Modern Reproductive Technology: Medicine or Eugenics
New Scientist, a weekly international magazine, reported that a team of American scientists had produced the first three-parent baby through genetic engineering and in vitro fertilization. The scientists did their work in Mexico because the revolutionary technology using the DNA of three individuals to produce the baby is not legal in the United States. Some are greeting this latest break-through with great enthusiasm as a way to stop certain diseases. Others are expressing their grave concerns about the morality of such technology.
Furthermore, altering embryos to be born free of disease is one step away from “designer babies.” In this case, parents have their future child altered before birth so that the child has the characteristics that the parents themselves want. Each technological advance of this kind brings us closer to Huxley’s Brave New World. As Stuart Newman, New York Medical College Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy, has remarked, “The attempt to improve future people is not medicine… but a new form of eugenics.”
NYMC Faculty: Stuart A. Newman, Ph.D., professor of cell biology and anatomy and medicine