Ethical Issues Behind Embryo Characteristic Selection

This article refers to the ethical implications when parents can actually pick embryo characteristics. Abraham Center of Life in San Antonio, Texas can create embryos where parents can choose race, education, appearance, and personality. This has become a popular choice because parents can choose their child’s make up. It is also cheaper than adoption and in-vitro fertilization. Critics think this goes against God and natural procreation. On the other hand, the center founder, Jennifer Ryan, compares this to the natural selection people have when selecting a husband or wife.

This is a case of virtue ethics which deals with moral character instead of actions (Boatright, 2009, p77). You can ask yourself what kind of person would select every detail about their child before conception. This question can be answered with the attitude of wanting the good life. For some parents, having he perfect child is part of having a successful and rewarding life. Each embryo is carefully screened for health and background history and each donor has strict guidelines (age & health). This gives hopeful parents very specific criteria to choose from for their future off-spring.

The ethical concern is the scientific breeding needed to pull out the selective characteristics. The donor process is so selective that it seems discriminatory. Ms. Ryan and the center want only the most healthiest and intelligent candidates (Washington Post, 2007). While some doctors see no ethical concerns, many others disagree. The center is creating embryos but there are embryos already in other fertility clinics. How far should we go to have the most successful children?

Virtue ethics is how we feel about the decisions we make. Parents who make these types of decisions do not have an ethical dilemma in selecting characteristics. If we’re trying to make perfect humans, what would that do to our individuality? The perfect child is in the eye of the parent so that child may not be a perfect human...