Sunday, February 15, 2015
Peripatetic Discussion 2/12
We took an adventure through the library for our peripatetic discussion this afternoon. While roaming through each floor our main topic was focused on bioengineering and the ethics of genetic enhancement. Our first hit of the topic was the situation of two deaf mothers choosing a deaf sperm donor for their child in order for the child to connect better with the parents. The major question of this decision is whether it is ethically right to this. The first, and most prominent, argument was that it can in no way be right to choose a child’s trait to be one that may hinder them for the rest of their life, especially in a situation where the child has no choice. A counter argument was that it is the parent’s choice for the child and deaf parents would have a different perspective on deafness as a deficiency and in many cases may even desire such a trait for the child to better understand and connect to the parents in the world they see and will teach to them.
The discussion then continued to the idea of how it may be unethical in the majority’s eyes to choose such a trait, is it ethical to choose enhancements for specific traits the child also would not have a choice in? Even though we may be able to choose numerous different traits for our children, that does not mean we necessarily should. How do we know our child will want to be musically talented, faster, or have larger muscles than they would have had originally?
As we continued up the stairs of the library to stretch our muscles, the discussion transitioned to future regulation of genetic engineering. We discussed whether government would ever be able to control genetic enhancements once the technology has evolved enough to be a choice for future parents. As long as individuals are able to participate in medical tourism, any country’s regulation of genetic engineering would be ineffective.