Doctor visits are expensive; fatal diseases are even more costly. Some diseases that cost one his or her life are passed down generation-to-generation, making the disease genetic. With today’s technological advancements, genes of an embryo can be screened for mutant, disease-carrying genes. Embryo screening gives parents the option to have a child or opt out of having a child with future potential flaws, difficulties, or a shortened life. Though embryo screening is seen as a gift because of its ability to detect diseased genes, human genetic engineering can be viewed as a greater blessing with its ability to modify the gene carrying the disease. In my research paper, I will discuss how Kant and Mill believe determining the fates of our future generation, and how its future is unethical, while also discussing how Julian Savelescu believes it is a moral obligation to select for valuable characteristic traits. The focal argument and debate between the two opposing sides lies on the ethics of parenting: “whether parents should be maximizing their children’s well-being, or simply giving them a good enough life” (Savelescu 1).
Recently, a project by scientists, The Human Genome Project, has come to completion. This project took years of compiled knowledge and advancement in technology to be able to successfully map out a sequence of three billion nucleotides of the human genome. With this step in the right direction, scientists located genes for various traits on our chromosomes, thus allowing for future testing determining whether genomes contain sequences associated with specific diseases. Embryo screening, also recognized as pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) allows for detection of diseases without waiting to undergo prenatal diagnosis, which is the testing of fetal tissue for the presence of genes that carry disease. If there is a chance of the couple transmitting a genetic disease, this medical procedure would be a much faster process and also would prevent having to terminate a pregnancy because of the risk of potentially producing a child with a deadly disease. Such life-threatening diseases include Huntington’s disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), cystic fibrosis and hemoglobin disorders (e.g., Cooley's anemia).
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is performed through the extraction of
a single cell from an eight-cell embryo. The DNA of that single cell is analyzed for any genes that might carry a disease. Then, only the safe embryos are implanted via in vitro fertilization. It was first performed in the 1990s, where PGD was used to determine the sex of the embryo in order to prevent the transmittance of family history sex-linked disease genes to offspring. For example, Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a recessive X-linked disease that affects mostly males, so through PGD, the couple could screen the embryo for the sex and identify if it's male or female. If the embryo is male, for example, one may choose to...