If you could create your perfect child, what would she be like? (Or he, but mine would be a girl because they’re way cuter.) And you’d want to be sure she had no illnesses, right? Where would you draw the line concerning what you could choose about your baby? Well, it’d cost you a lot of money, but this is doable, thanks to “in vitro fertilization,” and an ever-improving process of testing embryos before they start turning into a child.
Amanda Kalinsky has Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker disease, which means she’s not going to live much longer, but she still wanted to have kids, and she wanted them to be free from her disease. They took 12 eggs from her, and six had the disease. Those six eggs had to be discarded, and a lot of people don’t seem to like that. Although, my question is, what’s the difference between that and all the other eggs that women never use? This process saves a baby from a possible early death.
But in vitro fertilization can be used to test the sex of your baby as well. So, tossing the diseased eggs makes sense. But say I just wanted to toss the boy eggs so I could have myself a little girl? I don’t think that’s exactly how it works, but I do believe that we’re getting close to the science that can make it work like that. And once we can do it, is it ethical? Honestly, I hesitate to say it’s okay because I’m sure there are many who disagree, but I think it’s just the same as the diseased eggs. No, I’m not saying being male is a disease, of course. I meant that if discarding sick eggs is okay, then discarding eggs in general is okay. This could start going into the topic of abortion, but that’s not where I want to go, so let’s turn this discussion around. What I’m really interested in is the choice that the parent is making to essentially select a certain aspect of the child.
Let’s imagine we live in the year 3014, and we can basically put together our children like robots — we can choose not only their sex but their hair and eye color, even personality traits as well. Everyone would basically have super-babies, right? That sounds dangerous, but only because it’s something new. This testing of eggs is new, so it’s scary to us. Maybe we’re not supposed to have this power, but then why do we have it now? If we have developed the science to choose the sex of our children, I think we’ve earned it. Now, just because we’ve developed the atom bomb doesn’t mean we should be allowed to use it. But we’re not hurting anyone with this. The freedom of choice is what America is all about, right?
My stance on this is pretty clear to me, so I’m interested to hear from the other side. Imagining the cost is irrelevant, if you have a preference for the sex of your baby, or anything else about the baby, why wouldn’t you want to be able to make that choice?
About the Author (Author Profile)Kate Conroy comes from a small town in South Jersey where she has two little sisters and a cat named Pavarotti. She is a Leo and an English major, and she will compulsively correct your grammar. She started writing fiction when she was ten, and she has been working on her first novel since 2010. Her hobbies include painting, knitting, making tv references, and accidentally taking naps. Follow her on twitter: @K4TE8
Sites That Link to this Post
- The Perfect Child: What Happens Next? | Culture Shock | April 9, 2014