IVF improvements could result in designer babies, Lord Winston warns
Sunday 04 May 2014
Parents could start demanding designer babies as a result of improvements to IVF technology, Professor Robert Winston has said.
The fertility expert, who pioneered medical techniques to identify illnesses in embryos, has said he fears a time when the rich would be able to tinker with their baby’s appearance and ability.
He warned rich parents could end up ‘enhancing their genetics’ in a way poor parents could not.
Lord Winston, who achieved a national profile presenting TV series Child of Our Time and The Human Body, warned we could see the rise of eugenics as a result of developments in IVF.
He told a fertility conference that new screening technology meant scientists working with IVF needed to be particularly aware of the dangers.
‘One of the problems with our work is that we have been carried away with massive enthusiasms in reproduction. That mixture of enthusiasm and patient desperation is actually a very toxic and heady mixture,” the Daily Mail reports him as saying.
‘It is worthwhile standing back a little from the technologies that we employ. One of the issues of the market is that rich people may well be able to afford, in due course, the kind of enhancement to their genetics that other poor people may not be able to afford.’
The 73-year-old, who is currently emeritus professor of fertility studies at Imperial College, added that a growing market for fertility treatments and pressure to enhance human qualities could mean we ‘end up with a society where some people may actually have something that might threaten our humanity’.
Susan Seenan, chief executive of support group Infertility Network UK, told the Daily Mail: ‘Most patients just want to have a baby. They are not looking to have a designer baby.’ She added that to the average patient, IVF is a lifeline – and eugenics is the last thing on their mind.
- 1 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 2 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 3 Lady al-Qa’ida: On the trail of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the world’s most wanted prisoner
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 It's not just the savagery of Isis that is shocking – its weaponry is too
YouTube video posted by Isis militants shows 'execution of 250 Syrian soldiers'
Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
Sir Paul McCartney makes his stance on Scottish independence known
PM sets out tough new anti-terror measures in response to heightened threat
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
- < Previous
- Next >
£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Data Sc...
Highly Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - This is a very unusual law c...
£28000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior VB.NET ...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Web De...