In his book entitled Redesigning Humans: Choosing Our Genes, Changing Our Future, Gregory Stock observes that genetic profiling and pre-conception screenings will soon become obligatory because of its supposed ideal advantages. He believes that humanity will soon be tracking the path to genetic manipulation. Many healthcare facilities in many parts of the world today offer pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, which aims to evaluate the health of embryos whether they are inflicted with diseases or have higher chances of developing genetic disorders. Also, there are medical procedures available today that would allow prospective parents to avail of sex selection. Stock finds that embryonic screening through in vitro fertilization is 100% efficient and accurate; thus, it calls for a widespread employment as one of human’s options for conception and disease prevention. Stock believes that laboratory conception will soon become obligatory for the reason that it would serve the interests of many societal sectors. The private healthcare industry would benefit a lot in terms of the revenues they would get from offering pre-implantation screening services while the government is foreseen to support it because it would significantly aid in reducing the number of diseases that are common among new births. It would also allow parents to choose the kind of child they want to have. In a nutshell, it would soon become obligatory because that is just where the world is headed. With cultural developments influencing gender choices, notwithstanding the issues affecting the LGBT community, genetic manipulation would surely be a viable option for all.
Michael Sandel believes that genetic enhancements do not pose a threat to personal autonomy or free will because parents do not usurp the free will of the child they genetically design. Even in the case of natural conception, there is no single child that could select his or her parents, racial profile, socio-economic status, height, color, etc. Everything lies in the random selection of nature, that is, every child is conceived with less influences from external factors. However, Sandel yet maintains his argument that what is lost in the process of adapting genetic manipulations in conception such that parents are enabled to genetically design their children is the essence of the mystery of birth. Birth is a gift and should crop up from natural selection.
What many believes to be a clear-cut dilemma is the reduction the appreciation of gift. What parents override in employing artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization or resorting to sex selection or any other pre-implantation procedures is their openness to the unexpected. Sandel’s arguments do not really centre on genetic enhancements’ ethical dilemma and its confounding roles affecting the morality of humankind in terms of conception but it focus on the moral standards that might be lost due to overly appreciating the fact that genetic enhancements do not affect personal autonomy or free will.
Despite Sandel’s bold arguments on the negligible impact of genetic enhancements on personal autonomy and free will, he has not fully explained how it would also be a significant strain to parent to child relationship. Parenthood is supposed to be bounded by acceptance, love, and appreciation rather than expectation of what is ideal and best. In a nutshell, while Sandel believes that genetic enhancements do not pose a threat to personal autonomy or free will, it destructs the absolute essence of parenthood.