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In a world where perfection seems to be the watchword, the temptation to create the perfect child through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) is within reach.

IVF (in vitro fertilization) is an assisted reproductive technology (ART) that involves fertilizing an egg with sperm outside the human body. The resulting embryo is then implanted in the mother’s uterus.

PGD (preimplantation genetic diagnosis) is a technique that allows the analysis of embryos obtained by IVF to detect possible genetic abnormalities. This technique also allows the selection of the child’s characteristics, such as eye color, hair color, and sex.

It is through the combination of these two techniques that the creation of a “designer baby” becomes possible. IVF allows the selection of gametes and their fertilization in vitro, while PGD allows the selection of embryos that match the desired characteristics and do not carry the risk of genetic diseases.

Piercing blue eyes, platinum blonde hair, athletic physique, superior intelligence… the temptation to create the perfect child according to our criteria is within reach. But behind this idyllic dream lies a complex reality, with profound ethical and social implications.

A “designer baby” is not simply a matter of personal choice. It raises fundamental questions about the future of humanity. What kind of society are we heading towards if the selection of children’s characteristics becomes the norm? Are we moving towards a two-tier society, where “perfect children” would dominate those born “naturally”?

Demographic challenges and the rise of eugenics

President Macron’s demographic relaunch plan, called “demographic rearmament”, is part of a context of declining birth rates and increasing infertility. But is the “designer baby” a viable solution to this problem?

In France, the number of children per woman has fallen from 2.8 in 1960 to 1.86 in 2022. This phenomenon is also observed in many developed countries.

The reasons for this decline in birth rates are multiple. They include the high cost of raising children, difficulties in accessing housing, changing morals and individual aspirations, and uncertainty about the future.

Infertility is another important factor. It is estimated that 1 in 10 couples in France are confronted with fertility problems. This situation can be due to biological, environmental or psychological factors.

Some cultures, where male descent is essential, see this technology as a way to ensure the sustainability of the name and lineage. But what if all parents adopted this logic? Are we moving towards a standardization of the human being, where the diversity and uniqueness of each individual would be sacrificed on the altar of perfection?

Advances in science and technology

Advances in science in the field of assisted reproduction open up extraordinary possibilities. In vitro fertilization and pre-implantation diagnosis make it possible to bypass some infertility problems and choose the characteristics of the child.

In 2024, it is possible to choose the color of the eyes and hair of your unborn child thanks to IVF and PGD.

The choice of the baby’s sex is possible thanks to the sperm sorting method and IVF with PGD.

But these technologies are not without risks. They can be invasive, emotionally difficult and financially inaccessible for most people.

Soon genetic selection of embryos will be open to all parents.

The dangerous path of eugenics

Moreover, the selection of the child’s characteristics opens the door to eugenics, a dangerous practice that aims to “improve” the human race. History has shown us the dangers of such drifts, and it is crucial not to repeat them.

Indeed, in the early 20th century, eugenics was popularized by racist and white supremacist movements. They justified discrimination, segregation and even forced sterilization of entire population groups, judging them “inferior”.

The Nazi regime used eugenics to justify the Holocaust, the systematic extermination of millions of Jews, Roma, disabled people and other groups considered “undesirable”.

These historical examples remind us of the dangers inherent in eugenics. Selecting the characteristics of the child can easily lead to discrimination, marginalization and violence against those who do not conform to the norms defined by a society.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the “designer baby” is a complex and controversial issue. It is important to have an open and transparent debate on the ethical, social and scientific implications of this technology. It is our duty to find a balance between scientific progress and respect for human dignity.

Sources :

  1. https://www.futura-sciences.com/sante/actualites/crispr-cas9-bebes-chinois-ogm-mutations-imprevues-sont-apparues-leur-genome-73919/
  2. https://www.radiofrance.fr/franceinter/podcasts/les-savanturiers/les-savanturiers-du-dimanche-30-avril-2023-2859809
  3. https://www.fondationlejeune.org/defense-vie-humaine/influence/revisionloibioethique/loi-bioethique-modification-du-genome-humain/#:~:text=La modification du génome de,humains qui entrainent leur destruction.
  4. https://iatranshumanisme.com/2018/10/15/vous-pouvez-maintenant-choisir-la-couleur-des-yeux-de-votre-bebe/
  5. https://usbeketrica.com/fr/article/sur-la-piste-du-bebe-genetiquement-parfait
  6. https://www.lapresse.ca/sciences/genetique/201804/22/01-5162033-le-choix-du-profil-genetique-de-votre-bebe-bientot-au-menu.php
  7. https://www.pourquoidocteur.fr/Articles/Question-d-actu/42733-Choisir-sexe-bebe-technique-fiable-80
  8. https://www.science-et-vie.com/questions-reponses/pourrait-on-un-jour-faire-un-bebe-sur-mesure-71614.html
  9. https://youtu.be/cZZiMh1qBd4?si=kReDqwgHl5pT88qS
  10. https://www.lemonde.fr/societe/article/2024/01/17/emmanuel-macron-annonce-un-conge-de-naissance-et-un-plan-contre-l-infertilite-pour-le-rearmement-demographique-du-pays_6211291_3224.html#:~:text=Emmanuel Macron-,Emmanuel Macron annonce un congé de naissance et un plan,la natalité française en berne.

A propos de Lina MALIK

Etudiante en Master 2 Droit de l'économie numérique. J'écris un dossier technique sur "la transformation digitale du secteur public : vers une souveraineté française et européenne".

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