Choosing A Baby's Genes
Â Â Â Imagine if you could choose your baby'straits the same way you pick clothes from a catalogue?Â Perhaps blue eyes, a bit of curly hair, and why not make her tall, lean and smart? Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg says he can deliver.Â
"This is happening, no stopping it."Â
Â Â Â Dr. Steinberg has already helped thousands of couples choose their child's gender. Within six months he says couples will be able to select the color of their newborn's eyes and hair.Â Â
"People want this."Â
Â Â Â The procedure is called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, or PGD. It's been used for years to screen embryos in the lab... mostly for parents who want to reduce the chances of carrying a baby with life threatening diseases .Â Now, Dr. Steinberg says - he has found a way to go furtherto screen embryosÂ for traits...so they can implant the ones that will up the odds of getting the results parents want.Â But will it work?Â ABC News spoke to a variety of doctors who don't know what to make of Dr. Steinberg's claims...but say it is theoretically possible. Dr. Zev Rosenwaks says it is theoretically possible.Â There are no laws prohibiting this brave new reproductive world but ethicists, like University of Pennsylvania's Art Caplan, says there should be.Â
"Designing your descendents and seeking out perfection is the biggest slippery slope we could go on. Are the rich going to be able to do it and the poor not? Are we going to create a sort of subpopulation of the genetically perfect as against everybody else?"
Some question if parents should be allowed to play God.Â It's a question that may need to be confronted soon if Dr. Steinberg makes good on his promise.
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