The recent announcement by a British medical ethics board in favour of an experimental three-parent IVF treatment — wherein the genetic material from three donors, not the usual two, is used to create a foetus — and has once again stirred the pot of reproductive controversy. So where exactly is the line between prenatal treatments and eugenic experiments?
Granted, the IVF procedure is being developed in order to prevent debilitating hereditary diseases from mother to child and could, theoretically, be used to wipe out these genetic scourges the same way we did Polio — which is good for everybody. At the same time, what's to stop us from adding more and more donors until we're simply picking the most desired traits at will and not so much making new life but literally constructing it? If you learned that your potential child would likely suffer from an incurable hereditary disease would you be willing to add a third genetic donor to prevent that? What about if you found out your child would be a ginger, would you add a third donor to prevent that? It's a slippery slope.
Image: Dabarti CGI