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Extended Project Example: Ethics And Science

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Savior siblings ethical?
Credit: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/17/A_Resperatory_Therapist_treating_a_newborn_child_Pulaski_County_Technical_College_Respiratory_Therapist_Program.jpg

Are the new developments in the genetics field ethical and should they be used?

Introduction

In the past century, much has transpired in the field of genetics. New discoveries are displayed monthly in magazines and there has been much discussion regarding the implications and possibilities that have surfaced because of this new technology.  Due to the rapid development in the field of biosciences and genetics, as well as the constant publicity it receives, it is understood that this field will be a key component to shaping the future medically and economically.

 I have taken an interest in this topic because becoming a geneticist has become one of my primary choices of study in the near future and wish to look into the newer discoveries in this field. Aside from that, further understanding is needed concerning the negative aspects and ethical issues that these discoveries impose before deciding to take a course in bioscience.

During research I have referred to videos discussing these new discoveries, looked through and selected material from science magazines and papers as well as using several other internet sources. Sources will be analysed and checked for credibility and accuracy of information due to the fact that this topic is controversial.

Genetics, especially genetic engineering has proven to have benefited the human population greatly over the years having shown potential as a solution to global food shortage after the introduction of [1]genetically modified food. Since this breakthrough, crops have been grown in the harshest of environments, having developed resistances to many forms of disease.

The biggest causes of interest in this field lie in its potential to offer a cure to many diseases and ailments that afflict millions over the globe. By understanding the causes of genetic diseases, the job of pharmaceutical companies in finding a cure for the disease will be made immeasurably easier. Furthermore, the possibility of finding ways of preventing diseases and eliminating them altogether could be possible in the longer term compared to just curing afflicted patients. Currently, the most newsworthy advances lie in the topic of stem cell research that has been rumoured to be a salvation for the handicapped and offers infinite possibilities in the modern medical world in saving lives. For this reason it has been the most talked about topic for years in the bioscience field however it is not the only technology that accomplishes this.

Recent techniques such as Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis, savior siblings, three-person IVF and other procedures can also be used to prevent and cure diseases; but not at a  cost. These procedures usually tamper with the natural process of reproduction and even decide the fate of a child before they are even born. Questions then arise if these procedures are morally acceptable and therefore bioethical.

These techniques base on the principal of genetic engineering and provide a variety of uses in the medical field.[2] It is widely believed that the scientists Herbert Boyer and Stanley Cohen were the fathers of genetic engineering based on their successes in 1973 in which they first discovered a way to clone DNA. Additionally, they managed to prove that that combining genes and DNA was possible by their famous experiment where they successfully inserted frog DNA into bacteria. Genes are the basic biological units of heredity and are segments of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) needed to contribute to a function. Genetics is the study of genes and chromosomes which are present in cells and behave as hereditary material to the next generations. It has been used to countless extents in past history without engineering the genes itself. [3]An example can be seen in the bible where the shepherd Jacob was given all the sheep that were born a different colour than white. Because he understood how breeding worked, he intentionally bred his black sheep with the white sheep to increase the amount of black sheep produced and ultimately getting more sheep for himself. This is known as artificial selection or selective breeding where animals were selectively picked and bred to obtain a new generation which contains specific traits or combinations of traits. GE involves much more complex work such as manipulating an organisms’ genome which is made possible by modern technology. This can be achieved by introducing foreign DNA or synthetic genes into the organism.

Literature Review

What is described as being bioethical?

With an increasing array of controversial medical practices in the modern world, the tern “bioethical” was coined to relate medical practice and ethics in a single word. Being a dissertation regarding the ethics of these new procedures, it is important that the word is fully understood beforehand.

[4]Ethics, is described as a “study of moral standards and how they affect conduct” and to be ethical is to be “consistent with agreed principles of correct moral conduct.” Bioethics therefore, is defined as being [5]“a field of study concerned with the ethics and philosophical implications of certain biological and medical procedures, technologies, and treatments, organ transplants, genetic engineering, and care of the terminally ill.”

Being tied with moral standards and conduct, it can be assumed that this word is arguably subjective and therefore different individuals will have different views regarding what is bioethical and what is not. Due to this, arguments further on in this project will try to encompass the many different viewpoints related to the medical practices.

The 1000 genomes project

The 1000 genomes project was designed to sequence DNA of numerous individuals. Following the breakthrough in sequencing the human genome in 2000, scientists have embarked on this project in order to better understand human variation and the role of DNA through the comparison of the sequences of many individuals.

The significance of this role is huge as currently it is understood that DNA is the genetic blueprint of any human. It determines our eye color, height, susceptibility to disease, behavior and just about everything that is characteristic of a human. Due to this, understanding the genome of an individual has been a hot topic of discussion. Its advantages are clear especially in the medical field. It is well known that the types of diseases individuals are susceptible to are greatly affected by the genes passed down by his or her parents. Therefore, through the sequencing of a patients genome, doctors have been able to determine with some success the chances of certain hereditary diseases manifesting in an individual and will be more prepared to combat such disease.

Despite being relatively early in its stages, it has only sequenced 179 individuals in its pilot. Out of the information of just these many people, it was evident that the pilot was a success as over 8 million new SNPs (“change of one base to another” in a DNA sequence) and one million structural variants (“difference between 2 copies of sequence involving more than one base”) were discovered. The SNPs were also discovered at the ends of chromosomes.

Scientists were also able to isolate the specific region in chromosomes which is known to combat infectious diseases as well as regulate the acceptance or rejection of foreign organs in organ transplants. This information will be key to ensure safe organ transplants in the future by preventing the body from rejecting the new organ.

Currently, the 1000 genomes project is estimated to be completed in the year 2013 having sequenced 2500 people from different regions around the globe to ensure race and environmental factors are considered. The information received will enable scientists to discover most of the genetic polymorphisms (“genetic variant present in a population at a frequency of 1% or more) found in patients with fatal and less understood diseases such as diabetes, cancer or heart disease. These polymorphisms can then be compared with those of individuals who don’t have such diseases. This will allow doctors a much more accurate estimate of the chances an individual has of contracting the disease by looking at his genome.

In-vitro fertilization

In-vitro fertilization meaning “in glass fertilization” refers to the fertilization of the eggs in a glass plate outside the body. It is one of the commonly used methods to overcome infertility [7](the state of being unable to produce offspring; in a woman it is an inability to conceive; in a man it is an inability to impregnate) whereby a man and woman are unable to conceive through sexual intercourse for reasons such as damaged fallopian tubes or low sperm motility. Babies conceived by IVF are also known as “test-tube babies”.

[7]In the process of IVF (in-vitro fertilization), a woman is given fertility drugs to stimulate her ovaries to create mature eggs to be fertilized. Hormone injections will then be given to enable the release of multiple eggs when they are checked to be mature enough by an ultrasound scan. Anaesthetic will be given to sedate the woman while doctors extract the eggs from the ovaries through the use of a fine and hollow needle.

Using a fresh sample of semen from the male partner, the best quality sperm will be extracted and be used to fertilize the eggs in an incubator. Two to five days after confirmed fertilization, the healthiest embryos are implanted into the uterus of the female partner. IVF has standard success rates based on the age and the nature of the fertility problem so a pregnancy will not be ensured. As of 2009 the highest chance to achieve pregnancy on average is 32% for women under 35. The percentage chance decreases steeply with age and drops as low as 2% for women 45 and over.

Three person In-vitro fertilization

[8]Three person IVF however is a very different process which involves creating embryos from two women and one man thus giving the child genetic people from three people. Mitochondria, which are present in every cell in the human body provides energy through respiration. Through three person IVF, faulty mitochondria with mutated/defective DNA can be replaced. Benefits of this include liberating children from “very severe and debilitating disorders” according to the UK’s Nuffield Council on Bioethics. Disorders such as muscle weakness, blindness and heart failure caused by “mitochondrial disorder” which affects 1 in 6500 people in the UK.

Despite having genetic material from three people, most of the core genetic information comes from the mother and father making up 99.9% of the genetic information. This 99.9% of genetic information is put into the female donor’s egg which contains healthy mitochondria which comprises the other 0.1%. This means that "the net effect is an embryo that carries the true parents characteristics in a clean egg with healthy mitochondria." as said by Prof Peter Braude, from King's College London.

After eight months of debate amongst the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, there have been different opinions as to if the technique is ethical and safe. The most concerning issue in the use of three- person IVF is that the effects are long term and will be passed down through generations. The director Human Genetics Alert, Dr David King argues that "The proposed techniques are both unnecessary, and highly dangerous in the medium term, since they set a precedent for allowing the creation of genetically modified designer babies."

On the other hand, Dr Geoff Watts believes this process is “ethical for families to use them if they wished to” also stating that the donor should not be considered as a third parent and that the parents must be properly informed before making their decision. Currently, NewcastleUniversity is being funded to continue research on this technique. A public consultation which intends to involve the public with discussion events regarding three-person IVF will be held in September and its findings will be reported in 2013.

Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis

[9]First reported in 1989, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is primarily used to screen babies for serious genetic conditions using many different prenatal tests and procedures. This procedure follows in-vitro fertilization up to the stage where the egg is fertilized by the sperm in a glass dish where it is allowed to divide for three to five days. One or two cells from the growing embryos will be taken to test for the genetic condition (does not harm embryo) following which an embryo which does not have the genetic condition will be implanted in the woman’s uterus.

By using this technique, the couple is able to know if the child has genetic disorders before it is born and therefore will not have to make painful decisions in the future to terminate pregnancy if the baby is diagnosed to have the disorder via another series of prenatal tests after natural pregnancy.

Shortcomings of this process are that does not guarantee a pregnancy as it follows the IVF procedure and also does not guarantee a child that is free from the genetic disorder; it comes down to the success rates of both techniques. Financial costs and emotional disappointment may also accompany results of the tests however this method may still be preferred than risking a natural conception of a child which may very well inherit the genetic disorder.

Designer Babies

[10]Using the technology of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, it has become increasingly possible to determine the physical traits of babies. The increasing understanding of gene sequence and its relation to specific functions allows parents to see the attributes of the fetus and with increasing technology, will be able to ask for alteration to their traits. Whether the baby is short or tall, athletic or non-athletic can or even superior mental abilities be changed by inducing changes in their embryonic stem cells.

Princeton’s professor of molecular biology and public affairs describes this as being “no different than giving your child advantages like piano lessons or private school.” Despite the fact that this may very well be possible, the technology is still years ahead of what is currently available.

[11]As of the current technology available, only a very limited set of physical features are able to be determined by the use of PGD. In 2009 A pioneer in in-vitro fertilization, Dr Jeffrey Steinberg believed that his clinic would have “determined sex with 100 percent accuracy and eye color with 80 percent accuracy” by 2010. Dr Jeffrey fully supports the notion of allowing parents to pick the characteristics of their children saying "I think it's very important that we not bury our head in the sand and pretend these advances are not happening."

On the other hand, Dr. Arthur Caplan, Ph.D, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania believes this not to be true but acknowledges that the technology will be available in the next few years. He further emphasizes that he disagrees with using this technology for picking traits as the superior trait is subjective. Additionally, he describes that this process can only be used by the rich and children be expected to succeed from birth leading to upset and disappointment for parents. Surveys in America have so far shown that most people support the use of PGD to eliminate diseases but whether they are willing to allow the implementation of designer babies is still unknown.

Savior Siblings

[14]As the name suggests, savior siblings are babies conceived with the intention of saving the life of an existing child who is suffering from terminal illnesses. These babies are created to be compatible with their siblings and therefore are able to donate healthy cells or tissues in order to save the life of his/her sibling. 

Using in-vitro fertilization, embryos are prepared in a dish. These embryos are tested to ensure two things; that the embryo is free from the illness that is trying to be cured, and that the cells from the embryo are compatible with the sibling. This is done to ensure that the transplanted cells or tissues will not be rejected before implanting the embryo in the uterus.

Roughly nine months later, when the baby is born, cells from the umbilical cord are taken and implanted into the sick siblings’ bone marrow. Occasionally, this by itself will be enough to cure the disease however chances are it is not enough whereby the savior sibling be needed to donate bone marrow in order to try cure the sickness.

[6]The first successful use of this procedure in the UK was documented in 2009 where Megan Matthews would have succumbed to Fanconi Anaemia a disorder that would cause bone marrow failure. Because she could not make her own blood, she needed to find a bone marrow donor however the search for one returned nobody compatible. Medical teams in Cambridge, Bristol and Nottingham worked to create embryos that were compatible with Megan and implanted in Katie Matthews (the mother) using IVF. When the baby named Max was born, his cells were used in Megan’s transplant successfully. Ever since she has no longer required blood products of any kind.

Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis

[7]First reported in 1989, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is primarily used to screen babies for serious genetic conditions using many different prenatal tests and procedures. This procedure follows in-vitro fertilization up to the stage where the egg is fertilized by the sperm in a glass dish where it is allowed to divide for three to five days. One or two cells from the growing embryos will be taken to test for the genetic condition (does not harm embryo) following which an embryo which does not have the genetic condition will be implanted in the woman’s uterus.

By using this technique, the couple is able to know if the child has genetic disorders before it is born and therefore will not have to make painful decisions in the future to terminate pregnancy if the baby is diagnosed to have the disorder via another series of prenatal tests after natural pregnancy.

Shortcomings of this process are that does not guarantee a pregnancy as it follows the IVF procedure and also does not guarantee a child that is free from the genetic disorder; it comes down to the success rates of both techniques. Financial costs and emotional disappointment may also accompany results of the tests however this method may still be preferred than risking a natural conception of a child which may very well inherit the genetic disorder.

Discussion 

Is it Ethical?

Being a very subjective word, it must be clarified that “being ethical” can be interpreted very differently amongst different people. So, it may very well be that to a geneticist researching to eradicate genetic disorders from the infant population, these procedures may very well be “ethical” conversely the tampering of human life may be regarded as complete blasphemy by a society of individuals of certain religions. Therefore the arguments used in this discussion will be based on the opinions of the authors from sources that will be used.

First, the techniques that prevent disease will be looked at, which include Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis and Three-Person IVF. Because PGD is very much tied to the creation designer babies, I will clarify that in these next three paragraphs the use of PGD only relates to using the technique to prevent hereditary diseases. As parents, one of the biggest concerns is that their child is born with a serious genetic disease that may have been passed down from generation to generation. Due to this, some families that may want to have children of their own are too fearful to conceive given the likelihood that the child will contract the disease never be able to live a normal lifestyle or have his/her life cut short. In the case of congenital diseases, these two techniques allow the chance for parents to have a healthy child without many risk or adoption. Nevertheless, in the case of three-person IVF, clear rules must be established regarding the ownership of the child. It must be understood that the “parent” couple should be given full ownership of the child and the donor should not take any responsibility for the child unless it was decided so by the three parties to avoid any miscommunication, misunderstandings and to prevent any incidents that may occur should relationships turn sour.

In many aspects, using Three-person IVF and PGD is the best solution to conceive a child prone to genetic disorder. It benefits parents who will no longer have the perturbation of having a child at odds of getting a potentially fatal disorder and also will produce a child who will not have to endure the pain of enduring some very debilitating disease that may leave them bedridden. Additionally, reducing the amount of children who have these genetic disorders will result in long term benefits as they can no longer be passed to the next generation, thus possibly eliminating the disease eventually.

The closest alternative at present that guarantees most of these benefits is through the adoption of a child. While the child may not be blood related to his/her parents to it still accomplishes the purpose of having a healthy child while helping to solve the problem of abandoned children. Some may then argue that these procedures are unnecessary however in terms of ethics, they would definitely be ethical as for parents who want their own genetically related children are now given the chance to with no impact to anybody who is not involved in the procedure. Furthermore, it cannot be stressed enough how much superior this scenario is compared to what would happen if parents were denied this method and gave birth to a child afflicted with terminal illness.

An alternative method to help prevent disease is to use the findings of the 1000 genome project to sequence the genomes of many individuals. Hypothetically, doctors will be able to diagnose any hereditary disease of patients immediately once scientists map the entire genome and relate the various sequences to diseases. The opportunities presented by sequencing the genome of majority of the population are numerous. Doctors can determine early the likelihood of disease to manifest in an individual from birth and therefore will be prepared to handle such emergencies. This way, invaluable time and effort can be saved in hospitals which can be used to save more lives. With benefits as great as these, it might be beneficial to make it compulsory for infants to be sequenced at birth however the ramifications of this must be taken into account.

The primary downfall of this system is that hospitals may use this information to decide the priority of organ transplants and other medical treatment. For instance, patients more susceptible to heart failure may be denied a placing on the waiting list for a heart transplant. Likewise, following the release of this technology, insurance companies may demand for new subscribers to have their genome sequenced so they are able to rid themselves individuals that are more likely to have a genetic disorder which will be an expense for them. On the other hand, it can be also argued that it would be acceptable for hospitals to be allowed this kind of practice as it would put these scarce resources to much better use. Surely it would be better to allocate these organs to patients who can make long term use of them.

Weighing the arguments on each end, most would agree that using information from the 1000 genomes project to sequence individual genomes is ethical on the condition that laws are created to prevent non-medical related institutes such as insurance companies from exploiting the new technology. Given the facts, it would certainly be the more favourable option to implement sequencing at birth as the benefits greatly outweigh the drawbacks. Some of the biggest problems faced in organ donation is the scarcity of the organs; there are few willing to donate their organs after death and so few organs that are in a ideal and compatible condition to be transplanted. Yet, there are so many people that require a transplant to survive so the logical choice would be to give priority to patients who are most likely to make the full use of the organ. Currently, doctors constantly have to forage through records of patient history to get clues discern the identity of most genetic illnesses. Even then, this only gives an indication to some of the possibilities to what the ailment might be. Using the alternative of sequencing, doctors are able to match the disease symptoms to the likelihood of a patient getting the disease resulting in a simpler diagnosis. This saves precious time that may be needed to save a dying patient and gives doctors all the most probable diseases that could be afflicting the patient so doctors can immediately start testing for the disease.

Close enough to the techniques that prevent disease come savior siblings, a technique designed to cure an already existing disease plaguing an already born child. [15]As of 2008, a bill was passed that would allow “the selection of embryos that are a tissue match for a sick older brother or sister” indicating that parents are free to use savior siblings in the UK and already there are clinics which offer this service. Undeniably, this technique works well, extremely well in comparison to other current methods to cure diseases that require a compatible donor. Numerous cases where savior siblings have been born to cure a child requiring transplant have been reported as being successful.

But is it ethical? On the one hand, we have children being born with the intention of being “used” to donate tissue, marrow or cells to someone else. In many cases, that means being born to parents who never intended to have another child but are forced to in order to save an already loved son or daughter. Chances are that in these situations the “savior sibling” may not receive the attention, care or privilege given to the other children. Moreover, how will the child be affected upon finding out that his/her very existence was owed to a terminally ill sibling? Unless said child is hidden from the truth that he/she is a savior sibling which many people would already regard as being unethical, it is more than likely the child will grow up feeling neglected and unwanted. In a worst case scenario for parents who cannot afford to raise another child, a savior sibling may be created to donate everything needed before being sent to an orphanage.

On the flip side however, the technology of savior siblings could save the lives of many children and enrich their lives. Is it alright to deny children have been bedridden for life the chance to experience and live a life that other children could because of the assumption the savior sibling will have to suffer? It may even be said that majority of the time the savior sibling will be treated as a hero and loved as much the suffering child. Additionally, there exist many cases where parents want another child and if it would be an added bonus if it could save their existing child’s life. If this is the case then, the savior sibling will be able to live free of the belief that he/she was only conceived to save a sibling and take pride in that fact.

The ultimate question that must be asked if it is right to allow a dying child that can be saved with this technology to perish in fear of the consequences it may have on the newly born child. Should savior siblings be deemed not to be bioethical and is banned, many children that once were able to be saved will lose that chance. However allowing the birth of savior siblings comes very close to crossing the ethical line where designer babies could be created harvest organs or body parts from them. Given this, whether the practice of creating savior siblings is ethical or not depends entirely on the circumstances. Will the parents love and nurture the child or treat is as a tool that was manufactured to fix a problem? Being on the borderline of ethicality, savior siblings should not be used and be prohibited as to not push limits. Though in many cases the child will live a happy life being loved by his/her parents, it cannot be guaranteed that the other savior siblings will live such a privileged life. They have the right to be in control of what happens to their body. Besides savior siblings, scientists are discovering new techniques that could replace the use of savior siblings. While not yet commercially available, using stem cells to grow compatible limbs, organs, tissues or cells is becoming more of a reality. Upon advancing to this stage savior siblings should no longer become an ethical issue however this may be far in the future.

[16]At present, it is legal to select the gender of your child however laws have yet to be made on selecting other features such as hair and eye color. In this section, the term “Designer Baby” relates to choosing attributes of a baby for reasons other than to prevent disease. Designer babies are a relatively new discovery in the genetic engineering field which originated from PGD. Scientists are getting closer to being able to alter an embryo to give the child that stems from it different physical characteristics. Years ahead, they may even be able to easily alter other attributes such as mental and athletic ability to create a faster and stronger human population.

[13]In terms of physical appearance, some may agree that it is the parents’ freedom of will to choose the appearance of their child. What’s more is that these procedures have an extremely small impact on the child’s life. There should however be specific rules as to what features can be given to a child to avoid creating an abnormal looking human which will be shunned by his/her peers. In the short term, this procedure is relatively harmless and is ethical in principal however in the long term, once the technology becomes cheap and many parents start to “design” the appearance of their baby many problems will start to arise. Already, racism is a major issue around the globe as debates rage to determine the “best” race. Considering that parents are using this technology to select appearance, it is understood that they have preference or even opinions as to which traits are better.  Once this procedure becomes common practice, prejudices will start being created leading dispute amongst the future generations.

When it comes to enhancing the mental capacity or alacrity and athletic ability however, the debate is entirely different. [11]Enhanced speed, strength or intelligence cannot simply be given to the new generation as a huge gap in social class will be created. Realistically, technology such as this will not be free or cheap so only the rich can afford to turn their offspring into super children. Other than causing the gap between the rich and poor to widen as these new super humans take all the jobs in a competitive industry, it will also lead to discrimination. Being superior is just about every way, these new super humans will also need different facilities than the normal unenhanced humans. Separate schools will be built to accommodate children who are able to learn faster, sports facilities will enlarge to adapt to the super humans extraordinary speed and power ultimately creating segregation between the two classes that cannot be repaired. Other than the huge segregation, this system will burden children with great pressure to succeed. Being expected to succeed in life from birth will have a negative impact on the childhood of the future children and cause much disappointment to the parents should the child have failed.

Giving a group of humans a competitive advantage over the rest of society based on wealth should not be acceptable therefore is not ethical. Other than causing more dispute between humans for cosmetic purposes or enhanced abilities, it also ruins individuality as the features of the new generation is no longer based on chance but are already decided from birth. Since parents want what is best for their children as it reflects how good they are as a parent, the best qualities will be picked for the child and the only differentiation between children will be their looks.

Conclusion

Due to the numerous situations where procedures such as these would be required, it is impossible to determine for certain if they can be considered ethical and therefore used.  Extreme situations aside, PGD and three- person IVF can be completely justified. Realistically, neither of these concerns anybody outside the parents and maybe a donor so the choice of going with these procedures is entirely up to the parents. It is only natural that no parents would allow their children to have any form of crippling diseases if there was a safe way to avoid them and no child would want to grow up impeded by such diseases. Not only will the child being born be more guaranteed of a fulfilling life but the parents will also be removed of any unnecessary stress involved in providing and taking care of a sickly child. Monetarily and emotionally, this is the better choice than gambling that a child won’t inherit the disease. What is even better is that there are only positive effects foreseeable long term effects since using these techniques ensures any offspring will not be able to pass on the disease to the next generation thereby eventually eliminating it resulting in less of a need for PGD or three-person IVF to be used.

In the case of using designer baby technology however these same arguments cannot be applied. Changing physical appearance does not greatly benefit anybody and can be described as only being for cosmetic purposes. Parents may enjoy the idea of being in control over their child’s appearance however does changing it really benefit them? Does it truly benefit the child? The answer to these questions is a no and rarely will being given a different hair or eye colour be of any comparable advantage to these children. Considering the process does not disbenefit anybody in particular, it is ethical in nature but not necessarily should it be used. Changing other attributes such as height, intellect, strength and other of these traits should absolutely not be done as it does disadvantage other children who are not genetically enhanced. Seeing as only the rich families can afford such a process, it will give already privileged children a greater comparative advantage will only cause a wider social divide. Away from preventing disease, changing any other attributes aside from physical appearance using PGD shouldn’t be done as it greatly impacts other individuals in a negative way and therefore is unethical.

The case of savior siblings is vastly different as an individual is “created” to fulfil a purpose from birth. While intentions of this process may be good as it is designed to save the life of a sickly child, the biggest concern is the issue of having a child to be used for medical purposes. Other than not being able to guarantee the welfare of the baby, it is also unknown if the procedure can be completed after one transplant or will the newly born individual be required to provide additional transplants in the future. While the decision is up to the will of said individual, he/she may feel compelled or pressured to donate these tissues/organs having been conceived for this purpose.  Additionally, the growing child may suffer from psychological issues being born as an instrument to save the life of another human. For these reasons, I believe that savior sibling technology isn’t ethical as it too heavily impacts the child being born who is given responsibility upon birth.

Given so many issues, the best option would be to balance the use of these techniques so that the least amount of problems can occur. Using more morally acceptable techniques such as PGD to check embryos for genetic abnormalities can solve the problem of eliminating genetic disorders therefore removing the need of savior siblings and three-person IVF.  Paired with laws ensuring these techniques are used responsibly, using these techniques comes down to how severe and needed these procedures are in the situations. 

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