The government of the United Kingdom is considering whether or not to allow Doctors to create babies using the DNA of three different people. The reasons for moving forward with such a scheme would be to help families avoid passing on rare genetic diseases.
The move has been attacked by some as an attempt to create a child with three biological parents, but scientists working on the procedure say that the amount of DNA in the donor egg is insignificant.
It adds another wrinkle to the debate over whether or not in vitro fertilization is itself an ethical procedure.
The British charity Christian Medical Fellowship argues that the procedure does not clear up the ethical issues already associated with in vitro fertilization.
“We do not consider that the hunt for `therapies’ that might prevent a small number of disabled children (with mitochondrial disease) being born justifies the destruction of hundreds if not thousands of embryonic human lives.”
This kind of procedure is currently illegal in the United Kingdom, as the law does not allow for a human egg or embryo to be altered before being implanted in a woman. So before the treatment could be used to create a child the British Parliament would have to write legislation that would make the procedure legal. The inherent conflicts that will arise from such a bill likely means that we are still a ways off from this procedure being used. If the United Kingdom does pass legislation allowing this technique, it will be the first country in the world to do so.
Our technology is advancing faster and faster, so we must be ready to deal with these issues as they arise. Genetic manipulation is not just science fiction any more, it is now within the realm of possibility for us to significantly impact the very nature of humanity using science.
If we leave the debate up to professional ethicists and the scientists moving forward on all fronts, by the time the debate reaches us the course of the research will already be set. As conservatives who care deeply about the direction of our culture and our nation, we must stay abreast of even the most difficult issues – or they will eventually overwhelm us.
God has blessed us with intellect and creativity. How we choose to use these gifts can drive us further from Him or draw us closer to Him. I pray that we are ready to choose the right side when this debate hits American soil.
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