The sci-fi movies, pop culture, and even novels have embraced stories around ‘modified humans’ in dystopian societies. Parents could choose to eliminate defective genes even before the baby is born and confer immunity to certain diseases. The result is a baby who is ‘designed’ to be better than the rest. As fascinating as it may sound, do ‘designer babies’ exist and is it even ethical?
Read this Mom Project post to learn more about designer babies, the ethical implications, and more.
What Is A Designer Baby?
‘Designer baby’ is an infant born after performing interventions in its pre-implantation embryo stage to influence the characteristics or traits the child might possess after birth (1).
The advancement in genetic engineering and assisted reproductive technologies (ART), has made it possible to screen embryos for genetic disorders before implantation during in vitro fertilization. Using pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), doctors can identify embryos that may carry the defective gene (2). The defective gene can be altered, resulting in a genetically-modified baby. Such infants are called designer babies since they have been ‘designed’ through gene alteration.