The following comes from a Jan.15 story in Crisis magazine.
Such academic commentators as Leon Kass, Francis Fukuyama and Bill McKibben have observed that human genetic engineering, nanotech and robotics will demoralize individuals and damage human community. They write, for example, of futuristic highly-skilled classical pianists or athletes who know that their parents purchased strong musical or athletic genes for them, and of the existential crises caused regarding the source of, and credit for, their respective accomplishments. They observe that democracy will become untenable if some use these technologies to create a master race. They view these threats to community as prospective, though imminent, as cloning and gene manipulation research continues in earnest.
These warnings are, at once, an exaggeration and an understatement. They are an exaggeration because, although genomic research has enabled scientists to identify the effects of many DNA sequences, we are still a while (vagueness deliberate) away from having a clearer sense of which genes influence many other traits. They are also an exaggeration because many have observed that, to date, gene manipulation efforts reveal that genes cannot often be simply cut and pasted, one for another, especially without causing serious unanticipated effects.
….Even if genetic manipulation or cloning never become possible, the eugenic age is already well underway and is accepted by our consumer-sovereign society. If prospective parents don’t like their unborn’s genes, they can, and often do, end the life. For example, over 90 percent of fetuses diagnosed with Downs Syndrome are aborted. Not in some futuristic hell, but today, we are ending disability through a medically mediated rendering of Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal,” by purging the disabled.
In a society that increasingly and appropriately declines to execute even serial killers, it seems inconsistent to effectively impose prenatal capital punishment/genocide on the disabled. Consider further the effects of genetic screening on the self-perception of the able-bodied. How does it feel to know you were born because you met the standards of your parents and a quality control inspector? In place of unconditional love, reprotech allows the introduction of discrimination with regard to human dignity based on biological, psychological or educational development, or based on health-related criteria.
Some commentators have suggested that eugenic abortion or embryo selection could be legislatively limited to genes with “life-or-death” diseases. That proposal does not inspire confidence….
Most parents will de-select embryos or abort fetuses whose genes suggest they will someday have MS, ALS, breast cancer or Huntington’s. These conditions seldom kill, or even afflict, the young. Besides, as many have observed, the lines between disease and trait or cure and enhancement are quite blurry. What will be the legislative status of embryos that have genes for schizophrenia? Deafness? Depression? Below average intelligence or height? Even limiting either genetic manipulation or embryo selection for seemingly esthetic purposes seems impossible, given society’s and the law’s strong support for reproductive choice. And with reproductive choice as the guiding principle, how will we prohibit parthenogenesis, artificial wombs or chimeras?
….As the number of people with imperfections decreases, society’s acceptance of, and support groups and services for, the imperfect will shrink. Stanford Law Professor Hank Greely has predicted that, given these competitive pressures, within 50 years, most Americans will be the product of IVF. While allowing for some incorrect predictions in individual cases, genetic screening will cause the social stratification and personal alienation that the commentators fear, even without the genetic manipulation they foresee….
IVF fits squarely within this model of providing elective treatments for the affluent, while the poor do without basic goods and services, and medical care, in the United States and, especially, abroad. The typical IVF cycle costs $12,000 and multiple cycles are common. Insurance coverage for IVF is legislatively mandated in 15 of the most populous states. By itself, IVF adds over 5 percent to medical insurance premiums. The insurance cost of IVF grows sharply when the inflated costs of post-natal care for IVF offspring are considered. A recent study concluded that twins cost six times ($105,000) and triplets twenty times ($400,000) more than do single babies. Multiple births have increased six-fold because IVF often involves the implantation of multiple embryos. In a lengthy article in the New York Times Magazine entitled “The Two Minus One Pregnancy” (2012), we learn that multiples are often reduced in number, in utero, by injections of potassium chloride into the hearts of the “excess,” seemingly weaker, fetuses….
To read the entire story, click here.
Have scientists gone mad? Just because one is able to do something, that doesn’t mean it is a moral or sane thing to do. First, there’s in-vitro fertilization. Then, if there are too many fetuses, they can be culled and aborted, leaving only the “perfect baby” to be born. Now, human genetic engineering. What if a child has the desired traits(i.e. musical talent, desired eye color, proper height, chosen gender), but has a hearing defect or other undesirable trait? Can the parents abort the baby just before the birth? Why not? They can design the genes for their next baby, being more careful in their choice of genes.
Sarah, scientist do what scientist do. The ones who have clearly gone mad are the those in our society who have made a god out of science.
CCC: ” 2376 Techniques that entail the dissociation of husband and wife, by the intrusion of a person other than the couple (donation of sperm or ovum, surrogate uterus), are gravely immoral.
These techniques (heterologous artificial insemination and fertilization) infringe the child’s right to be born of a father and mother known to him and bound to each other by marriage. They betray the spouses’ “right to become a father and a mother only through each other.”
GRAVELY IMMORAL means MORTAL SIN.
DESTRUCTION of the FAMILY.
A “FATHER” is no longer necessary.
“Thou shall not kill” – God.
CCC: ” 2274 Since it must be treated from conception as a person, the embryo must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed, as far as possible, like any other human being.
Prenatal diagnosis is morally licit, “if it respects the life and integrity of the embryo and the human fetus and is directed toward its safe guarding or healing as an individual. . . . It is gravely opposed to the moral law when this is done with the thought of possibly inducing an abortion, depending upon the results: a diagnosis must not be the equivalent of a death sentence.”
This article exposes the progression of the IVF mentality which many in society, including some practicing Catholics, have accepted as an acceptable right. Children who were conceived by means of sperm donation, egg donation, and/or IVF are coming to realize that they are commodities of their parents.
On Jan. 1st of this year Lifenews.com featured an e-mail from a Catholic teen who was inquiring if they knew of any websites or resources that support people struggling after being conceived by IVF technology, (without the use of donor sperm or egg). Her parents had used IVF to create her and her siblings. She was the only one born. She said that she mourned her siblings who did not make it every day. She said, “They don’t regret what they did, they don’t see anything wrong with IVF, and they don’t count my siblings as members of the family.” The rest of her e-mail is equally heartbreaking. https://www.lifenews.com/2014/01/01/woman-conceived-in-ivf-mourns-the-loss-of-her-sibling-embryos-who-died/
Those who do that, cannot and should not be called “practicing Catholics”! If this statement is considered “judgemental”, so be it!
May God have mercy on an amoral Amerika!
Viva Cristo Rey!
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
Kenneth, I did not say “faithful” Catholic. I think the term “practicing” Catholic is correct. Wasn’t Judas a “practicing” Apostle? At any rate I do understand what you are infering and I do believe that you ARE making a judgment statement, which you have the right to do.
This is exactly the immorality of Margaret Sanger and her buddy Adolph Hitler, many years ago. So-called science, without ethics, has now opened the way to the “Master Race”. The definition of which of course can be made at any time or any place, by anyone, via unlimited “Choice”.
With the rampant evil in our society, this abomination has now become acceptable.
“We’ve come a long way, Baby.” On the road to HELL!