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Designer Babies

Notre Dame Academy - Bioethics Course Research Project 2012

Christine Wojner

on 10 March 2014

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Transcript of Designer Babies

Genetic Modifications:
The Creation of "Designer Babies"
Father, this world sometimes bewilders me and is beyond my understanding. I see poverty and disease, storms and earthquakes, war and killing. Many hearts are bound by ego and fear. Please strengthen my faith in your higher purpose and open my mind to the truth that everything is unfolding according to your divine plan. Let compassion and love for my brothers and sisters flow from me and may we all be uplifted by your glory. AMEN.

http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Prayer/2010/03/Prayers-for-Strength.aspx?p=2#ixzz1p0IY7x8t Methods Of Creating a
"Designer Baby" Gene Modification
Germline Engineering
In Vitro Fertilization
Prenatal Screening
Sex Selection Genetic Modification:
altering the DNA of an organism to improve or correct any defects

Genetic Engineering:
direct manipulation of genetic material in order to alter the hereditary traits of a cell or organism
scientists tamper with the genes by inserting or deleting genes to correct any defects Collins English Dictionary Germline Engineering:
(also known as inheritable genetic modification) has never been tried on humans
process on necessary if a couple wishes to "enhance" their child
by inserting certain genes that neither parent has
irreversibly alters the human species The Human Embryo Genetic modification processes (such as in vitro fertilization, sex selection, and prenatal screening) examine and manipulate human embryos One must consider whether he/she believes that a human embryo should be altered One View:
the human "embryo is sacrosanct" and
"should not be tampered with" (Baird).
The embryos deserve the same respect
"due to other human beings at [various]
stages of development" (Panicola 225). Second View:
Embryos are not yet "capable of functioning
in ways characteristically associated with being a person"
therefore it is acceptable to tamper with the embryos In Vitro Fertilization: "a reproductive technology in which
a new human being is conceived by
joining egg and sperm in a glass dish,
not in the mother's body" (USCCB). In Vitro Fertilization begins the creation of a "designer baby" IVF allows human embryos to be tested
for various genetic disorders that couples hope to avoid
embryos carrying the defects are discarded as "lab waste" or used for experimental purposes
the remaining healthy embryos, free from genetic disorders, are implanted in the woman
IVF has a success rate of 20% - 50% In Vitro Fertilization Facts: IVF is extremely expensive, cost is estimated at $13,000 for each cycle
side note: most women need 3 cycles before becoming pregnant $ 1 out of 6 couples will experience infertility $ In Vitro Fertilization depersonalizes the creation
by turning it into a technical process rather than
a loving union between man and woman. (USCCB) In Vitro Fertilization Complications: A woman undergoing IVF must...
take fertility drugs to produce large amounts of eggs
these drugs often cause mood swings/physical complications "in rare situations the fertility drugs can cause the woman's ovaries to hyper-stimulate...[and] in extremely rare situations the woman's ovaries can rupture, resulting in permanent infertility or even death"
(Panicola 194). A common complication is...
increased chance of miscarriage, serious birth defects,
or an increase in multiple pregnancies
The increase in multiple pregnancies has introduced "selective termination" to destroy the "extra" unwanted fetuses and reduce the risk to the pregnant woman "Designer Babies" featured in Time Magazine "Parents can now pick a kid's sex and
screen for genetic illness. Will they
someday select for brain and beauty too?"
-Time Magazine "Making a baby boy or a baby girl was pretty much a hit-or-miss affair.
Not anymore. Parents who have access to the latest genetic testing techniques can now predetermine their baby's sex with great accuracy"
- Time Magazine IVF process oversteps the
"natural limits by creating life apart
from sexual intercourse within marriage"
(Panicola 196). One must consider that not all women have the ability
to conceive naturally due to infertility or a number of
other complications "[I don't] really get the playing-God argument...
I think IVF is unnatural- but so is driving a car" (Abraham). Prenatal Screening:
allows parents to avoid passing down
a genetic disorder/disease to their unborn child (example) Cystic Fibrosis:
genetic disease
limits the age/fullness of life of those affected
the average age of survival is 32
multitude of respiratory/pancreatic ailments Sex Selection: Popular method of genetic modification...
Popular in China/India Used to select a preferable sex of a child
often used to promote the birth of males
"raises concerns about sex discrimination"
creates a "lopsided sex ratio"
(CGS: Sex Selection) Sex Selection:
strength/power of a male is valued
higher than certain qualities of a
woman in many cultures/countries Methods such as gene modification, prenatal screening, in vitro fertilization, and sex selection have begun to normalize the selection of genes and embryros as well as the blueprinted and virtually designed babies Many scientists welcome the day when "human beings are tailored for genetic perfection, developed outside their mothers' bodies, and pre-selected for given roles in society" (USCCB). Genetic modification will promote the idea
that people are merely objects One day the advancing genetic technology
will produce "healthier, longer lived, athletic, intelligent,
and attractive" children. (CGS) Slippery Slope:
"let the pursuit of new medical technology and cures undermine the value of the very lives [that we intend to help]" and we will no longer recognize any limits that may exist. (Panicola) Arguments Against Genetic Modification Genetic modification technology will always be expensive and could create a large division between the classes Those who can afford the genetic technology will produce children superior to society's lower and middle classes Church Views "Designer Babies" In The Media My Question To YOU...
Are things getting out of hand with our research into genetics? "Designer Babies"
a term used by the media to describe the future of modifying or selecting our children's genes for desirable medical and cosmetic characteristics "begotten, not made..." The Church teaches that children are meant to be accepted with all their imperfections as God intended. (USCCB) However, for many infertile Catholic couples it has been exceedingly hard to hear the "Church praise family life and teach that children are the supreme GIFT of marriage" yet continue their marriage without the hope of ever recieving this "supreme gift" (USCCB). According to the Catholic Conference of Catholic Bishops,
"the Church has compassion for couple suffering from infertility...[but] at the same time, some reproductive technologies are not morally legitimate ways to solve those problems" (USCCB). Bioethical Principles: Principles of Integrity/Totality: "man's dignity is derived from his having been created by GOD" (Hass). Bioethical Question: Does this mean that man created with a third party involved (lab technician) have the same human dignity bestowed on him even though his/her parents altered God's vision? "The human body shares in the dignity of the 'image of God" (Hass). The bioethical principles imply that a human being is meant to be completed in God's image with all its flaws and imperfections The creation of "designer babies" goes against these principles by allowing parents to create their children through a well thought out blueprint (altering God's vision) Legal Views: Should the government step in to regulate the use of certain genetic processes? THE QUESTION: There is a possibility that if genetic processes are banned many people would consider illegal actions and large sums of money to attain the desired genetic treatments. "the demand will be strong and people will be willing to pay" (CGS). Suggestion:
"rather than encourage black markets and likely abuses, we should legalize the practice so that it can be safely regulated" (CGS). I support gene modification processes because they allow infertile parents the chance to have children, as well as allows parents to screen for genetic diseases, choose a healthy embryo, and avoid the pain and challenges the sick embryos (children) would endure in their lives. MY View: Picture Links:
Works Cited: Abraham, Carolyn, and The Globe and Mail. "CGS : Unnatural Selection: Is Evolving Reproductive Technology Ushering in a New Age of Eugenics?" CGS : Center for Genetics and Society. Center For Genetics and Society, 7 Jan. 2012. Web. 24 Feb. 2012. <http://www.geneticsandsociety.org/article.php?id=6022>.
Ashley, Benedict M., and Kevin D. O'Rourke. Health Care Ethics: A Theological Analysis. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown UP, 1997. Print.
Baird, Stephen L. "Designer babies: eugenics repackaged or consumer options? The forces pushing humanity towards attempts at self-modification, through biological and technological advances, are powerful, seductive ones that we will be hard-pressed to resist." The Technology Teacher Apr. 2007: 12+. Expanded Academic ASAP.Web. 20 Oct. 2011.
CGS."CGS: Inheritable Genetic Modification Arguments Pro and Con." CGS: Center for Genetics and Society. Center for Genetics and Society, 1 June 2006. Web. 24 Feb. 2012. <http://www.geneticsandsociety.org/article.php?id=287>.
CGS. "CGS: Inheritable Genetic Modification." CGS: Center for Genetics and Society. Center For Genetics and Society, 2006. Web. 24 Feb. 2012. <http://www.geneticsandsociety.org/section.php?id=108>.
CGS. "CGS: Sex Selection." CGS: Center for Genetics and Society. Center For Genetics and Society, 2006. Web. 24 Feb. 2012. <http://www.geneticsandsociety.org/section.php?id=29>.
Devettere, Raymond J. Practical Decision Making in Health Care Ethics: Cases and Concepts. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown UP, 1995. Print.
“Genetic Engineering."Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online Academic Edition.Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2012. Web. 24 Feb. 2012. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/228897/genetic-engineering>.
"Genetic Modification."Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition.HarperCollins Publishers. 24 Feb. 2012. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/genetic modification>.
Haas John M. "The Totality and Integrity of the Body." Ethics & Medics 20.2 (1995).NCBC. The National Catholic Bioethics Center, Feb. 1995. Web. 24 Feb. 2012. <http://www.ncbcenter.org>.
Howell, Joseph H., and William F. Sale. Life Choices: A Hastings Center Introduction to Bioethics. Washington, DC: Georgetown UP, 1995. Print.
Leies, John A., Donald G. McCarthy, Edward J. Bayer, and Louise A. Mitchell.Handbook on Critical Life Issues. Brighton, MA: National Catholic Bioethics Center, 2004. Print.
Panicola, Michael R. An Introduction to Health Care Ethics: Theological Foundations, Contemporary Issues, and Controversial Cases. Winona, MN: Anselm Academic, 2007. Print.
Pilarczyk, Daniel E. Twelve Tough Issues--and More: What the Church Teaches and Why. Cincinnati, OH: St. Anthony Messenger, 2002. Print.
Resnik, David B., and Daniel B. Vorhaus."Genetic Modification and Gene Determinism." Philosophy, Ethics, And Humanities In Medicine (2006). PubMed.Web. 3 Nov. 2011. <http://www.peh-med.com/content/1/1/9>.
USCCB. "USCCB - Life-Giving Love in an Age of Technology." United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 17 Nov. 2009.Web. 24 Feb. 2012. <http://old.usccb.org/LifeGivingLove/>.

Quiz #1 Directions:
Quickly turn to a partner a make a list PROS: CONS: QUIZ #2 1. What (genetic) processes create a "designer baby" list 4 examples & explain 2. What bioethical principle(s) are ignored when creating a "designer baby" ? 3. Class Discussion:
You heard the Church's View, Science's View, Parents' View, My View, etc. NOW What Is YOUR View
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