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Prohibit Genetically Engineered Babies

The BriefGet Up To Speed

Imagine a world free of genetic diseases, where parents control their offspring'€™s height, eye color and intelligence.  The science may be closer than you think.  Genes interact in ways that we don'€™t fully understand and there could be unintended consequences, new diseases that result from our tinkering.  But even if the science could be perfected, is it morally wrong?  Would it lead to eugenics and a stratified society where only the rich enjoy the benefits of genetic enhancement?  Or would the real injustice be depriving our children of every scientifically possible opportunity?


New human genetic technologies have real potential to help prevent or cure many terrible diseases, but these same technologies also have the potential for real harm.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Richard Hayes

Gene therapy on somatic (that is, nonreproductive) cells, such as muscle cells and brain cells, repairs or replaces defective genes. The moral quandary arises when people use such therapy not to cure a disease but to reach beyond health, to enhance their physical or cognitive capacities, to lift themselves above the norm.

Thursday, April 1, 2004
Michael Sandel

While<a name="" id="prenatal"></a> prenatal testing offers the opportunity to correct some abnormalities or to prepare to adjust to others, it is unfortunately often utilized to screen for diseases and abort unborn children who are deemed defective.

Friday, July 27, 2012
Steven Ertelt

When we move beyond dealing with just one gene, and into enhancing more complex systems, we enter a different world of ethical and technical issues.

Thursday, September 15, 2011
Alex Knapp

Lured by the prospect of making better babies, we stand on the threshold of changing forever what it means to be human.

Sunday, June 1, 2003
Bill McKibben

Screening foetal genomes to eliminate genetic ‘defects’ may lead to incremental changes in the human genetic reservoir, a permanent shift in our characteristics and eventually, self-domestication.

Thursday, October 4, 2012
Zaria Gorvett

Knowing more about our genes may actually increase our freedom by helping us understand the biological obstacles -- and opportunities -- we have to work with.

Sunday, April 13, 2008
Ronald Green

Genetic selection to determine how our children look, think and act isn’t recklessly playing God, argues Savulescu. It’s a gift to future generations

Wednesday, December 31, 1969
Julian Savulescu

This article explores the possibility that there is a parental duty to use preimplantation genetic diagnosis for the medical benefit of future children, finding support in some situations on both ethical and legal grounds.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Janet Malek and Judith Daar

Using technology to enhance our brains sounds terrifying, but using tools to make ourselves smarter may be part of humans' nature.

Monday, February 6, 2012
Ross Andersen

We should all have the right to choose to use or not use new technologies to help us and our families flourish.

Friday, April 1, 2011
Ronald Bailey

Background from the Tech Museum on what genes are, how they work, genetic testing, therapies and ethics.

Wednesday, December 31, 1969

The basic science of cloning and genetic modification.

Wednesday, December 31, 1969

An overview, questions raised, legislation, policy recommendations and reports on genetic testing.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011
National Human Genome Research Institute

This report analyzes the scientific, legal, regulatory, ethical, moral, and societal issues raised by genetic modification of the human germline, provides data about the American public’s views about HGGM, and explores possible policy approaches in this area.

Sunday, May 1, 2005
Genetics and Public Policy Center

Basic genetics, genome draft sequence, and post-genome science.

Wednesday, December 31, 1969

International laws on cloning, human genetic modification, and reproductive genetic testing.

Thursday, January 1, 2004
Genetics &amp; Public Policy Center

Genetic engineering will soon turn science fiction to fact. Why we need a new global treaty to control it.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Jamie Metzl

Researchers at Stanford University have for the first time sequenced the genome of an unborn baby using only a blood sample from the mother.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Krista Conger

For the first time, researchers have determined virtually the entire genome of a <a name="" id="fetus"></a>fetus using only a blood sample from the pregnant woman and a saliva specimen from the father.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Andrew Pollack

Methods for replacement of mitochondria in the egg or embryo have been reported by teams in the U.S. and U.K.

Monday, November 12, 2012
Baldo Lucchese

UK researchers are working on new medical techniques that could allow women to avoid passing on genetically inherited mitochondrial diseases, to their children. The HFEA launched this public consultation to gather views on the social and ethical impact of making these techniques available to patients.

Wednesday, December 31, 1969

Mitochondrial disease, passed from mother to child, is incurable. Scientists see a way to eliminate it using donor <a name="" id="DNA"></a>DNA but this has set off a debate about 'three-parent babies.'

Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Ian Sample

The eugenics movement of the early 1900s ultimately went horribly wrong despite its noble aims. What can we learn from this movement’s outcomes in order to avoid the repetition of these mistakes?.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Karen Norrgard

Human behavioral genetics, a relatively new field, seeks to understand both the genetic and environmental contributions to individual variations in human behavior.

Wednesday, December 31, 1969

Contributors discuss the convergence of human beings and technology.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Kyle Nunkittrick

Advances in biotechnology.

Monday, February 2, 2009
Jane Bosveld