Oxford Professor: Parents Should Be Able to Alter Genes in Embryos for Character Flaws
August 20, 2012 10:08 PM
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(Source: Columbia Pictures )
Professor Julian Savulescu
The process would be similar to checking embryos for conditions like Down's syndrome
Imagine being able to design a human the way we use computer software to design every day items like clothing or furniture. University of Oxford Professor Julian Savulescu recently said that parents should have the choice to do such a thing, allowing them to create the kind of child they desire rather than leaving it to chance.
According to Savulescu, the
manipulation of genetics has evolved
over the years and has already proven to be beneficial to those who are expecting. For instance, parents can use tests, which focus on particular genes in embryos, to see if their child will have certain conditions like Down's syndrome.
While this type of testing is not seen as an issue, Savulescu said the testing of an embryo's genes to see what kind of personality flaws it could have has raised concern amongst the public -- and he believes it shouldn't.
"Indeed, when it comes to screening out personality flaws, such as potential alcoholism, psychopathy and disposition to violence, you could argue that people have a moral obligation to to select ethically better children," said Savulescu. "They are, after all, less likely to harm themselves and others. If we have the power to intervene in the nature of our offspring -- rather than consigning them to the natural lottery -- then we should."
Savulescu's ideas have been compared to those of the Nazis, who adopted the eugenics movements during World War II. However, Savulescu argues that this is different because parents can choose to participate or not. They don't have to genetically alter their children, but they should be able to choose to, he said.
"Whether we like it or not, the
future of humanity
is in our hands now," said Savulescu. "Rather than fearing genetics, we should embrace it. We can do better than chance."
Savulescu posed this argument in a recent article in
What do you think? Could eliminating potential character flaws in embryos create a perfect human race, or could there be serious, unseen implications with having so much power over this thing called life?
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8/21/2012 4:00:58 PM
No offense Breathless, but this is spoken like someone without ADD who just doesn't understand.
Living with ADD/ADHD, especially as a child, isn't "taking the easy way out" or "making excuses". If someone could exert the control necessary to conform, he would, believe me. No child would choose to be isolated and punished constantly, which is what living with ADD/ADHD means for someone.
I'm sorry for the loss of your wife, however comparing a condition to intense grief is just.. it's not right. Your comparing "feel good" drugs to a brain chemistry problem. The science has already been done! This is not an argument anymore. Google "Brain scans and ADHD", for example.
I know you think you're trying to help, but it's coming off condescending. Because you simply do not understand what it means to live with this. It's like telling someone with Tourettes to just "stop cursing". But this is typical when trying to discuss this with someone who can't grasp how someone could have difficulty with things they take for granted.
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