Friday, 14 March 2008

Designer Babies...?

John Smeaton gives a summary of this week's "Moral Maze" on Radio 4... I have to say that I have given up listening to this programme because it just makes me angry.

The question this week was whether or not the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill should allow deaf parents specifically to select for implantation those embryos which have been diagnosed as likely to be deaf.

The idea that children are commodities, to be chosen on the basis of their "desirable" characteristics (whatever those characteristics actually are) which make them acceptable "accessories" for their parents and/or siblings just goes to show how very far into the mire we, as a society, have sunk.

1 comment:

newhousenewjob said...

The way this question has been presented in the media has muddied the waters on the real issue in the original report, which is that the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill as it stands contains a provision which would make it ILLEGAL for doctors to implant an embryo with any genetic defect.

A deaf couple reacted to this by saying, "What's wrong with being deaf that you can't be allowed to live?" and said that they would actually quite like a deaf child - and this was the bit that the media then manipulated.

Rather than being an issue about living embryos being killed because they didn't meet the government's definition of 'perfect', the row then turned to whether these deaf parents should have the right to say they would like a deaf child - conveniently ignoring the fact that originally they did not say (as I understand it) that they wanted specifically to be able to pick out a deaf embryo to keep, but that they didn't want any deaf embryo that might be created to be thrown away.

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