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 Reproductive Technologies- morally acceptable or not?

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jimenez



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PostSubject: Reproductive Technologies- morally acceptable or not?   Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:23 pm

What do you think of the different reproductive technologies that have now become available for couples or individuals? Choose/cite one particular reproductive procedure/practice and discuss whether it is acceptable or not. The usual arguments against these reproductive technologies are that “we play God in performing/having these procedures” and that it is unnatural. Assuming you want to defend reproductive technologies, how would you address these criticisms? Otherwise, explain why you think these reproductive technologies are 'immoral'. What do you think should be the limit, if any, of a particular reproductive medical procedure? Meaning, at what point do you think does it become 'questionable'? Make sure to explain why. REPLY HERE.
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delacruzjpe



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PostSubject: answer to the 3rd writing assignment   Thu Dec 11, 2008 8:48 am

Reproductive technologies, also dubbed as “New Reproduction,” usually work under the main premise that such methods liberate couples from the traditional way of procreating and therefore promote human freedom. Conversely, innovations like in vitro fertilization (IVF), artificial insemination, embryo donation, and others provide hope to those married partners who are infertile, thereby may have less or no chance at all to raise a kid. Although these technologies seem to promise heaven, I strongly believe that they are morally unacceptable for they discard other significant considerations and indicators that may pose greater harm rather than benefit to people.

I’ll take IVF as a case in point, for it gained much prominence and has been widely used in liberal societies. As many have known, IVF is a process whereby egg cells are fertilized by sperm outside of the womb. It may include an array of methods such as ovarian stimulation, egg retrieval, fertilization, selection, and embryo transfer. Complex as the earlier mentioned procedures are, IVF entails much cost that may amount to a median of $8,000 per trial. Since IVF has shown low success rates, it is subject to re-trials and may put financial load to the couple. This is what I consider the first, and perhaps an essential weakness of repro technologies – being economically burdensome. As such, repro technologies may not successfully achieve their goal of helping out infertile couples due to the creation of financial barriers.

Another important factor would be that of racial and gender disparities, as explained in the article of Dorothy Roberts. Prof. Roberts had clearly manifested the thought that New Reproduction is innately biased against race, particularly with the Blacks, and is more confronting rather than liberating for a number of reasons. For one, being a feminist herself, Roberts argues that repro technologies particularly IVF enforces traditional patriarchal roles that privilege men’s genetic desires and objectify women’s procreative capacity. Feminists make a convincing case that IVF serves more to help married men produce generic offspring than to give women greater reproductive freedom. Secondly, the procedure is necessarily open for the Whites, who have high infertility rates relative to Blacks. But beyond this narrow conception is the fact that Blacks, though understood by society as being more fertile compared to other races, may experience cases that need medical intervention such as IVF, making discrimination enter the scene. The point being raised here is that, repro technologies tend to exclude groups of people, and to some extent, degrade their moral statures by not allowing them to avail of the said procedures only because of their gender and racial indifferences.

Finally, in pursuant to the tenets of the Natural Law Theory, repro technologies are being barred as options for procreation. It is “unnatural” and immoral therefore to entertain and make use of such procedures to produce offspring/s, which may show indications of completely taking over with the divine power to generate life.

At the end of the day, there will always be debates of whether or not repro technologies can address the biological incapacities of people. While it is true that such medical procedures can somehow curb the problem, still, questions of relevance arise. I affirm the thought that freedom cannot answer all the dilemmas in the world; it may even produce serious and unwanted consequences.
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Nicha



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PostSubject: Reproductive Technologies - morally acceptable   Thu Dec 11, 2008 8:56 am

Gone are the days when infertile people opted for the traditional ways of having babies. "Pagsayaw sa Obando, Bulacan" was one of the ways on how people of the past did just for their wish to have a baby be granted. Everything is different now. Science has indeed played so "much" role in this changing world. From the traditional ways of having babies came the "new reproductive technologies."

In vitro fertilization, artificial insemination and testicular sperm extraction are just some of the new reproductive technologies that are available now in treating infertility problems. I think that there is nothing wrong in the use of these reproductive technologies. These reproductive technologies are a big help in the endeavor of infertile people to have their dream babies. Everyone is free to do what he or she wants to do as long as the act will not pose a harm to the doer and to others. I think that these new reproductive technologies are acceptable as long as it will not pose a harm to the persons who want to try these technologies.

One reproductive procedure that I have learned from the article is the in vitro fertilization. Dorothy E. Roberts, in her essay “Race and the New Reproduction,” presented and affirmed some feminist criticisms of reproductive technologies especially in vitro fertilization. In vitro fertilization, as I have read from the essay, enables an infertile couple to have a child who is genetically-related to the husband. In this case, the woman is fertile while the husband is not fertile. For Roberts, the new reproductive technologies reinforce the status quo rather than challenge it. Let me just discuss briefly the essay of Dorothy Roberts. Roberts highlighted her essay by discussing the role of race in the new reproduction and the implications for policy regarding the new reproduction. Roberts pointed out that there is a racial disparity in the use of reproductive technologies. She stated that new reproductive technologies are mostly in favor of the whites. This showed the social place of white people and black people in America. Roberts stated that Blacks are hindered from using new reproductive technologies because of the expensiveness of these technologies especially the in vitro fertilization, the services itself are not a subject among Blacks, Blacks find it difficult to tell their infertility problems to doctors,childless Black couples consider adoption and Black women, according to study, were subjected to high rate of sterilization. Roberts found it problematic that Americans use in vitro fertilization more to retain their supremacy rather than the real purpose which is continuing the genetic tie of a certain race. The new reproduction, according to Roberts, also reinforced the place of a certain social group in the status quo. For example, it is stated in the article that White children are valuable enough for Americans to shell out their money for creation while Black children are victims of welfare reform measures created to discourage procreation of Blacks.Roberts used the liberal response and the distributive solution in her discussion of the implications for policy regarding the new reproduction. The liberals said that racial disparity stemmed from economic and social structure. The distributive solution, on the other hand, placed more importance on reproduction's social context.

In vitro fertilization, for me, is acceptable. It gives hope to those infertile people who are aspiring to have babies. It is wrong to say that "you play God" if you do this kind of reproductive technology, rather, for me,it is simply just "enhancing" the gifts of God. Come to think of it, provided that God really created us, will it be wrong for us to make use of all that he had provided? Intellectual minds and science created different kinds of reproductive technologies and these reproductive technologies are just "natural" solutions for infertile couples to have babies. The creation of the reproductive technologies is an enhancement for humans. These reproductive technologies are "solutions" to infertility problems. When you have a problem, it is just natural to have solutions, right?

However, in vitro fertilization is somewhat questionable when it comes to the persons who are asking for it. Roberts stated in her essay that some fertility clinics have imposed rules. For example, a certain clinic will just perform in vitro fertilization to deserving couples. This is so vague because it is hard to tell if an individual or couples are "deserving" or not to have in vitro fertilization.
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montañoallan



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PostSubject: the morality of reproductive technology   Thu Dec 11, 2008 3:27 pm

On one part of the world, boy meets girl. Next, boy marries her and then they make love. Sooner or later, they will have a child – their own family.

On another side of the world, boy meets girl, marries her and make love. They are trying to make their own family. They are now at their late 40’s; still being a couple without a child, no matter how hard they try. On a similar case, X meets Y, they are so in love, and they wanted their own child. However, they are limited by their means of procreating because they are from the same gender. And here comes reproductive technology.

Reproductive technologies range from surrogacy or contract pregnancy, In Vitro fertilization (IVF) and embryo donations. They are products of human thinking which aim to help couples who wanted a child but are not able to do so. However, the morality of these processes is in constant debate.

Truly, these technologies have been widely accepted and used in countries like the United States and Europe. But acceptance and actuality do not altogether mean morality. For example, on Dorothy Robert’s article, “Race and the New Reproduction”, she discussed the politics behind these technologies. First, she argues that these technologies only promote the satisfaction of a few – particularly the White race. She discussed that these technologies are actually means of continuing the White supremacy. For Robert, reproductive technologies continue to discriminate the Black. In her article she stated that white children are chosen over black ones because the latter seem to be a source of potential horror. Of course, this may be an exaggeration, but on its lightest sense, this is true: parents want a child who will not be subjected to discrimination, who comes from a supreme race – the Whites. In examining the morality of reproductive technologies, I think that Robert’s article can be used. If these technologies are sources of satisfaction only for the few, and discriminates the Black race, should it still be considered moral? But, this, for me, is judging using the macro lens.

Using the micro lens, I think the morality of these technologies should be based on the parents. Meaning, an old maid, a couple at their 50’s or even a homosexual couple, should be denied to use these technologies. As long as they are potential good parents, I think that the use of science in procreation is moral. Moral because these potential parents are good ones, it just so happened that they are not able to have their own child.
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de Guzman



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PostSubject: Reproductive Technologies   Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:14 am

I, for one, believe that children do give happiness to couples. As they say, they are blessings from God. However, there are those who are not given such blessings. Many ways have been practiced by couples just to have one; most common is the “Fertility Dance” or “Pagsayaw sa Obando.” On the other hand, science have also advanced in such issue.

Reproductive technologies including artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, surrogate motherhood, gamete donation, and so on, are now available for infertile couples. However, the morality of these practices are of great debate. Questions of the true essence and meaning of “parents” also arise with these reproductive technologies.

Taking into account the “procreative liberty” of couples – that is, the freedom either to have children or to avoid having them – I believe that “some” of these reproductive technologies are acceptable. Not all, of course. I am in favor of almost all these practices, except surrogate motherhood.

For me, I would rather adopt than include a third party in my family. I am against surrogate motherhood because I still believe that carrying my own child would be one of the most fulfilling achievements in womanhood. Moreover, I also believe that the mother and the child start to build their bond during pregnancy. In that case, such bond will make it possible for the surrogate mother not to give the baby to his/her parents. If, for example, the surrogate mother still gives the baby to his/her parents, there will still be the possibility that the parents may have a hard time in adjusting with the baby, most especially the mother, for she was not able to give birth to her baby, which I believe is the most important part of having a baby.

In other cases, there are also times when the surrogate mother still claims to rear the child despite preconception surrogacy agreements – and this is one of the problems of surrogacy. An example was cited in John Robertson's “Freedom and the New Reproductive Technologies.” In Anna J. v. Matk C., the California Supreme Court held that a gestational surrogate had no claim to rear because she was not the genetic parent.

On the other hand, speaking of the natural law, these precedures are unacceptable. In this sense, the argument that we are playing God in perfoming these procedures will be valid. However, I guess this is not a good argument to say that such practices are immoral because natural law itself has various criticisms.

In the end, we should accept the fact that reproductive technologies will always be practiced by infertile couples who wants to have kids, and that's their choce, their freedom. And who knows, if God won't bless me with kids, I would consider doing these things – and that's my right.....
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manalo



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PostSubject: Re: Reproductive Technologies- morally acceptable or not?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:40 am

For some people, there is no greater joy to parents than to be able to see, hold, raise and watch their own child grow up. Fortunate couples are blessed to experience this while it is a pity to those who have been physically deprived of the chance to beget their own. Reproductive technologies are a big breakthrough in the procreative liberty of infertile individuals. Admittedly, it has become a helpful tool for couples to achieve and preserve the traditional meaning of what makes up a nuclear family.

These new kind of reproduction particularly IVF, though costly, have been much beneficial. It is the answer for the heterosexually married couples to be able to rear their own off-spring. At the superficial level, it is poses a promising outcome but reasons to undergo such treatment is not absolute. While it has helped many, there still remain underlying controversies that need to be resolved. I think the usual argument that “we play God” is not enough to discourage the use of these artificial means of procreation. From this argument we can deduce many points such as these so-called “players” may be seen as “saviors” of their clients. It is their knowledge that was able to come-up with this treatment. It is not a matter of playing God but more of the regulation on how they apply it. It becomes immoral, on my point of view, when they subject the eggs or the sperms to too many experiments that can eventually lead to detrimental health issues in the future. The other argument that it is “unnatural” still does not suffice to put an end into it. Being unnatural does not necessarily mean that it is not the right thing to do for me. There are many medical procedures which go beyond the natural but contribute to the betterment of disabled individuals. Like the case of those with cleft palate; operating them is unnatural but the consequence is that they are given an improved and normal life. It is wrong that we equate what is unnatural to what can bring something or someone to a greater quality of living.

True enough, these state-of-the-art procedures answer the desires of the couples but it can, as well, be a tool to destroy the ecological balance among us. A potential benefit would be that of genetic splicing - removing the carrier of a disease or an undesirable trait, thus preventing it to be passed on. On the part of the men, it is also a way of continuing there bloodline. On the other hand, potential risks that come along with it must not be set aside. Since couples are given the liberty to choose the kind of genes they would want their child to have, the tendency is that they choose the best of the best. The process itself is like “customizing” parts of a car. They leave no room for imperfection on the child’s part. Commodification of children and exploitation of women are also at risk. On the case of surrogate moms, I cannot say that they are being exploited so long as they have given their consent. Another social disadvantage according to Dorothy Robert’s article on Race and the New Kind of Reproduction is that it heightens racial disparity. It is obvious that most of the new births are of white decent – to whom power and wealth are concentrated. The blacks often belong to the marginalized sectors doing the acts for the whites.

It is difficult to judge whether this reproduction-assisted technologies are moral or not. It would be better if they provide certain standards or legitimate reasons as to why couples or individuals would want to do it. It becomes immoral if for example syndicates would hire gestational mothers to raise children that they will make as assets in the future. But I remain conservative on the part that it should only be conducted to heterosexually married couples. Given this kind of innovation I think single women or those in homosexual relationships, though I have nothing against them, must not abuse this procreative liberty. I still believe that a holistic development of a child rests on a family of male and female parents.
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israel barrios



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PostSubject: Answer to the Reproductive Technologies hw   Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:55 am

Jan Israel Barrios

The essays mentioned a number of reproductive technologies- almost all of them (the technologies) sound familiar but that does not mean I know a lot about the topic. And even though I knew little of the technical stuff such as the exact procedures etc, I am aware of the moral issues regarding the topic. Sperm and egg donation, genetic engineering, in-vitro fertilization etc- all of these are very promising. For couples who have long wanted to have a child but are not that successful, such technologies would really be of help. Scientists today are also working on developing certain technologies that would allow childless couples not only to have children but also to select the specific traits that they wanted their children to have. Children with the best possible physical qualities, immunity to most diseases and enhanced mental capabilities- all couples would surely love to have that. But that's where one of the moral issues come to the scene.

I have seen the movie Gattaca. The movie features a futuristic scenario where genetic technology is as common as a television in our time. In their (Gattaca) society, genetic engineering allowed couples to select the best offspring from a number of fertilized eggs as well as their traits. As early as childbirth, their medical experts already knew what kind of diseases that child would have when he/she grows up. Those who are genetically-engineered/ selected, are called "valids". In their society, valids are considered as the normal and acceptable people. Those who are not genetically engineered (born the natural way) are called "invalids". The invalids are treated like outcasts- deprived of equal opportunities in almost every aspect (jobs, access to various places etc).

So as we can see in the movie, making a number of people superior by altering their genes would expose those unable to undergo the same procedure to a new kind of discrimination. If many people are still being discriminated today just because of their race, what more if you would make others superior not only in color but also in their abilities? The benefits of the said technology are undeniable. But considering the gap between the first and third world countries, it is quite obvious that only the rich would be able to afford these technologies and the rest, discriminated for the rest of their lives.

Another issue here is if it is morally acceptable to donate a sperm or an egg. Sperm/egg cells are not just microscopic objects that we could easily discard. There is no question that these cells are a part of us. And they are not just mere parts- they are alive and from them, new lives arise. If a person donates his/her sperm, there is a huge possibility that he/she would have a child whom he/she doesn't know, doesn't know him/her and may never ever (never ever?) be able to know each other. This issue is a very sensitive one and in Friendster lingo, "it's complicated". That's why it is very difficult for me to take a clear stand on this. I think it is alright to donate sperm if I would be allowed to personally implant it to the female. Just kidding. Kidding aside, a part of me says it's okay because couples who can't have children also have the right to experience the joy of bringing up a child. But a larger part of me says otherwise.

Yes, everyone has the right to experience having children. But we always look at it from a moralistic point of view. I am aware that our subject is Ethics but how about the resources? This is just my opinion but If we think about it, the world's natural resources are slowly diminishing. Scientists are already speculating the number of years remaining before the world runs out of a particular resource etc. It is very easy to say that the world has enough resources for everyone. The only problem is its distribution. And if these resources would just be distributed evenly, then there would be enough for everybody. This is true. But considering the greed of the capitalists, the oligarchs, the United States, the global financial institutions etc, I don't think that the mentioned solution is possible.

I think it is not morally acceptable to just give away a sperm/egg, let someone have it, and allow the child to grow up without any attachment to the real parent. Some would say that it is okay to donate once or twice and receive money for all the trouble, but if you are already using it as an income-generator, then it is not morally acceptable. But for me, the number of times you donate is not really important. A large part of me just dont think that it is morally just.

Again, just my opinion, if these couples could afford to pay for such expensive technologies, then why don't they just adopt children. Adopting children is an acceptable act in our present society. And I think it is also more practical. Most importantly, you don't have to alter genes and act like you are God.
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ortiz



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PostSubject: Surrogacy   Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:44 am

The three aspects of reproduction-genetic, gestational and rearing- has often been mentioned in John Robertson’s article “Freedom and the New Reproductive Technologies.” He also mentioned that these three aspects should not always be aggregated. Instead it can be deconstructed in order to give a chance to couples who cannot bear their own children to form their own family. He mentioned a number of reproductive technologies that have recently become options for infertile couples.

One of the reproductive technologies that has been given highlight in the article is collaborative reproduction. Collaborative reproduction entails that either in the genetic or gestational aspect is carried out by a third party. Examples of this technique are gamete donation and surrogacy. For this reaction I would like to focus on surrogacy and discuss why for me it is morally unacceptable as method of forming a family or exercising procreative liberty.

First and foremost, although we can say that it is morally permissible that the genetic aspect of reproduction may be deconstructed from the others, there is much reason to say that the gestational aspect cannot. The gestational period is where the first major bond between the mother and the child is being formed. Although genes are a bond in itself, it is in my view that the bond made during gestation is of greater importance. There is no denying that the surrogate mother, in many aspects, becomes attached to the developing fetus. She is the main caregiver of the fetus until the moment of birth.

There is reason to believe that there is a bond that has been created during gestation between the mother and the fetus. At moment of birth, despite of preconceptual agreements, the surrogate mother becomes reluctant of giving the baby to the rearing parents to the point of actually claiming their rights in court. These actions are obviously not acts of selfishness or unreliability. These cases only manifest that the bond between the mother and the fetus is a bond that cannot be easily severed even through a contract made before conception.

I also agree that women and the labor that they give are being commodified by this technique. Consumerism has come to its height that even babies and pregnancy can be given a price tag and paid for. Another point becomes apparent when we see children in foster homes longing for a normal family to be part of. There is always the choice of adoption. There is no need to resort to a painful process that in the end only leads to a situation where one person gives up someone that she has taken care of for months just because of a piece of paper that says she should.
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Pilarta-Lesly



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PostSubject: Gamete donation   Fri Dec 12, 2008 6:30 am

We have come to a point in time when we realized that sometimes couples need assistance in order for them to form a family. Science, in light of its mission to make our lives, better has developed a number of techniques by which infertile couples can become parents. These reproductive technologies have been highly practiced especially in countries where technology is most advanced such as the United States. There is no doubt that more and more couples are becoming ever more fulfilled as they undergo these techniques and become successful in having a child of their own. Gamete donation will be my focus and I will provide reasons for its moral permissibility in the succeeding paragraphs.

Gamete donation is the donation of one’s sperm or egg to a repository in order for it to be used for couples who are infertile. There is no doubt that this technique has helped a lot of men and women, either single or couples, have a child of their own. Although one parent may be not genetically connected with the offspring, it is still an experience that most couples are actually incomplete without.

It is understandable that couples would favor this technique instead of adoption. Adoption has more emotional costs than gamete donation. Although adoption may seem a more heroic choice rather than artificial means like gamete donation, it would be much unjustified if we deprive a couple or a single person of having an offspring if they think that they are fit to do so. In our culture, we give so much importance on being pregnant and how it is fulfilling for a couple to have children of their own, why then should we restrict gamete donation when it actually enhances that cultural trait.

However convenient gamete donation, it does not mean that it must be restricted if necessary. Because gamete donation sometimes comes with monetary compensation, parties should first see to it that the donation of the sperm or egg is not being commodified. How can this be achieved? There are psychological techniques by which we can gauge the true intention of donors. There is a need to establish with the parties concerned that the gametes being donated are not just a mere secretion of the body but an actual part of oneself that can have serious repercussions to the life of others.

I also do not agree with arranging multiple fertilizations forming multiple embryos. Life starts at fertilization, may it be a person or a human being or neither. Life cannot be played or toyed with. This especially points out to the use of embryos for scientific research.
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batiles



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PostSubject: Re: Reproductive Technologies- morally acceptable or not?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 6:51 am

In our society, people have the tendency to widely exercise what they perceive as their rights, rights that they should claim and be in power of. It may be the right to freely express one’s self, right to a healthy environment, right to education, right to choose and express one’s individuality…and now even the right to reproduction.

Our right to reproduction is entailed with many privileges, but what further makes this supposed right an issue is the emergence of reproductive technologies. Reproductive technologies arose from the fast development of our knowledge on science and technology and on the growing demands of society from these developments…especially because these developments promise not only an easy, carefree life, but also answers to problems that our predecessors can only depend to solve through prayers and chants. An example of these problems is infertility, or at times, simply the incapability to have an offspring due to physical constraints such as when two homosexuals cohabit or for lack of a reproductive partner.

Artificial insemination, in-vitro fertilization, sperm and egg donations are all fruits of reproductive technologies. These methods bring about assurance that a couple or in some cases, a single person can have a child even if there are problems on their reproductive capabilities. Like in artificial insemination, a sperm is placed on the reproductive tract of a woman for the sole purpose of impregnating her through artificial means for the husband or partner may be infertile or the woman is engaged in a homosexual relationship or she just wants to have a child without really wanting to have a partner to go with it.

For me, artificial insemination is acceptable for as long as the woman to be impregnated really desires to go undergo the procedure and have an offspring and the sperm donor is aware of how his sperm is going to be used and gave complete consent to it, then I guess nothing is really wrong with it for nobody is really harmed or going to be harmed by the whole process. Second is that, because of this process, another life is created, and any form of life is a gift; life is something to be celebrated and not be debated upon on whether it is moral or immoral for at the end of the day, what matters most is the end product of all these, a healthy baby, the magic of life worth smiling about and not the process itself.

On the criticism that by doing this we kinda “play like we are God”, my only answer to this is, what about death penalties or imprisonment? aren’t these methods also a stretch to what we should and should not be doing as mere humans? My point here is this, creating life is a gift that God has given us, regardless of the hows, all that’s important is that we produced life, to nurture it and to love it….and for me, that’s all that counts. Also, God has given us the “brains” to think and to create new things, and I guess it’s only proper that we use what God has given us, especially if it is for a positive thing like to create life. And again I’m going to stress that life is a gift, regardless of the process, the end product is a cute little baby…how can it be wrong to want and have one, when no one is really going to be harmed by the whole process?...only conservative egos I guess.
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Salinas



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PostSubject: Re: Reproductive Technologies- morally acceptable or not?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 7:43 am

Reproductive technologies are sprouting like business on the medical field. These technologies were introduced and had been enhanced through the years. On my point of view, these technologies or medical procedures should be practiced based upon its basic purpose, that is, to help in “creating” the child of couples who are unable to produce their own due to their infertility (or infertility of the husband or wife.)

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is one of these technologies. This is done by fertilizing sperm and egg cells (“harvested” from the husband or wife and the donor) in a Petri dish until an embryo is formed. The embryo then will be planted on the womb of the mother who will carry the embryo throughout its conception until its birth.

One of the criticisms of this procedure is the argument that we are playing God and that it is unnatural. But, it is important to consider that it is not the choice of the couples to be infertile and that they are just following the will of God which is to procreate. The means might be unnatural however, the end justifies their way of having a child and that is to use the aid of technologies.

Moreover, the procedure cannot be tagged as immoral because of various reasons. First, since the donors undergo examinations and screenings before donating specimens, the tendency to have a failed result is very minimal or perhaps, the outcome of the procedure would result to breakthroughs such as a highly-genius or multi-talented child. Second, the actors on this procedure are mutually benefited as the couples could have a child and the donor is financially compensated (there is an assumption that those who donate are financially needy.).

However, and I think, such procedure should be limited only to married couples who are physically not capable to have their own child. The couple is also required to be responsible as parents in their child. Based from the essay of Dorothy Roberts, in availing this procedure, financial capacity of the couple is a factor since this procedure entails huge amount of money. That is why, it is observed that Whites are the often clients of clinics that offer IVF; Whites who imposed the hierarchy of social classes based on color and wealth. Therefore, couples should also be restrained from having a choice on the characteristics or features of their would-be child because if they do, it would enhance the discrimination on the society as Whites may choose to have a child similar to their features (i.e. blonde hair, white complexion, blue eyes among others.)●●●
[justify]
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tuason



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PostSubject: surrogacy   Fri Dec 12, 2008 7:55 am

A Closer Look at Surrogacy


Not so long ago, I happened to read a book entitled “Turnabout” which is about advancement in scientific research. I was stunned with the fact that, nowadays, everything got so simple with just few waves of hands. Everything become very close to human manipulation and that includes reproduction among human beings. For me, this is very alarming since human become subject of research and experimentation. However, some of these developments in reproductive technology can also be seen in a positive way.

Reproductive technologies include IVF, artificial insemination, gamete donation, GIFT, zygote intrafallopian transfer, surrogate motherhood and so on. These advances are of help in providing biological or gestational offspring to infertile couples and individuals. I personally believe that except surrogacy, these technologies are morally acceptable. This is so because, I find surrogacy a very not so simple mean to have a baby.

I believe that, out of the advancement of medical technology, surrogacy is a moral dilemma that has risen. It is a procedure by which a woman is hired to bear a child for another woman, or a couple, who are not capable of having children themselves. This may be based on whatever reason like the man or woman is infertile or the woman cannot carry the child, among others. With this in mind, surrogacy, for me, is morally wrong, because using another woman as an incubator with prearranged compensation is a disgusting mortification of maternity and an offense to dignity of human. I strongly think that surrogacy is mortifying because of the involvement of the alteration of the woman's reproductive abilities into services that can be traded on the market. This mortification is also stemmed from the fact that surrogacy becomes a mean of oppression among women since the contracts that is signed in surrogacy usually limit a woman's sexual activity after insemination, dictate the drugs and foods she can feed on, and in some cases have tried to remove her decision regarding abortion.

Furthermore, I find the truth that surrogacy introduces another woman very disturbing. This is because involvement of a third party into the couple's reproductive process may seem seriously close to adultery (although not precisely) and may eventually demoralize the couple's relationship. Also, in ovum surrogacy using the husband's sperm, the wife is obliged to raise a child who is not hers but who is genetically her husband's. I find this very immoral because the sanctity of family life that necessitates a single husband and wife is being violated and surrogacy then, defies the exclusive union between the infertile couple.

In simpler words, I believe that surrogacy is morally unacceptable in ovum surrogacy wherein the baby is just a genetic offspring of the husband and not of the wife. This is wrong because the couple uses the egg of another woman to have a baby. My argument concerns the status of a child who is the genetic child of the surrogate and the husband because he was the sperm donor. The child becomes a offspring of two unrelated (not related by marriage) individuals.

However, if the case is that the infertile woman and her husband supply both ovum and sperm, I believe that this can be morally permissible because the child is their genetic child and the surrogate’s role is limited to gestation. Even though this is also questionable, because many feminists argue that the relationship between the surrogate mother and the child is at least as important as the genetic relationship exercised by the couple, it is good to note that in this set-up, no marriage is put in danger and the child is genetically related to the couple.

In conclusion, surrogacy accompanies moral dilemmas and moral questions that cannot be neglected. The issue of morality of surrogacy can never be easily answered. In the midst of the advancements in medical technology, couples resort to patronizing these artificial means of reproduction. Given the situation of infertility, will you choose surrogacy?

Beats me.
Would you want to?
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Cabral, D.R.



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PostSubject: Re: Reproductive Technologies- morally acceptable or not?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 8:01 am

Science and technology have gone leaps and bounds in exciting human fancy, so much so, that even biological impossibilities we have thought of back then are slowly being realized. Now we have our very own version of an “immaculate conception”- “conception without copulation”- made divine by reproductive technologies that had seemingly put the Hand of God fit in a scientist’s gloves. As individuals are freed from the constraints posed by procreation, they get this false sense of security and power in commanding how to bring a being into life, that could possibly tax them more than what they got for in the first place.

Artificial insemination and in-vitro fertilization, some among many reproductive technologies to further assert the procreative liberty of individuals, are now seen as tools to bypass the limitations of the human birthing process. The prospects of a world made better through new opportunities to create babies may sound true in some cases. Take for example the case of the responsible and stable couple, worthy enough to have a child, but wasn’t blessed with enough “magic” to have one. Here then enters reproductive technologies that give them the chance to lead a normal and more gratifying family life- one with kids, that is. Moreover, these procedures well may save a dying race, say a country with many folks too old to bear children may need to be injected with fresh blood, with youth, using not gametes but syringes and test tubes, to resume their capacity and potency to perpetuate. Birth defects and diseases could also be controlled, by picking out which chromosome leads to what disorder, then cutting them out of the embryo.

However, the thought of treating sperm and egg as if they were seeds just waiting to be watered and planted, and babies as if they were stuffed toys packaged and peddled, is disturbing. It would be no surprise then, that just as we treat human living cells and even human beings as commodities bought and sold, we maybe utilizing them in an inhumane manner. For instance, some embryos not too well- developed or viable enough to result into a baby may be utilized for another “scientific pursuit”, say testing new drugs to see how it would affect some cells considered nearly human, or even for stem-cell research. We can go even to the extent of controlling which traits and features we would want the babies to have, as if they were dolls we could dress-up and destroy as we please, going beyond the purpose of bringing to being healthy, well- functioning individuals and moving towards mania in seizing full control as to who are supposed to live.

The capacity to bear a child is the greatest force that could turn the tide as far as the battle between sexes go. Many a lady would feel their womanhood stripped off in the event that they can no longer carry another human being in her belly, and this, by default, makes here cede all her powers to the opposition. This cessation of the capacity to bring a being into being underscores the subordinate position relegated to women, in a world that requires one to have ways and means to conduct business, to bargain; this brings a lopsided victory to men, in the advent of new reproductive technologies that would result in “new baby containers other than women” (no matter how saddening or offensive that may sound). New reproductive technologies are biased even in terms of race and economic standing. These innovations are made readily available to people who have enough money to roll the dice time and again in the hopes of successfully making a baby where the usual conception process has failed. In addition, whites are granted greater respect and confidence in their capacity to undergo a highly scientific process, whereas the possible need of blacks for such are usually overlooked. Reproductive health strategies would clearly reinforce the already- stiff gender and racial differences set up by social structures, further supporting the perceived hierarchy as to who shall receive greater consideration and respect in moral issues such as this.

These reproductive technologies remove the element of mystery and wonder in how we come to be. We, men included, are alienated from the entire birthing process, as we realize that we can actually choose to delegate a sensitive and intimate responsibility of carrying a child to a third party. We also become intolerant and unforgiving to the natural imperfection that comes with an individual, since we know now that we can cast what constitutes perfection; we can slice and dice cells towards that end, or tinker here and there to suit our tastes (and we are talking about human beings here). What bothers me the most is that we humans are trying a little too much. While it is important to stretch our understanding and faculties to their fullest potential, they must fall within acceptable limits, somewhere that doesn’t go beyond the superhuman and the divine. True, we don’t want to play god, but our walk and talk resembles one at every inch- just how we want it.
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Azarraga



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PostSubject: Re: Reproductive Technologies- morally acceptable or not?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 8:42 am

It’s not shocking that in today’s world, technology continues to permeate even the tiniest aspect of human life with the intention of making things easier. Technologies developed in the medical field have been seen as most helpful in aiding doctors and giving patients choice and opportunity. Reproductive technologies today have been very advanced to the point that one could actually manipulate the variable which would determine the traits of one’s baby. In vitro fertilization, reproductive procedure, entails fertilization of the egg outside the woman’s womb. This calls serious reevaluation of the formation-of-baby definition. However in vitro fertilization may call into account the artificial dimension of the said procedure, I still believe that it is acceptable. I don’t think that couples who want to have a baby and who are fully aware of the said responsibility should be barred from doing so just because one or both of them are infertile. In the case of homosexuals, I think it’s justifiable as long as the would-be parents would be able to care and provide for their would-be baby. Yet, like everything else in this world, IVF also has its cons. While it may provide for infertile parents a chance to have their own child, this kind of procedure, as postulated by Dorothy Roberts in her article, may create a bigger racial disparity and discrimination. It has been observed that most people who are availing of this technology are white and wealthy. It appeared that this kind of procedure only caters to the upscale part of society and that Black people, specifically are deprived of this kind of opportunity when ironically, they are the ones who need most help. But reproductive technology is not mainly a question of race but a question of intentions.

In general, reproductive technologies are acceptable and can be allowed. But this is not absolute. These technologies have to be regulated and monitored carefully. An example would be something related to eugenics. I believe that it is immoral for a would-be parent to select traits which are more preferable and superior to their would-be child. This is exactly what “play” in playing God means. It deliberately eliminates the natural aspect of having a child. It would be justifiable however, if eugenics can be used to filter out disease-causing genes. This way, a procedure is restricted so as not to abuse power to control things which before cannot be controlled.

In conclusion, reproductive technologies are there to assist and aid people who need it and not just a convenient way of doing things differently. It’s not an open option, it’s a last resort.
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Mercado



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PostSubject: Reproductive Technology   Fri Dec 12, 2008 9:44 am

Technologies revealed and provided alternative methods to promote conception given physical and genetic limitations to fertilization. The distribution and expansion of reproductive technologies for procreation raises very serious moral concerns in relation to family relationships, gender issues and the commercialization of reproduction.

Fertility procedures like in vitro fertilization involves hormonally controlling the ovulation process, removing ova from the woman's ovaries and letting sperm fertilize them in a fluid medium. Fertilization occurs in the laboratory; therefore not natural, but nevertheless beneficial. As many as five adults may play parenting role: the genetic mother and father, the gestational mother, and the intended parents. Hence, this innovation challenges and transforms the form and structure of the family according to the traditional social and legal norms. Allowing genetic diagnosis, reproductive technologies prevent obligatory terminations of pregnancy. The technology entails experimental manipulation of the human embryo. In the process, the parents entrust the life and identity of the embryo into the power of the doctors. Physical and intellectual traits of the fetus can be pre-ordained depending on the preferences of the parents.

However, genetically selecting the traits of the fetus will lead to the “overproduction” of perfect and “super” humans having exceptional qualities. There are potential outcomes and risks to this outcome discounting the fact of failures of the fertility procedure. Total elimination of defects and other inferior traits will result. Racism and discrimination practices will deepen and intensify leading to loss of individual selfhood and tradition. In the Philippines, with the colonial mentality endemic almost all parents would prefer babies of foreign genotype (i.e. genetic constitution).

In general, reproductive expectations from the society generate feelings of inadequacy, inferiority and abnormality. Women are socially constructed as mothers: “pregnancy makes a woman complete.” Pronatalist position dominates women to pursue of maternity. This notion discounts the political and economic potential of women and at the same time entrenching patriarchy. Men, on the other hand, are socially constructed virile fathers. All in all the main issue is procreation – fertility and infertility – as prescribed by the society.

More moral difficulties lies in ensuring equality and social justice (e.g. gender identity, economic status, etc.) in access to medically necessary and appropriate treatment. This booming technology gives room for exploitation and oppression.

Based upon these, measures should be taken to limit reproductive technologies on the ground of expense, effectiveness and medical necessity. Freedom is not absolute. Nevertheless, fertility procedure presents freedom and convenience into a single package. Reproductive ethics should therefore be understood within the particular social context characterized by tension among competing interests and vulnerabilities. Reproductive technologies could help if coupled with responsible parenting.


Last edited by Mercado on Fri Dec 12, 2008 6:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Camunay



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PostSubject: Re: Reproductive Technologies- morally acceptable or not?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:46 pm

Now more than 250, 000 babies have been born, according to emedicinehealth.com, since its first usage in the United States in 1981. The in Vitro Fertilization, or IVF, offers infertile couples a chance to have a child who is biologically related to them. What happens then? A man's sperm and the woman's egg are combined and fertilized in a laboratory dish then resulting embryo is transferred to the woman's uterus to implant and let it grow naturally. It usually takes 2-4 embryos placed in the woman's uterus at one time. A child in the name of Louise Brown was the first child to be conceived through in vitro fertilization and this made other forms of assisted reproductive technology to become an option for couples who struggle in having a baby.

Reproductive technology like the IVF for me is both acceptable and not, depending on different grounds. Well as for the case of couples who have been trying for more than a year to have their own family, I suggest that they resort to IVF. But in choosing to have their babies be artificially made, they must not be in control of more specific actions toward it. I do not agree with IVF if in anyway it will manipulate the more specific traits that the baby must have. They must accept whatever their future baby’s look will be based on the genes used in the process. As what happened in the article Dorothy Roberts: “Race and the New Reproduction”, most of Americans chose to have a baby with white skin and blue eyes. This resulted to a more prejudiced society for the black race. On the other hand, IVF is fine with me when it suggests having your own baby by using your own set of genes as is, without any other modifications and specifications that may be unfair to other people. I believe that religion must not be the hindrance in deciding whether a couple would undergo IVF of not. Why would the church prevent them from doing so if it means having a family? Preventing them would also mean eliminating the concept of a family. In my opinion, having a “test tube baby” would not make someone immoral or living against his faith. Maybe in the case of lesbians who wanted to have a baby through IVF would be of another case.

In the case of gestational carriers, a woman agrees to become pregnant and deliver a child for a contracted party. She gets pregnant through embryo transfer with a child of which she is not the biological mother. This is a more complex problem because a person outside a couple is involved. Taking aside the “what ifs” of this situation, gestational motherhood is acceptable for me especially when a person is risky to carry a child and deliver birth. But on the case of a woman who is fertile but is just unwilling to undergo pregnancy, I guess I will find it hard to accept. If her only reason is her “unwillingness” to perform pregnancy and no other medical reasons that would risk her health, she is just being demanding, and that is not fair.

From the different angles of the story, assisted reproductive technology (ART) life in vitro fertilization must be made available and legal for people especially those couples who are unable to create a family naturally. On the other hand, these procedures must be well-observed and regulated to prevent having difficulties regarding racial disparities among others.
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Catindig, TJJFP



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PostSubject: Re: Reproductive Technologies- morally acceptable or not?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:05 pm

I would first like to point out that medical science has come a long way. From the speculation of Galen to the Vertruvian man, to stem cell research, we are approaching the day when we will be able to master our bodies. It is not a question of “if”, but it is a question of “when”. As indicated in the article, there are numerous types of reproductive technology available to the public nowadays. What is to be focused on is artificial insemination and in-vitro fertilization. Both are used to give a second chance to women who are infertile, that they and their husbands or partners (in case they aren’t married) may be able to experience the joys of having a child of their own to rear. The wonders of modern technology have given humans (and livestock) the chance to go beyond the biological limitations that may befall us.

These practices are acceptable to me up to a certain extent. As earlier mentioned, these procedures give infertile women a chance at having a baby. What does this entail? That we have surpassed the limitations imposed by our own biology through medical science? That power of creation has, as usual, been subject to commercialization and thus is available to the greater public. Everyone has a chance at using such techniques granted by science, provided they have the finances to back them up. What these procedures do entail is that we can save whole bloodlines and even possibly a whole race through in-vitro fertilization. Now, infertile women do not have to despair for life and curse the high heavens for their bad luck at not being able to have a baby, sometimes even resulting in suicide. This affords both married and unmarried couples a chance to rear a child of their own (said child may not have been gestated in the woman, but hell, that’s the point of surrogacy) no matter how old they are (up to around the age of mid 60s, anyway).

Now, what else does this entail? This power of IVF needs three things to work, a sperm, an egg, and a uterus. Someone, either the partner’s male companion/husband or some guy may donate the first requirement. The infertile woman usually donates the egg. And finally, any healthy female capable of gestation can be used to fulfill the third criterion. The first danger here is the impersonality of the procedure when it involves surrogacy. Bearing a child for nine months is no easy task. Heck, when the bearer sleeps (see, I don’t refer to her as the mother, but rather her function, that’s another disturbing thought), eats, walks, is alone, she is with the baby. There is an emotional attachment formed during this process that is hard to break. When I think about it, it’s like waiting for a birthday present to be “made” just for you. The real mother doesn’t have to deal with all the pains that come from childbirth. With IVF, the fact that you can try and try again to get pregnant is also disturbing. The other problem is the emotional as well as financial burden the mother has to go through. Although stress levels do not, reportedly, endanger the baby, they do harm the mother, psychologically at least.

That some eggs may become unviable should not be cause for them to be used in other scientific pursuits or research. To give others a chance at bearing a life is one thing, to play with a life (which is another moral issue altogether) is another. I agree with assisting life to be created, even through artificial means. But using the by products of that process, even if they are unviable, should not be done. We already tread the thin line between these reproductive procedures ebing a boon to our race and being a bane on our conscience. That is one limit I propose for IVF patients. It is permissible for me to include unmarried and even homosexual couples because as long as they can prove they are capable of rearing the child then why not give them the chance? (The mechanism for finding out is another thing to think about).

In the end, we will be playing God to some extent. Until that time, we must temper our lust for control and power over nature with responsibility and the patience to further examine the ramifications of our actions and their effects on our present, as well as on future generations.
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De Vera, Rosemarie



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PostSubject: New Reproductive Technologies   Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:52 pm

The different reproductive technologies are overall good because it enables couples or individuals to have children even if they have reproductive difficulties like infertility or really want to have a child but does not have a partner. These technologies are a major leap to human life, scientifically speaking, and another break through and really show how brilliant the minds of people are. Since the main reason why scientists have come to developed such technologies is the fact that many couples or individuals do not have the capacity to give birth. These provide the answer to their problems and generally beneficial to them. Definitely, these support procreative liberty by enabling couples or individuals who have such difficulties in conceiving or other concerns to have the children who they really desire.

One example of reproductive technology is in vitro fertilization (IVF). This is a process of fertilizing egg cells by sperm cells outside the mother’s womb. It is done in breakers, test tube, or petri dishes. Once the egg cells are fertilized, these are then injected to the womb to continue the growth inside it. This technology is acceptable since its main purpose is to form a baby, and there is nothing wrong with it. Difficulty in conceiving will not be a problem anymore through IVF. It is somehow one of the basic among the reproductive technologies or practices because unlike egg and sperm donation, the genes of the biological parents are the ones used in this technology. There will be no confusion of the concept of “parent” because in the other technologies, there could be different biological, gestational and rearing parents.

Reproductive technologies or practices in general are acceptable because of procreative liberty. The wrong thing is to stop people from resorting to these technologies in answering their problems. It is much incorrect to say that “unnatural” is wrong. That, if you do not have the capacity to give birth, then you do not have the right to give birth, because it will be “unnatural”. That, therefore you must not give birth. Preventing someone to have children by applying a reproductive technology is the wrong thing. It is their freedom to have children if they desire. No one should remove this freedom, and much more their right to have children.

Another criticism of these technologies is that we are playing like God. It means that we can manipulate the resulting features of a child –if we want the child to be blonde, blue-eyed, white-skinned, etc. Yes, it is like that. I am a Catholic Christian and I believe that God is the most powerful. Yet, I am not against such practices for reproduction. If I solely adhere on the belief that men should not interfere in any “natural” works, then, what is the use of such brilliant minds? We have different faiths, but we are still humans and are capable of being rational. Actions should not just because “God says it”, but it should be if it is for the good of every individual. If a reproductive technology is harmful to individuals applying it, then definitely it should be stopped. For me, the main argument for not accepting these technologies is if it brings harm. However, that is not the case. Science continually improves these technologies to make sure that these are safe.

Change is the only thing constant in this world. With the continuous enhancement of science, it is expected that there will be more technologies that will again be questionable. Both cannot be stopped. But conflicts must surely be arranged. It can be thru an end of the other or compromise of one. In this case, the most important thing is that the “parent” of the child should be responsible to make the child grow with the proper love and affection and that his/her existence in this world is the best thing.
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QUILICOT



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PostSubject: Re: Reproductive Technologies- morally acceptable or not?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 7:10 pm

Humanity is truly an evolving race. With the technologies we have discovered, from fire, to big city industrialization, to cloning farm animals, we cannot discard the fact that someday, scientists will be able to find a way to make babies, sans copulation or the ability of an individual to actually conceive a baby. Apparently, that someday is now.

With the discovery of technologies like in vitro fertilization, artificial insemination, etc., infertile couples who would have suffered a life of childlessness can now rejoice in the fact that they can not be stuck in that barren fate anymore. Gay couples or individuals, who don’t have the ability to make babies with their own genes are now empowered with the existence of such innovations. With the dawn of this new era, individuals’ options for procreation is broadened, consequently, enhancing, human freedom.

One particular reproductive method that caught my attention is in vitro fertilization (IVF). It is a process wherein a sperm and an egg is fertilized in a fluid medium, after which, would be injected back to the woman, or a surrogate, in hopes of achieving a successful pregnancy. It is acceptable because it is beneficial, more than it harms anyone. Imagine, with this technology, many infertile couples would be happy as it is now possible to rear a child from their own genes! It is now possible to preserve a family lineage from ending! It is now possible to make babies until x years old! And there are still so much more possibilities.

With the criticism that these technologies allow us to play God, well, I don’t think that this is playing. These technologies give happiness to many individuals who truly want it. Withdrawing this technology to the public is actually more harmful than helpful, as a matter of fact. It has been seen that since many people could not bear children, they have been unhappy and miserable their whole lives. Now, with the availability of such innovations, can we actually not grant so many people the happiness they deserve? God GAVE us the ability to reproduce. Finding other means of such ends shouldn’t be as bad although there are some couples who are really pushing it, like white people who want the perfect little white kids, I think that it is still acceptable.

With the criticism of unnaturality, I would argue that if we adhered to everything that was purely natural, then right now, we’d be naked, living in forests, eating fruits and be stuck with primitive practices because THAT is natural. But we don’t live like that, do we?

There are still, of course, the economic and social dilemmas. First off is with the option of choosing your child to become the most optimal person he can become. Though everyone has the right to choose, even if it is the traits of their baby girls and boys, I think that it condones discrimination. The wrongness to it is that it CATERS to such discrimination, making it seem that if their babies looked like a mixed breed, it is already a matter of repulsion!

Also, there is an alienation of the poor, the “colored” and the single women. For the poor, since they cannot afford such lofty technology, they are helpless to do anything and resign in the fate that they can never bear any children. With the colored, apparently, few black people have availed of this technology because, more often than not, many clinics deceive them, steering them away from reproductive clinics, purposely giving them wrong diagnoses and not delivering any services to them at all. With the single wannabe moms, they are also hindered from making their babies, for the main fact they are single despite them being very capable parents.

Another problem I see is the deteriorating business of the adoption business. Since many children are still being left in adoption centers, many of these children will not be adopted anymore, which means, many of them will not be able to taste and see how a real family feels like.

With the accelerating development of technology, it will be only a matter of time when scientists discover cloning! Would you imagine. But I digress. New reproductive technologies are perfectly fine as it gives more benefit than harm. Although it caters to discrimination of the marginalized, I think that it is society’s ideologies that need a change.


Last edited by QUILICOT on Fri Dec 12, 2008 7:18 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : grammar)
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