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As many others teenagers I love science and have desire finding something new and interesting. Maybe that is the main reason why designer baby births become my topic. Never before since I watched " Gataca " and "Artificial Intelligence ", the sentimental value between people urge me to investigate about the ethical issues involved in which many people I believe that it would still be ethically objectionable, but not easy to say why!
Opinionative approach would be the best way for me to express my topic rather than just information. Furthermore , the more I research, the more I want to speak up on my own idea about the moral issue, it isn't something to be ignore, it is about our babies , our life , and our future !
Maybe this topic still quite new to lots of people .However, as far as I study, the potential of genetic technology is somehow beyond the comprehension of most people, we couldn't really see nor feel it but in my mind , it never too soon or too late to speak up about " Designer Baby " !
So I determined my three objectives:
1. To bring up the issue about the term "Designer baby ". What is "Designer baby "mean? And "Designer baby "is a Right to choose? Or a Wrong decision?.
2. Designing to cloning - A change to our human descended?!The century way to fight disease or the dawn of artificial intelligent?.
3. To consider the ethical issues about "Creating life "? To Design mean to Decide!
Section B: Analysis of Findings
Objectives 1 :To bring up the issue about the term " Designer baby " . What is " Designer baby " mean ? and " Designer baby " is a Right to choose ? or a Wrong decision ?
Analysis of Findings
" Designer baby " is simply a technique allow doctors and parents to reduce the chance that a child will be born with a genetic disorders , in other words they can select healthy embryos.(Bionet 2002)
From Science fiction movies and website , he term "designer baby" made their way into the Oxford English Dictionary, in which it is defined as a baby whose genetic designed has been artificially selected by genetic engineering combined with in vitro fertilization to modification the presence or absence of particular genes or characteristics."(Nicholas Agar 2004).
As the process goes, they use 2 techniques such as In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)- to remove eggs from the woman's ovaries then inseminate eggs with sperm in 'test-tubes' outside the mother's body in a laboratory (Bionet 2002) and the Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)- selected embryos are implanted back into the mother's womb. (Bionet 2002) .At first these methods to help to make the pregnancy successful for interfile parent. But many disputes more and more to object to it if they popular using for specific personal purpose thus many bioethicists believe that experiment with IVF and PGD in other worlds was just one more small step towards a world where helping is another name for making babies.(Shannon Brownlee 2001 )
However Gene technology being used in Australia only for IVF or PGD purposes (Emma Spillett 2010) and it quite successful . According to Lindy Kerin (2010) , she is the first baby among eighty five thousand babies born in Australia turn into the age of thirty by using IVF . But should we design a baby ? would parents be able to select the sex of their baby?(Herald Sun 2010) it raises ethical questions about gene modification and just how far the power of medicine goes to create designed children. There are tons of debate about this issues , mostly stand against its unnatural . Emma Spillett (2010 )agrees that these technique could be used for breeding purposes on animals but would be immoral on humans .AS the same time critics were condemn that IVF and artificial insemination as "unnatural" and immoral (Emma Spillett 2010).
Although there are also good reason such as its create healthy baby for a better world but compare to the risk it bring into the future which can never be a case .hardly anybody around us can say about the future of gene technology but as the progresses in experimentation and research, debate over genetics is here to stay(Emma Spillett 2010)
Designing to cloning - A change to our human descended ?! The century way to fight disease or the dawn of artificial Intelligent ?
Analysis of Findings
Nowadays design babies have make their way become the main argument about genetic as well as the future of our society and the big question is: Are we changing the nature of nature?.
The answer is yes, somehow, it just changing slowly in the way that hardly we can recognize in our everyday life but it is true that the potential of genetic technology nowadays is far more than most of people imagination (Donald ,Bruce 1996). According to Phillips (2009), it's just a matter of using IVF and giving over a large amount of money , in other word you choose the baby's name , but why not the face your baby appear to be ? . But things never goes as they said , as the rapidly development of genetic technology it isn't a science fiction to say about design but cloning !
Cloning not really a bad idea at first glance . Cloning indeed can help people live longer , in fact cloning organs, kidneys, and hearts would save thousands of lives (Jeff Y 2010) . Kay (2008 ) also argue that cloning is just as saving the suffering life , we could sacrifice a group of cells that were never a living being, and save a suffering patient ! . Although cloning can consider as a great step of human against cancer disease but why investors are moving away from human cloning ? there must be a reason why human cloning nowadays look like a last-century method to fight illness !( Patrick Dixon 2003)
According to Patrick Dixon (2003) Cloning isn't a good idea when carry on process , health risks from mutation of genes , emotional risks , risk of abuse of the technology are just some reason represent the world with human cloning . In fact cloning is such a two-side knife in which can help human as well as lead us to the dark future where artificial Intelligent rule over . No one can say about the progresses of genetic modification technology , either we control it today, or genetic technology itself will redesign us by tomorrow.( Patrick Dixon 2003)
Consider the ethical issues about "Creating life "? To Design mean to Decide!
Analysis of Findings
With the rapidly development progresses in genetic technology , without a shadow of doubt , designer babies will make their way into our society and hence sooner or later they will be accepted by many countries . But this isn't something that we can wait time give us an answer. Once these "creating life" techniques propagate, it will not just constrain as the way we want! As the technology become powerful, hardly the mistake it make would be surmount .The risk come from designer babies can come from the techniques itself not to mention about using it on bad purpose, the consequence might be permanent!
Ambition more or less always be a part of human , once people can drawing their future through their babies , designer babies, will obviously become a dawn of an haunt search for the "perfect child" for parents (Michael Anissimov 2009). As the race seeking for perfect people raising , questions arise about morally, simply just how we view those designed people? As a thing, as a person, or as something in between?! (Sandel Michael 2005) The sense of life as a gift of god become fragile when technology be a part of our evolve: Do we really want to merge with machine? (Sally Deneen 2001). The society in which scientists willing to play a roll of "God" - decide who lives and dies , where parents willing to spend a large amount of money for their "perfect child " isn't an imagination any more ! Such technology only available for rich people and hence the gap between rich and poor people essentially big now even more, money will design who you are but not the talent since all best quality goes for the richer one! Resulting in a new factor division in society, discrimination, where normal people are viewed as less superior by those designed babies (Joey 2009)
On the other hand, Sandel Michael (2005) worries about the children -who have genetic disorders- will they have their own life choices? Or they were born after their parents taste or maybe just a donor to their sibling! A question arises as if the child is really wanted, or if babies just a toy to play with! The genetic designed child is not an great step toward human autonomous world, but a child at the mercy of the genetic lottery.( Sandel Michael 2005).It is not as simple as picture paper: you can draw and can rub out ,this is the life of a human we should speak up !
However, some people saying that they want to order up just what they want and that's what they will love (Gina Salamone 2009). For me that thinking not proper enough, Will you love that child as your parents love you? A child who not even look like you?! This where designer babies lead to the heart of moral issue, the desire to control human genetic (Sandel Michael 2005) . The ethical problem not lies on its designed babies, but in its understanding of children as gifts rather than property, as a part of our life, or vehicles for our happiness.(Sandel Michael 2005) .
Parents should love their children as the way they are , the surprise , the most happiest moment of one person life is to uncovering their own child's beauty would be gone as it was designed for! Maybe I am lucky enough to be a healthy person, but to speak up about design babies: It is not right! We don't need to design just simply because love come from who you are, not how you appear to be!
Section C: Self-evaluation
When I looked through the research project topics, maybe by feeling I realized that I just interested in two topics: "designer baby births" and "happiness and life satisfaction" . It was really a hard decision to choose one of them since I loved to talk about something close to real life but also liked science. The fact that I already did the research about happiness in my home country make me indecisive, maybe I could get higher mark? But then no! It would be such a boring thing if I just do it again. Then teacher asked me to watch the movie "Gataca", and I also watched "Artificial Intelligence" .Never before, I felt the strong will want to speak up my own idea like this time, sentimental value between people marked a deep impressed in me. That is why I come to the Moral and Ethical issues in Designer Baby Births.
Deciding objectives quite problems .Because I love to say my idea but then teacher said best objective would be the last one. Well, save best for last! That was what I think. And I could express my idea easier if I explained about the issues first! In my first objective, I stated the factor and why designer babies become issue then link to ethical problem. Then I found out moral issues become more serious when come to cloning, that also my second objective. Then the last objective was where I speak up my own opinion.
The issue about designer baby births is different in each countries but the moral issues toward it is the same .That is why at first I tried to research on internet within Australia but it wasn't enough to express my idea ! I tried on magazines, books, newspapers without any luck. Not much specific documents about this issue, then later on I decided to go beyond Australia frontier to the world, came to this internet resources become very handy. Most of the information I found on website but there still a numbers of them from article and magazine. Sometime I really happy when I found an article from Australia and from that i realized Australia sooner or later would step on the biggest problem about human genetic , that somehow urged me more!
2.Oral communication skills:
I think I could do a better presentation if I didn't put too much information on 1 slide. But then my other problems were because I want to let all audience get an idea and thinking about designer babies , I spoke too much , and quite fast I got over time and not very high mark but then I still felt happy because after my presentation , my classmate asked me some about designer baby , it was interested them , I glad I could help them enlarge their knowledge . But come to think about it I deserved to get low mark because I didn't practice. If I have to do any other presentation, I will practice before I speak to the audience.
It is true that the research project give us a long time to carry out. But during that time , there quite a lot of study and test to do beside of the project .I often found that I didn't have enough time which not always a good excuse! But then I realized by the time I spend on the project I usually like to research more and more rather than really focus on the project, maybe because when I got interested in something I would like to fully understand about it! But then that became a bad habit because I always summit my objective just on time. I think I need to be more focus and arrange time better if I have to do another project next time.
I did some research before but this really the first time I put my mind on the reference list. I realized and felt guilty about myself since I just took knowledge from people but not even said thanks to them - just like put a reference into whatever useful information I got. Since most of the information I got from internet, I researched a lots but then missed the URL where I got this information from, I learn that I have to carefully save all information not only for the project but also the author. I not got much problem with referencing and I will try to do better for the next time.
I lucky to have more than 1 USB to save my documents .However, luck not always on my side, on the day before due date suddenly my main USB (the one I use more often) can't load documents, all gone !!! I still back backup but I have to rewrite a lot of things. Think about this, I realize that we shouldn't really depend on technology, if this just a small things then how about the big genetic technology? - I wonder!.
Section D: Reference List
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Donald M.Bruce (1996). Moral and Ethical Issues in Gene Therapy, looking at the ethics of technology for a New Millennium, 1996. Accessed 13 Sep 2010,<http://www.srtp.org.uk/genthpy1.htm>.
Emma Spillett 2010 .Creating customised children , Zest LIFE , 21 July 2010. Accessed 20 Aug 2010,<http://elibrary.bigchalk.com/elibweb/australia/do/document?set=search&dictionaryClick=&secondaryNav=&groupid=1&requestid=lib_australia&resultid=5&edition=&ts=5180318FA9E635512881150E9159DD78_1284553554043&start=1&publicationId=&urn=urn%3Abigchalk%3AUS%3BBCLib%3Bdocument%3B182228723>.
Gina Salamone (2009) .Custom-made babies delivered: Fertility clinic doctor's design-a-kid offer creates uproar, New York Daily News , 4 March 2009. Accessed 13 Sep 2010,<http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2009/03/02/2009-03-02_custommade_babies_delivered_fertility_cl.html>
Graham Phillips (2009) .You choose your baby's name, why not choose their face?, The Age , 8 March 2009. Accessed 20 Aug 2010,< http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/you-choose-your-babys-name-why-not-choose-their-face-20090307-8rv4.html>.
Herald Sun (2010) . What's best for babies? , Herald Sun , 9 July 2010 . Accessed 13 Sep 2010,<http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/editorials/whats-best-for-babies/story-e6frfhqo-1225889554308>.
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