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Mar 18, 2014

Today on the 5: The news that a British ethics board has approved experimental 3 donor IVF treatment has people declaring that we have opened the door to eugenics. Have we?

Dave (UK)
almost five years ago

That door was opened a long time ago. Love it or hate it, the Modern Eugenics Movement has been around for about a century and had some very well known and respected proponents, as well as the more negatively viewed proponents (ie those who were on the losing side of wars!)

It is true that there are ethical questions raised whenever something like this hits our papers. Some will claim the "thin end of the wedge" while others "a cure for all disease". As always the truth is probably somewhere in between with a dash of either extreme thrown in for good measure. It's a tech (3 donor IVF) designed to prevent hereditary disease being passed onto children from carriers. It mirrors (in some ways) the type of effect that was achieved during the active Small-Pox eradication campaign. Should we have left the vaccinations in the freezers because natural selection was more ethical? Would we not have an overcrowding crisis if we had?

Do i think it's an acceptable practice? Fuck yeah. I've had the pleasure in meeting a "test-tube baby" and guess what, they're human too. I would always advise caution for any advance in tech (there's always going to be abuse... usually for profit) but the benefits will generally always outweigh the cost - if it's done right!