, that barring issues beyond our control (mental retardation being just one of them) you can do alot without manipulating genes.

    And, as I'm sure the parents here with children with various types of issues will attest - you CAN bring any child from where they are, one tiny step up at a time in SOME direction. You don't have to look very far to see kids who are institutionalized by parents who won't even give their child the time to excell in even one thing more - even small steps like following a finger with their eyes. Argh! My soapbox. I gotta get off it now. :)


     

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