Thursday, November 4, 2010

What's Wrong With My Baby?

Would you want to choose how you want your baby to look from a flyer or a catalogue, making sure it's up to par and meets your every need? Has society actually come to this? Why couldn't we appreciate the gift of life and not have to dwell upon how our children will look physically or what they might have to endure?

     Sometimes genetic disorders (such as Down Syndrome and TaySachs disease) discovered in the mother's womb, before the baby is born, urge parents to abort the child when still in the womb to prevent from living a medically strenuous life. Using tests like amniocentesis and CVS (Chorionic Villus Sampling), doctors can detect birth defects in the unborn child and then parents can discuss to abort the fetus. These tests, however, are not always accurate. Is that a sufficient reason to end the life of an innocent child? Does this give us the right to decide whether or not a child deserves to live? We shouldn't have to put lives at risk for any needless reason.
     There is technology among us to screen human embryos for specific genetic traits. However, where do we draw the line between disease prevention and creating “designer babies”?

     The procedure that has many people concerned is called,
pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, or PGD. The technique was developed for use with in vitro fertilization to help identify embryos that would be afflicted with fatal or devastating diseases. After embryos have been fertilized, PGD uses DNA analysis to identify embryos with genetic defects like Down’s syndrome, Tay-Sachs disease, Huntington’s disease, and cystic fibrosis. There are about 200 diseases and conditions that can be tested for. Parents undergo the genetic testing to make sure that the embryos they choose to transplant don’t have the genes that cause these diseases. Embryos that test positive can be discarded, and the genes eliminated from the gene pool.
     In the past, the only way to test for genetic diseases before birth was through amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling, both happen farther along in pregnancy. Testing an existing pregnancy is risky, because if a genetic defect is found, the couple would be left with the unpleasant choice of having a disabled child or aborting the pregnancy. PGD prevents couples from having to make that decision, since only healthy embryos are transplanted. This procedure is quite expensive.
     PGD is most often recommended for two types of couples: those with family histories of inheritable diseases, and older parents. PGD seeks to eliminate the disease from the family bloodline and ensures that the child is healthy. PGD can help them by identifying normal healthy embryos, which have the best chances of developing into healthy pregnancies.
     In my opinion, we should let nature take its course. The precious lives of our children are at risk.
Sources used:,9171,989987,00.html



  1. I too, would let nature take its course. Abortion shouldn't be an option because of a disease. I think that parents shouldn't kill a baby by themselves. Most people think that abortion is just taking the baby out, and all, but what they didn't know is how they do it.
    Here's a video
    The doctor sucks the baby out, part by part, and then crushes the baby's head so it can come out, and that's all the mother sees. Afterwards, they put back the baby together to make sure they got every part of the baby out. Then they throw away the baby as biological waste. I think its digusting for any human being to do that to their own flesh. But now that there's PGD, abortion rates may lower, as parents now know that they could have a healthy baby. But since PGD is expensive, some parents may not have the money to go through the procedure, and may still turn to abortion. Healthy baby or not, parents should still have the baby, because its their baby.

  2. Hey Claudia,

    Great blog. It explains this topic really well. I like what you said about "catalogue" babies, and I agree that chosing their traits purely for cosmetic purposes is abusing PGD.

    I am also against abortion - taking a child's life so that they won't have to live with difficulty or disease, it's not fair that anyone should make that choice for them. (And, Dora, that's HORRIBLE! :o I had no idea that's how they do abortions!)
    I think that if PGD can prevent this, and even save children from fatal diseases, than it should be done. Keeping in mind that there is a line between using and abusing this medical breakthrough. At the end of your blog, you said we should "let nature take it's course." Does that mean you are against PGD in general? Or just the use of it to create "designer babies"?

  3. Claudia I really like your blog. I agree with you that abortion is really something terrible and should not be practiced amoung anyone.
    I think it is horrible that anyone would want to kill a human being because of something like a medical condition. I have always just thought that a mother, and a father, would have unconditional love for their unborn child, but with something like abortion it really shows you how perfect someone would want their life to be, and not accept something like a medical condition to come in the way.
    But I do disagree with the idea of "designer babies" I think a parent should accept their child, and not try to create them into something they want. I love how you refered to designer babies as looking in a catologue, and choosing the traits they desired.
    But, I was wondering the same thing that Erica has stated, the "let nature take it's course", is this refering to PGD?
    I think as humans who are capable of unconditional love, we should not try to "create" our child (with the use of designer baby technology), and if we were to use PGD we should only use this to be prepared for what is in store in the future. Not to decide whether or not to keep the child.

  4. Your post makes me question if undergoing the PDG procedure really worth the time and money. To detect fatal or devastating diseases is one thing, but to embryos for benign characteristics is another. Customizing or enhancing the baby can lead to false expectations. For instance, the parents choose a gene for intelligence for the child, but the procedure doesn't succeed, then they become upset that they didn't get what they paid for. In my opinion, selecting embryos is unethical if done for non-medical purposes and I completely agree with your statement to "let nature take its course".

  5. Hey Claudia! I really find your blog interesting! I mostly agree with what everything you wrote on your blog. I'm also with you on the "abortion". I really think that abortion is not a good thing to do just like what you've said abortion shouldn't be done just because "to prevent from living a medically strenuous life". I think that the mother and the father should just keep the baby rather than doing abortions because we all know that all babies are precious and all parents wants to experience what's it like to have a child. I also think that "designer babies" is not a good newfound industry because all parents should accept how their children would look like when they are born. Parents should be thankful for having a child because God created each and everyone of us. Even if all of us are different from one another, we are still God's creation. And with what Bridgette said I also agree with your statement about "let nature take its course". Good Stuff Claudia!

  6. Hey Claudia! I agree with your blog! Abortion should not be the action taken the parents know that the child will be born with a medical problem. The excuse of, "it will prevent the child from living a harsh life" is not a good enough reason to take an innocents child's life. This is also similar to 'designer babies.' I believe that parents should not judge their child and use this technique, taking advantage of technology to make their child beautiful and a double image of a children in a magazine or catalog. However, I do believe that 'designer babies' would be an ideal technique to help the embryo if they do have a medical problem such as Down Syndrome, you are not killing the baby like in the case of abortion, but instead you are helping them in a way. Yes, I agree with you that nature should take its course, and that we should not take advantage of the technology but using this to help a child's life regarding medical issues, is alright.

  7. I %100 agree with you when you say let nature take its course. I read a couple of the comments above and Dora's hit home. I never really knew what was involved when a baby was aborted. Now, hearing what happens, I am disgusted by it. A life is a life, and everyone is entitled to having one.

    I believe PGD is a good way to go, only when used because of those two types, whether because of family diseases or older parents. Using this process, helps increase the chance that the child would be able to live more of a successful life, than someone that didn't use PGD when under those circumstances.

    But on the contrary, I do not believe in "designer babies" just to enhance the appearance of physical/intellectual characteristics of a baby. That defeats the purpose of them and it is terrible to think that a parent does not love a child just because of their biological make-up. Family should love a child unconditionally, and the child should know it.

    I hope that PGD wont be taken for granted in the future, because that's how a lot of technology can get out of hand. When used for the wrong reasons, it doesn't have the same effect and most families would use "designer babies" just for fun, which is not what they should be used for. As i said, a life is a life and everyone is entitled to living it.

    Your post was very well written and it gave a great insight on the topic. :)

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  9. I completely agree with you. If I had a child, I would do anything to ensure that he or she would not inherit any genetic diseases. Although I do not agree with abortions, sometimes you are doing the baby a favour by aborting it. If the baby was going to be born with many diseases and would endure a lot of pain, I would not have to punish the baby. Of course this is another topic that could be argued with somewhere else.
    There are two sides of a situation and I like the fact that you told this argument from another perspective.

    I do not agree with the concept of "designer babies". First off, I do not think I would want to enhance my children's looks. I would want my children to turn out the way they are meant to, the way God wanted them to be. I would love my child even if they did not have the biggest eyes or the nicest teeth. I am a firm believer in inner beauty and outer beauty is meaningless. In addition, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I think my children would still be beautiful.

    Of course theres the chance that your child will be negatively effected by PGD. This new technology isn't very reliable because there is so much research to still do. If I tried to enhance my child's looks and as a result, they would have a disease, then I would feel at fault. I would not take any chances to harm my baby because I could never live with myself.

    I also would think that the human diversity wouldn't exist and everyone would eventually look the same. There would be a seperation of people who were enhanced and normal people. Hopefully, this technology is not abused and humans will be able to live together just the way they are.

    Ms. Saran
    Section: 01

  10. Wow...after researching about the topic of designer babies, I didn't even know that people aborted their babies based on results from CVS that are sometimes not even accurate. It would be such a tragic if the results about a disease found was incorrect, then the baby would be aborted for no reason, ending an innocent life. Most people disagree with discarding of embryos after it has been tested positive for certain diseases, but personally, I don't see a problem with it, but that is just my own ethics. I agree with what you stated in your blog, that older couples and the ones with family histories should use PGD because of the high chance of developing an unhealthy embryo. Your blog is very informative and direct, good job!

  11. I completely agree with you too. Being able to screen a baby for diseases is handy and will make for a healthy baby. But, parents using the same process and techonology to be able to choose how their child looks and acts is unethical. Is it really worth money for such a thing? Personally, there are more long-term problems with designer babies than gains. What would happen in our future if all humans are 'designer babies'? There would definitely be a lot more ethical and social concerns, not to mention a 'gap' between those who are genetically altered and those who are born normally. With designer babies, we are interfering with God's creation and 'nature's course.' It's just not right to have that kind of control and input on children who are yet to be born. But anyways, great BioBlog!

  12. Hey! I really liked your blog. Well I agree with you when you say that the lives of children are at risk. With all these idea of choosing the characteristics of your future child, people are loosing sight of the real reason to have a child. No matter how different a child may look you shouldn't change them. Hasn't it always been a lesson to love everyone for who they are. The idea of designer babies, although it could help prevent the chances of spreading genetic disorders, i feel gives parents the idea that looks are more important than anything. When you said that people get abortions so the child will not have to suffer i felt so horrible. If the parent say that they are trying to prevent the child from suffering they are huge hypocrites because they ultimately made them suffer even if they weren't born yet. PGD, i believe, is a good thing if used wisely.

  13. Your article made me think about how technology has improved b y so much over the past few years. Like you said, in the past, the only way to test for genetic diseases before birth was through amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling. Today, there are numerous was to test for genetic diseases when the baby is still in the mother’s womb. Abortion shouldn’t be the first thing to come to mind when parents find out that the baby has a disease or disorder. In my opinion, I do not think that all parents who chose abortion actually know what they are doing to their child. Many doctors would just suguar coat what abortion is, because if you think about it, you’re actually killing your own child. Married or even non-married couples start to think of themselves as parents even before the baby is born. You are already preparing yourself for the baby’s arrival. The mother is on a strict diet, no alcohol or drugs, which can be seen as motherly actions. I really think that abortion is something horrible and should be a bigger topic to become illegal. I think you did an excellent job on your blog explaining the cons against abortion. Great Blog :)

  14. Hey, Claudia! Your blog is awesome! I completely agree with your point of view when it comes to abortion. Sometimes, I don't even think that abortion should be an option when it comes to pregnancy. It's basically like eliminating a life that was meant to live. However, I also understand that some of people's circumstances may force them to make that decision to abort. But choosing to abort because their baby will not be born normal is something that shouldn't be acceptable.

    On the other hand, I disagree with you when you are completely against genetic structure alteration. I think that can be helpful when it comes to the medical portion, but I'm completely against it when it comes to the cosmetic portion.

    Overall, I think your blog is great and you did an excellent job in portraying your feelings about the matter.