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In vitro gametogenesis and the creation of ‘designer babies’

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Abstract
Research into the development of stem cell-derived (SCD) gametes in humans, otherwise known as in vitro gametogenesis (IVG), is largely motivated by reproductive aims. Especially the goal of establishing genetic parenthood by means of SCD-gametes is considered an important aim. However, like other applications in the field of assisted reproduction, this technology evokes worries about the possibility to create so-called ‘designer babies’. In this paper we investigate various ways in which SCD-gametes could be used to create such preference-matched offspring, and what this would mean for the acceptability of IVG, if it is premised that it is morally problematic to ‘design’ offspring. We argue that IVG might facilitate the creation of preference-matched offspring, but conclude that this should not undermine the moral acceptability of IVG altogether, even if one concedes to the premise that creating ‘designer babies’ is morally problematic. In the light of this, we also point at a possible inconsistency for a position that condemns the creation of ‘designer offspring’, while accepting the various endeavours to have genetically related offspring.
Keywords
ethics, bioethics, reproduction, genome editing, IVG, in vitro gametogenesis, artificial gametes, stem cell-derived gametes, designer babies

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MLA
Segers, Seppe et al. “In Vitro Gametogenesis and the Creation of ‘Designer Babies’.” CAMBRIDGE QUARTERLY OF HEALTHCARE ETHICS 28.3 (2019): 499–508. Print.
APA
Segers, Seppe, Pennings, G., Dondorp, W., de Wert, G., & Mertes, H. (2019). In vitro gametogenesis and the creation of “designer babies.” CAMBRIDGE QUARTERLY OF HEALTHCARE ETHICS, 28(3), 499–508.
Chicago author-date
Segers, Seppe, Guido Pennings, Wybo Dondorp, Guido de Wert, and Heidi Mertes. 2019. “In Vitro Gametogenesis and the Creation of ‘Designer Babies’.” Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 28 (3): 499–508.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Segers, Seppe, Guido Pennings, Wybo Dondorp, Guido de Wert, and Heidi Mertes. 2019. “In Vitro Gametogenesis and the Creation of ‘Designer Babies’.” Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 28 (3): 499–508.
Vancouver
1.
Segers S, Pennings G, Dondorp W, de Wert G, Mertes H. In vitro gametogenesis and the creation of “designer babies.”CAMBRIDGE QUARTERLY OF HEALTHCARE ETHICS. 2019;28(3):499–508.
IEEE
[1]
S. Segers, G. Pennings, W. Dondorp, G. de Wert, and H. Mertes, “In vitro gametogenesis and the creation of ‘designer babies,’” CAMBRIDGE QUARTERLY OF HEALTHCARE ETHICS, vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 499–508, 2019.
@article{8589178,
  abstract     = {Research into the development of stem cell-derived (SCD) gametes in humans, otherwise known as in vitro gametogenesis (IVG), is largely motivated by reproductive aims. Especially the goal of establishing genetic parenthood by means of SCD-gametes is considered an important aim. However, like other applications in the field of assisted reproduction, this technology evokes worries about the possibility to create so-called ‘designer babies’. In this paper we investigate various ways in which SCD-gametes could be used to create such preference-matched offspring, and what this would mean for the acceptability of IVG, if it is premised that it is morally problematic to ‘design’ offspring. We argue that IVG might facilitate the creation of preference-matched offspring, but conclude that this should not undermine the moral acceptability of IVG altogether, even if one concedes to the premise that creating ‘designer babies’ is morally problematic. In the light of this, we also point at a possible inconsistency for a position that condemns the creation of ‘designer offspring’, while accepting the various endeavours to have genetically related offspring.},
  articleno    = {PII S0963180119000422},
  author       = {Segers, Seppe and Pennings, Guido and Dondorp, Wybo and de Wert, Guido  and Mertes, Heidi},
  issn         = {0963-1801 },
  journal      = {CAMBRIDGE QUARTERLY OF HEALTHCARE ETHICS},
  keywords     = {ethics,bioethics,reproduction,genome editing,IVG,in vitro gametogenesis,artificial gametes,stem cell-derived gametes,designer babies},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {PII S0963180119000422:499--PII S0963180119000422:508},
  title        = {In vitro gametogenesis and the creation of ‘designer babies’},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0963180119000422},
  volume       = {28},
  year         = {2019},
}

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