UK’s Ethics Council Announces that Altering the DNA of a Human Embryo is Morally Permissible

Protestors have voiced alarm at the recent decision of an ethics council in the UK to announce that it is morally permissible for the DNA of a human embryo to be altered and adapted if doing so is in the child’s best interests and does not create inequalities in society.

While some on the council are likely motivated by the sincere desire to eliminate harmful defects, the dangers of tampering with human life still far outweigh any perceived benefits. What is more, the move brings up, once again, the debate over the value of those who may have genetic conditions, handicaps or other disabilities.

Dr. David King, the Director of Human Genetics Alert, is one non-Christian activist who has expressed grave misgivings over the recent move. He astutely points out that allowing for genetic modification would create a free market eugenics; instead of a dictator imposing a particular point of view regarding who is or isn’t acceptable, it will be rich, well-off parents continually competing with other parents to have the “best” kids who will set off a race to create “perfect humans.”

Those who can’t afford to pay large sums of money to have their embryos adapted could, in the future, see their children face discrimination at school and work because these children will lack so-called “superior” traits. He also notes that he is not the only person to view things in this manner; in fact, many disability rights activists in the UK are also aghast at the view that disabled people should somehow be stopped from being born.

Their views are not at all unrealistic given the fact that many infertile families who go to sperm donor facilities carefully select the donor based on appearance, state of health and even educational credentials.

Christian activists decrying this recent move also point out the fact that human life is created by God. Because each person is created in God’s image, each human life is valuable and should be treated with respect. This is the basis for modern society and the rejection of eugenics, racism and other forms of discrimination that have plagued nations around the world.

Allowing genetic modification of embryos in an effort to create “perfect” babies rejects the fact that all babies, even those who have serious disabilities, are already perfect in God’s eyes because he loves them and gave them life.

Genetic modification could affect humanity in a permanent, unhealthy way. Scientists have no way of fully knowing all the implications of their work for many years. As modified babies grow up and have children of their own, their modified genes will be passed on to future generations.

Negative side effects could take decades to correct and the scientific community may in fact be unable to correct their work as a growing number of people inherit new genetic traits and conditions unknown to past generations.

This fact alone should give the scientific community pause and cause them to search for safer ways to cure diseases. Unfortunately, even this knowledge has not deterred many from their push to create “improved” embryos by modifying the embryo’s DNA to remove unwanted conditions.

Thankfully, many countries, including the United States, have forbidden DNA alterations on embryos. However, this may not always be the case as some members of the scientific community push for testing of “new, improved” techniques that, in their eyes, could cure a number of genetic conditions and diseases.

The move by an ethics council in the UK to allow genetic modification of embryos will likely have global repercussions as scientists could use the move to put pressure on other government agencies in other countries to also allow embryo modification.

What is more, rich people who want their embryos modified would not have to wait until it is allowed in other developed countries; they could simply travel to the UK to have the procedure done and there is nothing that any government body could do to stop them.

Allowing embryo modification is a dangerous trend and those who claim to respect the sanctity of life should speak out against it and encourage others to accept people for who they are instead of trying to modify a baby’s DNA to create a superior race.

~ Christian Patriot Daily


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