Reproductive Technologies Essay, Research Paper
Reproductive technologies have the power to shape the future of the human race. If used responsibly, they can improve the quality of life for everyone and greatly reduce genetic disease. Married couples that aren t able to have children are given the ability to use their own genes to create a child of their own. These technologies can also allow parents to choose the physical and even mental attributes of their children, although parents could go overboard with this. Despite whether these technologies are beneficial or not, controversy arises when the decision comes to how much they should be regulated. Some people want the technology banned altogether, while others want loose regulations or none at all. Most people stand somewhere in between these two extreme positions.
Richard Taylor in Reproductive Medicine and Ethics supports these reproductive technologies. He is against traditional ethics and favors situation ethics when it comes to this controversial issue. By supporting the situationist, the writer believes that our actions should be governed, not by fixed rules, of whatever supposed origin, but by their likely outcome, given the situations in which we are called upon to act (Taylor 4). He goes on to say that there will always be some situations where moral rules need to be disregarded. Taylor doesn t state his opinion often in the article and mainly explains how reproductive technology has evolved.
In contrast, Superior People is against this technology. This author, who is anonymous, sees these new technologies as selling people. He compares this to selling blacks by quoting an advertisement long ago that had a choice cargo of about 150 fine healthy NEGROES for sale (quoted in Superior 1). The writer completes the comparison by quoting an advertisement of today in which a wealthy family needed an egg donor with many requirements (height, high SAT score, no medical issues).
The disagreement between these two articles is all about ethics and whether creating people in a petri dish is right or not. The two writers go about explaining their position in very different ways. Reproductive Medicine and Ethics is a very informative article touching on all the different types of reproductive technologies and why traditional ethics can t be applied to this subject. Taylor not only touches on ethical issues, but legal and medical issues as well. Superior People is a very direct article that tries to explain how these technologies are morally wrong and should be banned altogether. This writer is very sarcastic at times and really puts down the people that take place in these reproductive procedures.
One thing that the two essays have in common is that they both use many examples of controversial events involving test tube babies. Taylor uses a very good example, but he simply states what happened. He writes about a daughter who was unable to have children, so she convinced her mother to carry her child. Taylor recognizes that this, of course, gave rise to media accounts of the woman who bore her own grandchild, and it does, indeed, raise the question of motherhood (Taylor 9). Yet he fails to give his own opinion and it in no way helps to prove his point; he lets the reader make up his or her own mind.
In Superior , however, the writer s example of the egg donor ad is very forward and he makes sure the reader knows how he feels. What no blonde hair, blue eyes, and pure Aryan bloodline required? (Superior 4) This same sarcasm can be found throughout the article as the writer used this literary device to get the point across. Also, the aspect of the $50,000 bothers the writer: Is consent voluntary or subtly coerced when such large sums of money are involved? Even though both authors use a similar approach, the writer of Superior People clearly is more effective in using the real world example.
Overall, however, I agree with Taylor on this issue. I don t think that there s anything wrong with couples using others genetic material to create children. For a man or woman who may not be able to bear a child, egg or sperm donation offers the opportunity for parenting of a child genetically connected to half of the couple. The Superior author is against the fact that most people only want superior genetic material; but I don t think there s anything wrong with that. Striving after exceptional genes is sometimes feared by people, but it only improves the human race and lessens the likelihood of genetic diseases.
Reproductive choices must be very difficult decisions to make. As couples near the end of their biological options, most wonder what it would be like not to be parents at all. If they decide that raising children is something they want to do, they begin to think about alternative ways to become parents. Prospective parents must think carefully about what it would mean to them to be a parent without experiencing pregnancy, or a parent with no genetic connection to their child.
The field of reproductive medicine has faced the question of whether it is right or not to play God. With all of the options provided by reproductive technology, potential parents have a lot to think over. Furthermore, cryopreservation of sperm and embryos has enabled people to preserve their potential fertility for as long as they want. The new parenting paths raise a very difficult ethical question: Is it in the best interest of children to be created and parented through third, fourth, or even fifth parties?
Not until recently has a couple’s right to reproduce been questioned. However, because of the new reproductive technologies, the question has arisen about whether the right to have children includes the right to procreate using available technology, donors, or a host uterus. Many experts in the field argue for freedom, saying that since the United States Constitution affords people the right to procreate both sexually and asexually. I believe that having children satisfies basic needs and drives for many people, and the right cannot be denied.
I realize that reproductive technologies raise many ethical questions; one being whether it is morally acceptable to bring a child into the world with an unknown genetic parent. This issue may be more timely now because our understanding has grown in recent years about the relative weight of the question of nature vs. nurture. Because we now understand that genetics plays a very large role in providing a blueprint for adulthood, the ethics of bringing a child into the world with unknown parents is more questionable today than it was in the past. The concern is whether it may be harmful to a person to have no information about his or her genetic make-up.
When looking at both sides of the argument, it is clear that these technologies are a good thing. When looking at the pros, they greatly outweigh the cons in this debate. There does need to be some guidelines to follow as far as potential mothers go, but the system is still in the making. Reproductive is summed up with, What has been done so far has contributed greatly to human happiness, rendering parenthood possible to many for whom it would otherwise be hopeless, and giving rise to research of enormous promise (Taylor 19). Reproductive technologies will continue to evolve and even though more controversy will arise. The bottom line, though, is whether you re making babies the old-fashioned way or in a test tube, it can only help our world.