Friday, November 19, 2004

Create 'Best' Child Possible, Says Bioethicist

Create best child possible, as our future depends on it: bioethicist
By Amanda Dunn

Parents have an obligation to have the "best" child possible, and that includes using genetic technologies to enhance humans. To neglect to do so would consign future generations to chance, rather than making rational choices about how we should live, Julian Savulescu, a bioethicist at Oxford University and Melbourne's Murdoch Children's Research Institute, said yesterday.
Speaking at a Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics seminar at Melbourne University, Professor Savulescu said the idea of enhancing children was no different from sending a child to the best school.
"If you're going to have a child you should have the best child you can," he said.
In the end, he argued, there were only two choices: either reject medical technology in its entirety or embrace it. To want to engage in only parts of it was morally ambiguous.
"Once we accept intervening in how things are naturally, for the treatment of disease, relief of pain, we've accepted that we can intervene in God's will or in nature for the better," he said. "And why should we stop at relieving pain, or prolonging life? Surely what matters is how well our lives go."