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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?

No, genetically modifying babies should not be legal Show more Show less

According to most experts, genetic modification of babies carries social and safety risks that make the responsible practice of this procedure impossible.
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The practice holds serious safety risks for the mother and baby

Do the potential benefits of this procedure justify risks to the health of mother and baby?
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The Argument

As an untested area of scientific research, the genetic modification of babies holds numerous health risks for the mother and child. Studies now suggest that genetically modified babies might face shorter life spans and greater risks for other health issues.[1] Since the procedure holds these safety risks, it is safer to avoid practicing genetic modification of babies altogether.

Counter arguments

All scientific research carries some risk. If scientists had refused to test previous medical procedures for safety's sake, society would still be plagued by treatable illnesses. The genetic modification of babies holds the potential to bring lasting medical progress and is worth the risk.

Premises

[P1] The potential benefits of genetic modification do not justify the practice's safety risks.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Until we know the full extent of scientific advancement that could come from genetic modification, we cannot claim that the procedure's safety risks outweigh its benefits.

References

  1. https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/06/03/727957768/2-chinese-babies-with-edited-genes-may-face-higher-risk-of-premature-death
This page was last edited on Tuesday, 28 Apr 2020 at 08:38 UTC

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