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Should genetically modifying babies be legal? Show more Show less
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The term “genetic modification” most commonly refers to a technique known as mitochondrial replacement therapy. The treatment involves constructing an embryo from the DNA of three people, using one party’s mitochondrial DNA in place of another, which is at risk for passing on a mitochondrial illness. In recent years, the genetic modification of babies has become a widely debated issue. The first genetically altered babies were born in 2018, prompting the scientific community to debate the ethics of the project. Is this procedure the scientific community's latest achievement, or a step too far?

Yes, genetically modifying babies should be legal Show more Show less

The genetic modification of babies could lead to medical breakthroughs that improve the lives of many people. The treatment carries no more risk than any other form of reproductive assistance and is a potential means of serving the common good.
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Genetically modifying babies is a form of reproductive assistance

Scientists accept other forms of reproductive assistance. Why not genetic modification?
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The Argument

In the modern age, assisted reproductive technology has become less taboo. A third of U.S. adults have used or know someone who has used fertility treatments.[1] The genetic modification of babies should be considered like these treatments - an opportunity for more couples to have children.

Counter arguments

The scientific community should not consider genetic modification as just another reproductive measure. Although other forms of reproductive assistance are common, genetic modification carries unique risks. The procedure involves restructuring genes in dramatic ways, unlike other reproductive assistance measures. Genetic modification could harm the mother and child in grievous ways, making it necessary to avoid.


[P1] Our society accepts many forms of reproductive assistance. [P2] We should accept the genetic modification of babies as another form of assisted reproductive technology.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] The argument assumes that genetic modification of babies is identical to other forms of reproductive assistance.




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This page was last edited on Wednesday, 20 May 2020 at 08:25 UTC

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