• Question: Do you think it is immoral to alter someone's genes to prevent any inherited diseases and illnesses from being passed on?

    Asked by Team Stony to Christl, Liz, Beccy on 22 Jun 2017.
    • Photo: Christl Donnelly

      Christl Donnelly answered on 22 Jun 2017:


      I have friends with inherited genetic conditions and with genes that increase their risks of cancer. I wouldn’t want to decide for them, but I wouldn’t have any moral objection to them wanting to alter the genes in question to avoid their children having the same medical challenges.

    • Photo: Liz Buckingham-Jeffery

      Liz Buckingham-Jeffery answered on 22 Jun 2017:


      Good question! For me, personally, I think if we could alter genes to avoid passing on medical problems that would be morally OK. But obviously, people may then want to take this further and change genes for eye colour, pick their babies gender, make them more sporty etc etc. This is when I think we start facing ethical problems.

      Interesting (but long!) read here: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/jan/08/designer-babies-ethical-horror-waiting-to-happen

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