Is it a good idea to create designer babies?

Nowadays, there is an ongoing debate about whether it is ethical to have designer babies. For some time now, humans have been able to genetically modify and clone animals and plants. Very soon, it may be possible to do the same for the most complicated species on earth – humans. Scientists predict that in a few years’ time creating designer babies will be possible. This means that traits like hair and eye color and personalities as well as possibilities of a child contracting diseases can be predetermined before birth! Not many people seem to be interested in the idea yet, but it does not seem like there is time to say “we will think about it in the future” as this is an extremely complicated topic and the future could be very soon. Or possibly, designer babies and cloning might be taking place behind closed doors at this moment.

I think that everyone has mixed opinions towards this topic. Some feel that it is beneficial as if their children are smarter, the family will be able to make better progress while others might feel that they will be at a disadvantage while competing with these designer babies. But do we all get to decide whether to create designer babies? The rich are usually the ones that get to control the market, and they will reap great benefits from these designer babies.

Personally, I think it is a bad idea to create designer babies. Due to globalization in the present years, the gap between the rich and poor is rapidly widening. With this “designer baby” idea, which probably only the rich will be able to afford, they can now form an elite “race” which will fill up job spaces more easily since they should be smarter and hence more capable, putting the “normal babies” at a huge disadvantage. It is arguable that designing babies before birth is like doing plastic surgery, but the difference is that for plastic surgery the person gets to decide while for designer babies, it is predetermined by someone else.

However, is creating designer babies even ethical? Did it occur to them how designer babies will feel? Designer babies might think they are superior but at the same time restricted. Just like how you would feel if your parents had already crafted out your life exactly for you. If we don’t get to decide our personalities and looks at birth, how is it fair that our parents get to? Did it also occur to them how “normal babies” will feel?

It will be very interesting to experiment with creating designer babies and understand genetics better, but those who came up with this idea should be responsible for the results as this can lead to creating robots and androids.

-Genevieve Sim (2 Purity)

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