Genetics and parenthood

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by JBeukema, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. JBeukema

    JBeukema BANNED

    Apr 23, 2009
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    So, here's another question I've been thinking about for a long time. If genetic modification becomes common place, it naturally raises the question of identity and also of parenthood. Let us say that one posses only copies of a given gene connected to some disease. Now, if one is to have that gene replaced either in one's sperm or in the newly formed child (fertilized egg), is it still your child? What if the gene is a second copy from the other parent? is it still a concern? What about if the gene is from a family member? What if ti is from a 'known good depository or otherwise from a stranger? What if two genes are changed? Three? Four? one hundred? At what point does one begin to wonder whether it's still 'one's child'?

    Consider another example: identical twins. If two men are identical twins and both are involved with a woman within a time frame that means either could be the father of her child, what it to be done? What if you were one of those men? What if both men wanted to be fathers, or if neither did?

    What does it truly mean to be the parent of a child? The law considers genetics to be a useful tool (paternity tests), but clearly doesn't believe that the genetic parent is always liable (sperm banks). Instead, a child is treated as a burden one accepts as the result of the 'risk' one takes by having sex. That is,. a matter of responsibility and duty to the child. Now, this might serve purposes of law, but it fails to address another matter: that of emotional attachment to one's children.

    Humanity, like many species and all mammals I can currently think o, tend yo have an emotional attachment to their children. Makes sense, of course, for evolution to select for this, yes? However, adopted parents oft feel that same sense of attachment, as do many men who later discover that they are not, in fact, the biological father of the child.

    So, what bout you? How many genes would have to be changed before it's not 'your child'? Do you think you would ever distance yourself the way you might from a child your partner had from a previous relationship, always knowing-in the back of your mind that it is his/her child but not 'yours'? Would you change your child's genome knowing that the child might no longer fit the mold of what you have always considered the (biological) relationship that makes your child 'your child'? Or would you, wanting to have a child that is truly 'yours' rather pass on some known defect or increased risk of disease

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