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Culture

Bioethicists Okay Three-Parent Babies

Of course they do!

A bioethics panel has okayed the eventual manufacture of babies with three biological parents. From the NPR story:

“The committee concludes that it is ethically permissible” to conduct such experiments, the report says, but then goes on to detail a long list of conditions that would have to be met first.

For example, scientists would have to perform extensive preliminary research in the laboratory and with animals to try make sure it is safe. And then researchers should initially try to make only male babies, because they would be incapable of passing their unusual amalgamation of DNA on to future generations. “Minimizing risk to future children should be of highest priority,” the committee writes.

Ah yes, the old “strict guidelines will protect against abuse” gambit.

Always remember: When it comes to Brave New World, guidelines are there primarily to provide false assurance, not actually permanently limit what can be done. And even if that is not the initial intent, it is how the game is eventually played.

What would developing this technology entail beyond eugenic sex selection mentioned above? Not only creating human embryos for the purpose of experimenting upon and destroying them, but eventually, experiments would have to be performed on fetuses, to ensure they were developing properly.  

Even after children were born, as living experiments, they would have to be monitored for their whole lives to see whether there were any adverse impacts from being made via an egg that is broken, genetically modified, and then fertilized.

The initial impetus for this experiment is to prevent the spread of certain mitochondrial diseases. 

But the way these things go–see the radical application of IVF and surrogacy beyond the infertile married couples scientists said the technology was intended to help–it would also eventually be applied to create children biologically related to all members of a polyamorous collective.

But whether one agrees with the reasons for developing this method of manufactured procreation,  no human being should be manufactured, and nascent human life should not be treated as a mere object and considered a natural resource to be molded like clay.

The FDA hasn’t said to go ahead. But I predict it someday will as “experts” with the same mindset as the committee also advise the government.

Besides, the UK has already given its approval, so we will undoubtedly want to keep up!

Meanwhile, there are so many children desperately yearning to be adopted.

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