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A wise Korean editorial on the dangers of genetics
"Babies Made to Order" by Park Choon-ho

Too many people now approach procreation with a shopping-list mentality. Making a baby is starting to resemble buying a car, with choices about which features and extras to request.

Parents should not "saddle their babies with admission standards for birth" because, despite the apparently "nice" intention of the designing parents, the babies may not appreciate the result. What if, on their arrival in this world, tailor-made babies do not like what their parents or other adults have chosen for them?

As a matter of fact, there are some interesting episodes in a quoted article, which goes on to tell us what few parents would be pleased to hear, as this passage from it shows. "An even more troubling precedent: in California a court suggested that a disabled child could sue her parents for not aborting her. In future, a daughter might sue her folks for not making her prettier by paying for a 'better' donor - or for not using genetic enhancement to make her smarter." more

Physician Charged Guilty of Unjustified Euthanasia
Netherlands: Dec. 24, 2002

A Dutch doctor helped his patient, former senator Edward Brongersma, commit suicide in 1998. Brongersma had suffered from incontinence, dizziness and immobility and said he was tired of life. Under Dutch law, a patient must face a future of intolerable suffering before he can request mercy killing. The highest court in the Netherlands ruled: "The question in this case was whether euthanasia is justified also in circumstances where a patient is tired of life." They concluded that the euthanasia law had not been intended for such situations, unless the patient is also in intolerable pain. The Dutch Medical Federation (KNMG) said there had been a great deal of debate in the Netherlands about cases in which patients were tired of life, and simply wanted to die. Their statement read, in part: "In practice, this is a gray area and in many cases it its not clear into which category a euthanasia request should be classified." They concluded that the court's decision had not clarified that point. more

Should designer babies be permitted?
UK, Tuesday, 26 February, 2002, 11:55 GMT

The Hashmi family want to use genetics to create a child who would be a suitable bone marrow donor for their son Zain, who has a rare blood disorder and is likely to die without a transplant. It is the first time the British Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has allowed the use of IVF in this way.

Opponents say the authority has effectively given the go-ahead for a designer baby, to be used for spare parts.

Others say this procedure presents no moral dilemmas as it is clearly about saving another child's life.

But could it be put to what some would consider more frivolous uses? How tightly should this type of science be controlled? Can it be controlled at all? more

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