"The Talk" Part 2 - Genetic Engineering

This is Part 2 of "The Talk". Click here to read part 1 first.

The one question my mom kept asking in different ways - was - do you think it is okay to genetically engineer your children? These were some big words for my 8 year old mind to work on and as she described it I could only compare it to a bugs bunny cartoon called baseball bugs.

Here is some background about baseball bugs.

A baseball game is going on in New York City, at the Polo Grounds (although the rooftop facade is more suggestive of Yankee Stadium), between the visiting "Gas-House Gorillas" (a play on the Gashouse Gang nickname for the 1930s St. Louis Cardinals) and the home team, the "Tea Totallers". The game is not going well for the Tea Totallers, as the Gorillas - a bunch of oversized, roughneck players - are not only dominating the Totallers, made up of old men ("I'm only 93 and a half years old!", a joking reference to Fanny Brice's "Baby Snooks" character's catchphrase "I'm only 3 and half years old"), but intimidating the umpire by knocking him into the ground like a tent peg after an unpopular judgment. The old men's uniform style, complete with flat-topped cap, also suggests something from the 19th century. The Gorillas' home runs go screaming out of the ballpark (literally) and the batters form a conga line, with each hitter knocking a ball out.

Here is a link to the video if you would like to watch.

I will sum up the cartoon - the big guy dominates the little guy and then the smarter guy beats the bigger guy. Either way, I think that normally in life the bigger guy or the smarter guy are going to be the winners.

To get back to my moms question of would I want to genetically engineer my children. As an 8 year old watching Baseball Bugs I answered yes without a doubt if given the chance to choose I would want superior children.

Now as an adult going through IVF I am given the real option of making some choices about genetically engineer my children. We are not given as many choices as people think based on the media reports, but we are given some and people ask is it an ethical thing to do?

I have a simple question for them - if they went to their doctor and were given advice on how to help make their child have a healthier life would they not choose that option?

Everyone wants a healthy, happy, and intelligent baby. For me there is only one ethical answer.

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