Proposed Treatment for Genetic Diseases Raises Issues

Research that some believe could lead to the creation of “designer babies” has raised a number of ethical issues, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has scheduled a hearing later this month to consider them, NPR reports.

The research in question would make changes to some of the genetic material in a woman’s egg, and thereby, the scientists hope, prevent genetically transmitted diseases from being passed down through the generations, NPR reports.

To address some of the ethical changes raised by the research, NPR turns for comment to Dartmouth’s Ronald Green, a professor of religion, the Eunice and Julian Cohen Professor for the Study of Ethics and Human Values.

“There are issues of identity that the child may experience later in life,” says Green, who is also director of Dartmouth’s Institute for the Study of Applied and Professional Ethics and a professor of community and family medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine. “Who am I? Am I a human being like all other human beings with two parents? Am I some type of new type of creature?”

Listen to the full story, broadcast 10/9/13 on NPR.