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Another Ethics Situation

by Sasha Tee / January 4, 2007 9:10 AM PST

Sorry I have no link or any other reference for this topic, but it's something I read in the newspaper and it's been on my mind. It involves couples who are "little people" and others with disabilities such as deafness. Some of these adults are having genetic testing and manipulation done so they can produce offspring with the same traits. They believe it's their right to have a child like themselves. The ones who deliberately want to bring only handicapped children into the world for their own convenience seem to be way out of line because a deaf parent can learn to communicate with a hearing child and vice versa. In the case of the "little people" well, that's even more complicated, but imho, maybe it's best to leave that to YOU KNOW WHO.

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My feeling is similar to
by Steven Haninger / January 4, 2007 9:40 AM PST
this one although I will credit another being who's no longer welcome to be discussed here at SE. Happy
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(NT) nobody says it quite like Halil Jibran.thank you
by jonah jones / January 4, 2007 1:08 PM PST
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Genetic testing for all traits...
by grimgraphix / January 4, 2007 1:05 PM PST

are being done by so called "normal" people as well in an effort to produce a particular gender, etc. Frankly, I see no difference in what these people are doing as compared to the folks you mentioned here.

I'm not sure what is meant by "manipulation". In China, the stillborn rate in female newborns is many times that of males when these children are delivered at home by midwives. I have read of how this statistic is typically achieved but will not repeat the details here.

The statement... "The ones who deliberately want to bring only handicapped children into the world for their own convenience"... I don't understand. I would really have to see the article and a direct quote from one of these parents that mentioned "convenience" as a reason for what you mention. Simply said, a deaf parent is not inconvenienced by a hearing child.

If anyone wants to respond to my post go ahead... but I won't make any more comments about this subject.

grim

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a link (to one story) here
by jonah jones / January 4, 2007 5:44 PM PST
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interesting read in your link
by WOODS-HICK / January 4, 2007 11:03 PM PST

I hear all the stories of bio-engineering; trying to create the 'super-baby or designer baby'. when you here a logical** explanation for trying to create a child that most people would think of as impaired because they do not have one of our prime sensory receptors.

how will the child respond when he/she learns that the deafness was sought and intentionally implemented by another being, that being is your mother. a 'super baby' might not like that they were tall/short or that their eye/hair was instigated by a parent but those traits are not possibly a threat to survival.

I know how dangerous it has become for my mother who has lost most of her hearing. I have to watch her when we are near any moving vehicle, even innocuous things like a person on a bicycle coming from behind. if the rider is a child the only warning is noise, experienced adult riders might announce their presence but it falls on deaf ears.

of course being deaf might be a desired quality, by an employer, in some occupations. a bio-engineered specialist?

many of these 'bio-designo' experiments conjure remembrances of what was considered abhorrent, the notoriously vile: mengele from wwII.

"(from wiki)Eighty-five letters and diaries written by Mengele were discovered in late 2004. They had been seized in a 1985 raid on the home of Wolfram and Liselotte Bossert, who had harbored the fugitive Mengele until his death. These personal writings have not been made public."

------but were they made available to the scientific community?


the ethical question to me is: are we to be 'angels of life or death'?


**logical or logic is a concept that is subjective to an individual or group ('DEAF' from link) as exemplified by this article.

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Just a few years ago
by Dragon / January 7, 2007 8:19 AM PST

I was once on a science board with a lot of knowledgeable people. They argued very persuasively that we don't know what would happy if, say, we tried to manipulate genes in order to produce a smart kid, since we don't know how all the genes work together. The law of unintended consequences may still be around for the foreseeable future concerning that topic.

I don't know how something like designing for blonde hair or blue eyes would complicate things

I would be 100% for screening for abnormalities.

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re: screening
by WOODS-HICK / January 7, 2007 10:15 AM PST
In reply to: Just a few years ago

I have always thought the same, I did worry if insurance companies, future employers, etc could access that data base after the birth. we all know where privacy rights are heading. the benefits outweigh the risks of disclosure. the alternative, non-birth, I do not want to debate. too endless.

when I read how the two women wanted a child that had a high probability of being deaf rocked my world. yet they described their desire in rational terms. to me, intentionally creating a person that is born with an impairment is at the very least unethical, probably immoral and should be illegal.

whose life is it anyway? certainly not the sperm/egg partners. certainly not the 3rd party. certainly not an ethics board. certainly not the government.

I wonder if this has been questioned by the legal system. it is way above my pay grade.

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Screening and databases...
by grimgraphix / January 7, 2007 10:54 AM PST
In reply to: re: screening

I was disturbed by certain people suggesting a national medical record database last year for the simple fact that as genetic testing becomes more and more standard practice,,, the possibility of abuse by government and industry would be too tempting for many.

grim

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I think it is unethical
by Dragon / January 7, 2007 11:22 AM PST
In reply to: re: screening

and should be illegal for parents-to-be to create a new person who can't hear.

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(NT) Thanks so much for your link Jonah
by Sasha Tee / January 5, 2007 1:29 AM PST
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That brings to mind.....
by Angeline Booher / January 5, 2007 12:45 AM PST

....the stories not long ago about deaf parents who did not want their deaf children to have cochlear implants.

I can see the points made by those in this article who have led productive lives, and applaud them. When I think about it, all of us have traits, physical, mental, personality-wise, to which we adapt or use to our advantage.

I found this in a Google search:

<It is important to remember that most types of dwarfism are genetic (inherited) but that most individuals with dwarfism are born to average sized parents.>

http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/greenbergcenter

I admit I am torn re: "genetic engineering". In cases like cystic fibrosis, for instance. And it seems it would be great to not have inherited conditions.

Then I remember we are animals, and have to wonder if it is possible that mutations could occur down the line.

I don't agree with those who want to pre-determine the hair/eye color, height, "designer" children.

When my children were born, we had to wait 9 months to know their sex. So I got a lot of yellow, light green, and blue/pink blankets as shower gifts. Happy I still believe I wouldn't want to know. Personal choice.

As I said earlier, I am torn. Right now I'd prefer for research for cures from stem cells. The genetic area holds promise , for want of a better word, prevention. The rub for me there is what choices are made to prevent what.

Angeline
Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email
semods4@yahoo.com

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my mother always refers to the 'lack of mystery'
by WOODS-HICK / January 5, 2007 12:55 AM PST

now days. including over exposure of body parts in public.

what prompted this reply was she always says that she "knew I was going to be a girl". well to her delight (she might challenge that) she had to return all the pink outfits and girly things that were waiting for us at home. they did take too long to repaint my room though.

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:-)
by Angeline Booher / January 5, 2007 1:04 AM PST

She probably also remembered when everybody guessed re: how high the baby was being carried, how often it hiccuipped, how active it was, etc.

I'd say those predictions were right 50% of the time. Happy

Angeline
Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email
semods4@yahoo.com

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Just a thought!!!
by gearup / January 5, 2007 3:16 AM PST

I would say that these parents have more pathology at work than deafness.I cannot think that a person with normal thought processes would want to bring a child with a "social" disability into this world given the choice not to.

Would one look upon them kindly if we were talking about blindness or spina bifida or perhaps Thallasemia Major (Cooleys anemia).

I think not!

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i hate to say this
by jonah jones / January 5, 2007 3:36 AM PST
In reply to: Just a thought!!!

but i think that anybody who "looks upon them kindly while talking about deafness" would continue to do so, no matter how far the absurdity takes them....


.,

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Actually I agree with you 100% as dealing with absurd belief
by gearup / January 5, 2007 4:03 AM PST
In reply to: i hate to say this

systems is something we all have to put up with on a daily basis.

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Gallaudet University names Robert Davila, who is deaf
by WOODS-HICK / January 5, 2007 5:47 AM PST
interim president


"Gallaudet University is the world leader in liberal education and career development for deaf and hard-of-hearing undergraduate students. The University enjoys an international reputation for the outstanding graduate programs it provides deaf, hard-of-hearing, and hearing students, as well as for the quality of the research it conducts on the history, language, culture, and other topics related to deaf people. In addition, the University?s Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center serves deaf and hard-of-hearing children at its two demonstration schools and throughout the nation by developing, implementing, and disseminating innovative educational strategies."

http://www.gallaudet.edu/x266.xml


he was on the news today and was very adamant that being deaf "is not a disability". semantics?
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Semantics? No...
by grimgraphix / January 5, 2007 8:06 AM PST

Just a frame of mind... a way of perception.

As bionic implants become more feasible, people who choose to get technological enhancements in the future could very well look at non-cyborg people as being handicapped.

It all comes down to how you look at things.

grim

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my wife, barbarella v 6.89.19 agrees with you but
by WOODS-HICK / January 5, 2007 10:22 AM PST
In reply to: Semantics? No...

always wants to overwrite what I think. maybe the next patch from the 'we' channel will resolve issues.


back to gallaudet pres, he did not discourage the word impaired which may be more accurate. he regarded the word disabled as disparaging.

I agree that having advanced bio-implants might cause displays of superiority to others. it is evident today with surgical physical enhancements. also envisioned by the r & d on robotic universal soldiers, hopefully we will have them made in usa. hopefully they would remain in: fully charged, ready, standby mode.

one can always hope. a non-cyborg weakness?

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LOL...
by grimgraphix / January 5, 2007 11:47 AM PST

My point might be that we already look at surgery as a path to physical improvement.

If we are too fat, we get liposuction, too wrinkly, we get stretched and stitched until the wrinkles disappear. Heck, if you count silicone as a technology type implant than I have dated several cyborgs.

As far as Gallaudet goes... was that the school that was in the news a few months ago, where the students staged a rebellion when a hearing capable president was appointed? The argument had been that a hearing capable administrator would not be sensitive enough to the realities of the students to meet the students needs.

grim

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hopefully your cyborg was always a
by WOODS-HICK / January 5, 2007 12:28 PM PST
In reply to: LOL...

stephanie not a formerly stephen. (don't ask, don't tell) that happened to me in LA, in the light he/she failed the adam's apple spot check, plus feet were not exactly petite. then we went to vegas and got married. dis-mis-remember that last sentence, never happened. but DO remember to always remove your beer goggles before exchanging phone numbers.

like you said, sometimes you add sometimes you subtract.

never heard of the college nor the rebellion until today, it tied itself to this thread.

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thanks, I must have missed this
by WOODS-HICK / January 7, 2007 10:25 AM PST

yea, this whole area of 'future shock' is worth watching. the two deaf women's case in jonah's link also sounds like a court case.

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Seems to me that the two morons involved in this
by gearup / January 5, 2007 9:19 AM PST
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the school admininstration I think is going to lose
by WOODS-HICK / January 5, 2007 10:38 AM PST

my argument would be that the dog has to be exposed to non-danger, no need situations. the dog's skills would only get sharper.

the laws provided in the article indicate the student should be allowed to bring the dog to class.
the other alternative is that the school district would have to provide transportation and additional tuition to send him to a special needs school. that is already practiced in ny state with other challenged students. our school district provides that.

transportation within 25 miles, no tuition, to private/religious schools is provided and funded by our school taxes.

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They definitly will lose because the laws are clear
by gearup / January 5, 2007 11:03 AM PST

but the damage to this boy has already been done!

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"damage to the boy"?
by grimgraphix / January 5, 2007 11:36 AM PST

I agree that people are often short sighted but is there something I'm missing here. Other than making the young man cynical and further aware of the inequities that the world places on certain individuals because they are different... what damage are you speaking of?

grim

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AND another: commercial embryo sales
by WOODS-HICK / January 9, 2007 8:07 PM PST
Center sells ready-made embryos

"A Texas company has started producing batches of ready-made embryos that single women and infertile couples can order after reviewing detailed information about the race, education, appearance, personality and other characteristics of the egg and sperm donors."



".....The Abraham Center of Life in San Antonio, the first commercial dealer making embryos in advance for unspecified recipients, was created to help make it easier and more affordable for clients to have babies that match their preferences, its founder said.

"We're just trying to help people have babies," said Jennalee Ryan, who arranged for an egg donor to start medical treatments to produce a second batch of embryos last week. "For me, that's what this is all about: helping make babies.".....

......"The embryo brokerage, which calls itself "the world's first human-embryo bank," raises alarm among some fertility experts and bioethicists, who say the service marks another disturbing step toward commercialization of human reproduction and "designer babies.".......

........"Ryan said the main advantage is not the attributes of the donors but the cost: She charges $2,500 an embryo and estimates the total price tag would be less than $10,000 for each attempt at pregnancy, which is much less than the cost of standard adoption or in-vitro fertilization. Standard in-vitro procedures can cost $20,000, but average $12,000 to $14,000 in the United States."....

......."When the first 'test-tube' baby came out, some people said it was evil," Ryan said. "I think the same thing is happening with this. Because it's new, it's getting all this criticism."

heard this on news this AM; your OP was prescient sasha tee
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