England’s highest court ruled that the creation of so-called ‘designer babies’ to help find cures for diseases is lawful, despite concerns about the destruction of unborn children to meet those goals.
The five Lord judges who decided the case ruled unanimously that tissue typing to create babies to help their siblings could be authorized by the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority, Britain’s medical research agency.
HFEA is allowing a London clinic to screen embryos created by in vitro fertilization (IVF) for genes that might lead to cancer.
Pro-life groups criticized the decision and say the agency is trying to play God by killing human embryos that have a cancer gene.
Critics note that there is a possibility that these unborn children would never develop cancer if they were permitted to be born.
Josephine Quintavalle of the Comment on Reproductive Ethics, the group that brought the lawsuit, argued the creation of designer babies violated British law.
“We are not thinking about curing the disease, but about eliminating the carrier. It is pretty shoddy medicine,” she said of the goals of the research.
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children has also been vocal in its opposition to so-called ‘designer babies’.