Playing God can be done by various means. When I’m delusional, I believe I can “play God” by sheer mental will power alone, but that’s not what I’m referring to here. I’m referring to genetic engineering, the direct manipulation of our genetic code.
Currently, scientists in the United States have mapped the human genome. They can identify various genes that cause many genetically linked disorders like Type 1 Diabetes and Crohn’s disease. ( “The Elusive Genetics of Bipolar Disorder”) Another disorder they are targeting is bipolar disorder. They are hoping to find better ways of treating it than what we currently possess. Eventually, they might be able to correct the disorder through genetic engineering.
So, this brings me to my question: Would you genetically engineer your child to be free of the genes that could cause him or her to be bipolar?
I find this to be a very difficult question for people to answer. For my husband and I, we both agree that we wouldn’t. He does not like the idea of messing with the gene pool because it goes against what nature had intended. Believing in Darwinism, he believes that there are genetic alterations in our code for a purpose of making us different from one another or to prevent or lead to a strengthening of the species.
I agree with him, but I also see it as a means of additional power that our government could gain more control over our lives. Have you seen the movie Gattaca with Uma Thurman and Jude Law? It’s about a society that genetically selects and creates perfect babies without allowing “love babies” (those born of natural means) to mingle and flourish with them. I guess you can say I’m looking at a worse case scenario, but come on. Hasn’t our society proven we are capable of this time and time again? I find genetic engineering to be playing God because it gives us the power to decide someone’s fate.
On the other hand for my twin sister, she thinks that she might use genetic engineering to make sure her child is free of the disorder. She’s the doctor in the family and she isn’t bipolar, but she sees those who are untreated or off medication all the time to know how hard the disorder can be for people. She believes that fixing the problems are more important and not “playing God” at all.
So, what are your thoughts? Would you use genetic engineering to keep your child free of the genes that cause bipolar disorder?