One of the main concerns parent has is if the baby will turn out to fine. It’s a period of constant fear and uncertainty about whether the growing baby has received the strand of DNA that might result in adversities later. Thank science, we will be able to nearly control every aspect of the baby in the near future.
A designer baby is a baby whose genetics has been altered. It is often done to remove or replace genera associated with diseases. A process called pre-implantation diagnosis is done to screen for any abnormalities in the fused zygote. The other method is directly changing the genetic information the baby is carrying. This alteration in the genetic makeup will change the fate of the preceding generations. It can be used to cosmetically enhance human traits and even destroy society, which is why the instance of genetically engineered twin Lulu and Nana received widespread criticism.
Despite being the controversial topic, cost of designer babies can only be estimated as per the current market and health care estimation.
Following are the estimation cost of having a designer babies. All the data below may varies according to the countries, Hospital, Labs and standard of service being allocated.
Average Cost of In Vitro Fertilization is $8,158. (May varies)
Add-ons for medication with $3,000 to $5,000. (May varies)
The average cost of Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis is $3,550. (May varies)
Gender Selection may cost as much as $18,000 according to current estimates. (May varies)
Genetic engineering, although initially starts as a method to improve the living conditions of the individuals, it could slither into a path of non-therapeutic genetic makeup enhancement. The imagined divide that this path will cause in society is one of the main reasons that genetic modification on embryos is banned and the idea of modifying traits of an unborn baby is largely rejected by individuals.
If society ever decides to embrace this technology and create genetically modified babies, below listed are the costs at which we will be doing that.
1. Risk of error
The technology and knowledge we have on genetic engineering are increasing. A Chinese scientist has successfully genetically modified a twin in 2019 and it is all uphill from here but genetic engineers are people. They are not machines and thus there is a large probability of errors in the process of designing babies. Even if everything is done correctly, we will not know what the result is of every gene combination. Alteration might therefore give rise to new diseases that the world has never seen. It has the potential to cure as well as give rise to illnesses.
2. Violation of the child’s right
If in the future one decides to engineer their child and make changes that they seem is fit, they will be violating their unborn baby’s right to choose. They will be taking away their child’s choice of how he/she wants to turn on based on what they think is right. This sense of right and wrong may vary and taking this away will essentially take away individuality from the child. Parents will alert their child’s mental, emotional, and physical makeup like altering a machine for their use.
3. Ethical Issues
The cost of designing a baby is messing up with a natural process that has been going on since the beginning of time. Disrupting the natural process of birth and selection might cause unprecedented adversities in nature to which we have no solutions. Unique genetic makeup might cause the real world to be a science fiction-like world.
Designer babies also have moral issues like that while carrying out an abortion. Expecting parents will have plenty of choices from which only one embryo is selected. The remaining potential babies are aborted. This large objecting population against abortion might also object to designer babies.
4. Create marked division in the society
The catch of the outcomes of a designer baby is growing. This technology, however attractive, is very expensive. The cost of IVF alone is over $20000 for each try, the cost of surrogacy $30000 to $50000 and further costs can make the cost of one designer baby some hundred thousand dollars. This makes the rich people the advantage of using this technology and getting offsprings that have a higher advantage than the ones from a poor family. If parents opt from designer babies a widespread division among the quality of life between the rich and the poor will be made. The division will not only be based on wealth but the richer population will have biologically better offsprings.
The other division that might occur in society is the creation of superhumans. This population will have superior power and there will be a distinction among the people biologically. Such divisions will make society a hostile environment. This is one of the major and most concerning costs of this technological opportunity’s use.
In spite of all these alarming prices we might have to pay while developing designer babies, there are advantages to this technological advancement that might make the world a better place to live in. It lights a hope to change the society into a more profoundly working organization and eliminate some biological drawbacks that deteriorate the quality of life and what could be better than the betterment of the society?
Below listed are a few reasons that make taking the cost of using this technology worth it.
5. Know what to expect
One of the main concerns of expecting parents is whether their child is safe or not. In most cases, children born with genetic defects lead to a very painful life. It is not only a burden for the family but also for the child who has to live his/her life on other’s condition. Parents who genetically modify their kids can call the shots. They make the best choices for their kids biologically.
6. Better society
The other factor that allowing designer babies is altering the makeup of society. It might result in a society with higher life expectancy, better intellect, and a constantly progressing lifestyle. Genetic engineering does more than just altering disease-causing genes, it enforces the healthy genes and thus improves the overall well-being of the individual which affects the overall well-being of the society as a whole.
7. Allows development in science and technology
Allowing scientists to design babies will open a new horizon for technological advancements. The only way to advance this technology is by practicing it. Advancement in this technology will give us a better understanding of genomes and thus open new horizons for humans to explore and understand.