The United Kingdom’s Nuffield Council on Bioethics has issued its approval for genetically modified human embryos as far as the alterations made are not harmful to the DNA of the fetus and the society.
In its report, the leading ethics body said that altering the DNA of the embryo of a human should be permitted only if the purpose behind is to give the future child the best of chances in life. The council’s approval in this matter is a big progressive decision but we are still far away from seeing the first designer baby of the world.
While the report by one of the world’s most advanced-thinking ethics council does not suggest that the laws should be changed, it does call out for further research to be conducted in this field to determine the safety as well as the effectiveness, the social impact it will have and also more discussions based on the possible implications.
The report does approve the DNA of human embryos as far as it does not put on to the inequalities which further divide society as a whole.
The council has permitted to modify the DNA of a human embryo in order to eliminate heritable serious diseases which are caused due to flawed genes.
Meanwhile, the science used behind this procedure is not 100% perfect and in certain cases ahs also proved to be problematic and unsafe. The DNA that gets damaged while the procedure is being conducted could later pass on to future generations as well.
The critics of the genome altering have also said that the council’s report opens up the doors to designer babies where the DNA of the embryos are altered by the parents in order to have a child with the characteristics which they desire.
Though the ethic body’s report does not enlist the particular uses for the DNA alteration but does say that it should be follow few principles that should be considered ethical.
Tags: designer baby, DNA, embryo, Nuffield Council on Bioethics