When scientists discover a new way to prevent disease or overcome infertility, they usually get applauded. But throw genetic engineering into the mix and it gets dicey fast. Genetic engineering in reproductive medicine is particularly scary because we’re talking about...
So you want to have a baby.
Would you like a dark-haired girl with a high risk of someday getting colon cancer, but a good chance of above-average music ability?
Or would you prefer a girl with a good prospect for high SAT scores and a good shot at being athletic, but who also is likely to run an above-average risk of bipolar disorder and lupus as an adult?
How about a boy with a good shot at having musical ability and dodging asthma, but who also would be predisposed to cataracts and type 2 diabetes?
Confused? You’re just getting started. There are dozens more choices for which of your embryos should be placed in the womb to become your child.
That’s the future a biomedical ethics expert envisions for 20 to 40 years from now — soon enough that today’s children may face it when they start their own families.
“The majority of babies of people who have good health coverage will be conceived this way,” predicts Henry Greely, a Stanford University law professor who works in bioethics.