Designer Babies Rules and Regulations

This task force gives students the responsibility of creating guidelines that ensure gene editing is controlled and consider how they will address ethical concerns.

Task Force: Designer Babies Rules and Regulations

Congratulations!

You have been asked to join the committee responsible for creating rules and regulations for designer baby gene editing. It is your job to create guidelines that ensure gene editing is controlled and consider how you will address ethical concerns among the citizens of the United States.

Why Are We Doing This?:

New technological advancements are being centered around gene editing that will allow people to design babies. This includes physical and possibly even intellectual changes. Here, we ask you to analyze the pros and cons of the process. Additionally, assume you agree with the claim that regulated gene editing should be allowed. You now need to come up with a set of rules and regulations for designer babies. 

Steps:

  1. Try to come up with a list of rules and regulations for the creation of designer babies.
    1. What kinds of features would you like to make acceptable? 
    2. Is choosing eye color okay? 
    3. Is choosing athletic ability okay? 
    4. What about intellectual abilities?
    5.  How does your group want to handle sex selection? 
  2. Brainstorm obstacles in gene editing for designer babies and how you plan to tackle the issue. 
    1. Will gene editing/designer babies be accessible to people of all socioeconomic backgrounds? How? 
    2. What kinds of features and characteristics will NOT be allowed?
  3. Think through the possible objections someone might have about your rules and regulations and how you will answer them.
    1. What kinds of ethical concerns will be raised for the features you have decided to allow?
  4. Share with the group and see if you can convince them that your rules and regulations best tackle the important issues at hand.

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • You do not have to come up with an exhaustive list of rules and regulations. Choose a few main points that you are ready to defend
  • Focus on features and characteristics that are realistic (i.e. do not consider supernatural characteristics such as invisibility, flying, etc.)
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