Bioethics strikes back

Okay, that’s a bit dramatic. But Granny Herald does have an interesting story on the bioethics of sex selection. (h/t to The Standard, who promptly mocked them for an amusing grammatical mistake which implied parents should choose whether to have sex with babies)

At the moment, it is illegal to select your baby’s sex during in vitro fertilisation procedures unless you need to do so to prevent a genetic disorder.

The idea of freely allowing parents undergoing IVF to choose the sex of their baby is repugnant to me. It instantly conjures images of the consequences of China’s one child program, where young girls are abandoned by families that want boys to run their businesses and farms.

But… I have to concede that if we only allow parents to balance out the sex of their children rather than simply give them free reign to choose, this could have wonderful social benefits- for instance, families that want both a boy and a girl could go have IVF instead of having to roll the dice for every subsequent child, and potentially ending up with five all of the same sex. ๐Ÿ˜‰

2 Responses

  1. After I had my initial arrgh, I’ve come around to the idea that the problem I have with this development isn’t necessarily that parents will be making a choice as to the gender of their baby, but they will be doing so in a society which values one gender over another.

    Another words I’m getting angry at a symptom of inequality rather than of inequality itself.

  2. For sure. But something that enables inequality (in this case gender selection) while there’s so much incentive for it is hardly better than the source of that inequality in the first place.

    I agree that in an ideal world with no discrimination “designer babies” would be no problem at all. But this isn’t that world, and I don’t even think completely ideal worlds are possible ๐Ÿ˜‰

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