The Ethics Of Gene Editing
By Marc Gordon - February 12, 2023

Gene editing is a rapidly evolving field that has the potential to revolutionize the way we treat and prevent genetic diseases. It involves making precise changes to an individual’s DNA in order to alter their genetic makeup, with the goal of improving their health or correcting a genetic defect. While gene editing has the potential to bring about many benefits, it also raises a number of ethical concerns, particularly when it comes to the idea of “designer babies.”

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One of the main ethical concerns surrounding gene editing is the potential for it to be used to create “designer babies,” or genetically modified individuals who are tailored to have specific characteristics or traits. This could include selecting for things like intelligence, physical attractiveness, or athletic ability. While some people may see the potential for such genetic modification as a way to create a “perfect” child, others argue that it is fundamentally unethical to try to manipulate an individual’s genetics in this way.

One concern is that allowing people to select certain traits for their children could lead to a further erosion of equality and create a society in which people are valued based on their genetic makeup. It could also lead to the creation of a “genetic elite,” in which those who can afford to have their children genetically modified hold a significant advantage over those who cannot. Another ethical concern is the potential for gene editing to be used to eliminate certain genetic conditions or diseases. While this has the potential to bring great benefits to those who are affected by these conditions, it also raises the question of whether it is ethical to eliminate certain genetic variations that may be considered “undesirable.” Given these ethical concerns, it is important that any decisions about the use of gene editing be made with careful consideration of their potential impacts. This includes considering the potential risks and benefits of gene editing, as well as the potential unintended consequences.