Discursive Essay Designer Babies

Discursive Essay Designer Babies-27
Far from freeing women from the ‘tyranny of reproduction’, new technologies seemed to be enforcing the need for women to reproduce – creating a reproductive imperative that held that motherhood was the natural state for all women, whatever the cost.

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By the start of the new millennium, the development of genetic screening technologies made it scientifically possible for women to decide whether or not to carry a foetus with an ‘undesirable’ gene to term, and in December 2002, the space-alien worshipping sect, the Raaelians, claim to have cloned the first human baby, whom they named Eve.

In 2003, Stanford University’s Department of History and Philosophy of Science and Technology web site posited “it is only a matter of time before ectogenesis [gestation in an artificial womb] becomes feasible” (para 1) and a Sydney headline proclaimed “Meet Stephanie, A Designer Baby” (Apr 28 2003:1).

The Nash family never discarded healthy embryos; instead they saved the embryos so they could have another child in the future, which they eventually did.

It is also important to note that both parents were carriers for fanconi anemia, which means if they had another child via a natural pregnancy, the child have would have a 25% chance of being afflicted with the genetic disease.

Just six years later, Louise Brown, the first ‘test tube baby’ was born in England, and in 1980, the second, Candice Reed, was born in Australia.

By the end of that decade, prospective parents had access to a wide selection of commercially available reproductive options: embryos could be conceived in petri dishes and frozen in order to be thawed out at a more appropriate time; infertile couples could employ surrogate mothers to bear their children; lesbian couples and single women could have children using donor sperm, and grandmothers could give birth to their own grandchildren (by having the fertilized egg taken from their grown daughter implanted into their uterus).In 1986, FINRRAGE, the Feminist International Network of Resistance to Reproductive and Genetic Engineering, was born, arguing unequivocally that reproductive technologies were bad for women.As the FINRRAGE manifesto boldly states: We, women […], declare that the female body, with its unique capacity for creating human life, is being exploited and dissected as raw material for the technological production of human beings.From this perspective, the female body was neither a hindrance to be overcome, as is implicit in Firestone’s position, nor a natural site of feminine power to which women could return, as it was understood by the members of FINRRAGE.Instead, this broad group of feminists argued that the investigation of body itself ought to be at the centre of feminist inquiry.Using preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to obtain a healthy embryo to be used as a savior sibling raises the There are two main ethical objections that make PGD a controversial technique (Robertson, 2003).The first issue with PGD involves the discarding of embryos that are deemed useless because they are afflicted with a genetic disorder or are non-compatible tissue donors.With the rapid pace of reproductive technological development, it seems possible that Firestone’s demand will be met – ‘natural’ reproduction could indeed become a thing of the past.Yet as reproductive technologies developed, feminists began to notice several problems with the way these technologies were being implemented.uses cookies to personalize content, tailor ads and improve the user experience. By using our site, you agree to our collection of information through the use of cookies.


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