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Designer babies would allow parents to select child they feel most fit to raise, says bioethicist

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The stream of breakthroughs in CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing has dredged up a familiar dystopian science fiction: the dreaded, Huxleyan “designer baby.”

But while authors fret about the inhumanity of posthumanity, modern-day bioethicists have long been exploring the social question around making children in our desired image: If we could design a child the way we want, what sort of things should we be allowed to do?

“We shouldn’t be using reproduction as a way of engineering political or social change,” said Julian Savulescu, the father of an idea in reproductive ethics called “procreative beneficence.” “[But] paradoxically, what I think we’re trying to do by restricting people’s freedom is much closer to a state-sponsored eugenic vision that restricts procreative freedom for the sake of achieving some sort of social goal.”

In short, Savuelscu’s position holds that there are some human traits we’d all like our children to enjoy, and therefore are obligated to select for, and other people—and particularly the state—shouldn’t put up roadblocks to achieving that.

Read full, original post: A Bioethicist Argues for Engineering Babies That Will Have an Easy Life

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