Advances in the field of DNA reproduction have been monumental for human biology, but these strides bring about ethical dilemmas that are being vastly overlooked.
With DNA alteration being intended to cure genetically inherited diseases like Huntington’s Disease, the potential misapplications have created worries about the repercussions of essentially being able to play god.
Any type of scientific research that cures children of a deadly disease is a miracle, but should be extensively researched and not glamorized by the public.
Humankind should not trifle with the laws of nature. Parents should not have the option to alter their child’s physical or mental attributes in any way because it defies the natural order of the world which we live in and cares too close to selective breeding.
Altering nature is the beginning of the likes of some of Hollywood’s greatest post-apocalyptic films. Michael Bay, get ready.
A great success in the field of genetics, spindle nuclear transfer, recently allowed a Jordanian couple, who had lost children two children in the past due to Leigh syndrome, to give birth to a healthy child, according to a 2016 article from the New Scientist.
Interestingly, this miracle was created by three people, although it is not the world’s first “three-person baby,” it is the first by this new procedure.
In spindle nuclear transfer, a handful of genes from a donor woman are added to the mother’s egg.
The hard and morbid truth could be that this couple should not be able to conceive, despite being able to successfully with this genetic advancement. But the worst part is yet to come. What if their child passes on this syndrome, and their child after that? Thousands of cases like this are likely to come if this is not regulated.
It’s good to know that this procedure is illegal in the U.S. but only from a technical standpoint as certain regulations were dodged by doing the operation in Mexico. The government would needs to ensure banning of this sort of “baby-making” process to prevent anything like this from happening again.
Errors in DNA alteration procedures can have terrible repercussions, such as losing a child to a mishap in experimentation or losing the mother. One of the reasons the surgeon who performed the alteration, Dr. John Zhang, has been framed as “irresponsible” by his peers is because of the risk he took by doing this under no supervision of the American government back in April.
By ditching regulations and doing the procedure in Mexico, Zhang took this life into his own hands, and luckily this time, the baby is still alive and well.
But this risk can’t be taken again, the variables amount to something that really should never be toyed with.
All types of genetic alteration need to be completely outlawed, specifically, genetic alterations that parents might use to make their children more attractive or intelligent, etc. There are certain laws of nature that should never be broken for something as trivial as vanity.
If DNA manipulation is not scrupulously monitored, scientists will very easily begin to use children as test subjects, especially in other countries where medical laws are not as strict.
Mexico, for example, could be host to this diabolical dream.
Perhaps countries will begin altering the intelligence of their children in an effort to gain an advantage over other nations, albeit a reach but still a possibility.
While parents of a child with Huntington’s or some other disease would like to think this will ultimately be helping humankind, it’s really just a short-sighted solution to a problem larger than all of us.