Umm, yeah

The simplest remedy for a couple who are bound to pass on a genetic disease is to use sperm donation and pre-implantation diagnosis to select healthy IVF embryos, she says. The desire to have genetically related children should not be a trump card, she argues.

That’s pretty tough, given that the desire to have genetically related children is the point and purpose of life.

8 thoughts on “Umm, yeah”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    That’s pretty tough, given that the desire to have genetically related children is the point and purpose of life.

    I am not sure we do desire to have genetically related children. Or at least it is not a first order desire. I would think that the first order desire – that is, the strongest, most urgent desire – is to have sex. Which traditionally resulted in children but no longer does. The second order desire might be to have children. Parents who adopt don’t seem depressed but they would hardly complain would they? It is true that adopted children are more likely to suffer harm so there is something there. That would put genetic related children a third order desire.

    We have messed with the natural order of things (not that I am complaining) so that the things that evolved to make sure the species survive can be satisfied without the species surviving.

  2. Genetic engineering is rarely a simple debate. Some recessive disorders(CF for example) are so obviously bad that there is no reason to not edit them out. The problem is that when humans try to decide which genes need to be removed we can quickly slide off of a slippery slope. Is being born with red hair a trait we should remove? Do we eliminate the gene for being born female?

  3. The obvious answer is that there’s no need for a collective decision.

    For example, a man who fell in love with a redheaded woman (possibly on the grounds that he finds the colouring attractive) is unlikely to want to edit redhairdness out of his children, is he?

  4. On the other hand, China (and now bits of India) are currently demonstrating on a massive scale that allowing parents to chose the the sex of their kids (via abortion policy) is a disaster of unmitigated scale in some cultures as you end up with a massive class of young men with no hope of marriage.

    Given how humans have stuffed things up at this level of control, I’m not I’d trust them with a more detailed version.

  5. “the desire to have genetically related children is the point and purpose of life.” Not in the view of people who don’t want children, presumably.

    To assume that there is a point and purpose to life is rather sweeping: why must there be?

  6. How is choosing a vetted “safe” donor better than taking the gene out of your own egg/sperm? Both are unnatural selection.

    In fact taking “better” people’s seed is barely distinguishable from eugenics to my mind. I think editing out known genes is less morally awkward actually.

  7. As an adopted child I can’t say I’ve suffered or had a lesser childhood, though admittedly it does make the teenage you don’t understand me phase tricky.
    Oddly it’s not unusual for parents who adopt to have a natural child, mine did, something about the pressure being less maybe.

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