Will Editing Your Baby’s Genes Be Mandatory?

April 14, 2017

(The Atlantic) – Holdouts who fear that gene editing is putting humanity on a slippery slope to disaster or who have religious objections to the technique or who just prefer “the old-fashioned way” in their gut will conceive a child. If he or she is healthy all will be fine. But some holdouts will give birth to a child with a painful or fatal condition that could have been prevented. People will get angry at those parents and seek to punish them. Or at least that is the course I foresee (even though there is arguably an ethical distinction between refraining from editing the genes of a future human and denying essential medical treatment to an already living human, who is understood to have individual rights independent from or not entirely subject to the beliefs of their guardians).

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