With advances in genetic studies, medical science has been able to make huge strides in many ways. The concept of “designer baby” is the underlying genetic engineering capability that medical professional now possesses. Doctors are now able to genetically screen the baby to iron out critical illness pertaining to genetic disorders. Genetic screening can also help a baby get rid of life-threatening ailments. With a designer baby, parents can decide the genetic makeup of the baby, how a baby would look in future. However, designer baby comes with its share of pros and cons such as
The increase in life expectancy
As already mentioned, genetic screening goes a long way to negate a plethora of critical as well as life-threatening ailments. Most of the designer babies grow up to be healthy individuals with a better life expectancy. Since most of the medical issues are taken care of well before the birth, the baby can expect to live a disease-free life for the better part of his/her life.
Eliminates critical, inherited and life-threatening diseases
Genetic disorders such as Down syndrome, Huntington’s disease, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Alzheimer’s diseases, to name few can be quite threatening to the baby’s future. However, with genetic screening, almost all of these genetic disorders can be taken care of before the baby is born ensuring that the child is born healthy and disease-free.
The incidences of inherited diseases in a kid such as diabetes, cancer, obesity, can be reduced to a significant extent with the concept of a designer baby.
Call the shots as a parent
Genetic screening helps a parent decide the changes that a baby will go through and up to what extent the baby will change on birth for the better. It is indeed a revolution that can help the parents to choose the best for them and for the baby.
In spite of being a revolution that comes with many benefits, there are also some demerits attached to the concept of a designer baby such as
Gross violation of human rights
With genetic screening, what essentially a parent does is to decide what is good or bad for the baby without his/her consent. It involves discarding certain body cells which the baby could have used when he/she had grown up. The genetic modification alters the physical, emotional and mental appearances of an individual without his/her consent. Although not a legal crime, this violates the right to basic choice of an individual.
Not an error-free process
In spite of its effectiveness to ward off a host of diseases, the concept of genetic screening and a designer baby is not an error-free one. Even a minor error during the procedure can lead to deleterious effect including a miscarriage. The process of embryo screening is still in its nascent stage and requires much more work to be full proof.
Creates a potential divide in the society
A designer baby will have a significant edge over babies born sans any genetic engineering. While that is the aim of a parent in the first baby, this form of a genetic shift in the embryo can cause a marked divide in the society. On one side there would be babies born with superior skills and feature due to genetic tweak versus babies taking birth naturally with limited abilities as compared to their counterparts.