The Superficial Concept of Genetic Affinity
We live in a time were science and technology gets more and more advanced every day. The fact that we can genetically engineer embryos to prevent disease is no longer fiction. With this new (amazing) technology, terms like ‘genetic affinity’ come to surface. What does that even mean?
“It’s a nightmare scenario straight out of a primetime drama: a child-seeking couple visits a fertility clinic to try their luck with in-vitro fertilization, only to wind up accidentally impregnated by the wrong sperm.”
It has happened – Singapore’s Supreme Court recently ruled that the Thomson Medical Centre must pay a couples’ child support because they made a medical mistake, because the parents’ child ended up with the ‘wrong genes’.
This doesn’t only suggest that the genetic makeup of a child can be ‘wrong’, it also suggest that there’s a value to the amount of DNA parent’s share with their child or vice versa.
“This sets the stage for much more personalized, genome-level discrimination”
This raises several of ethical questions:
- Are adopted children more or less valuable?
- If parents’ go through a divorce, would child support be determined by the percentage of genes a parent shares with the child?
- Do genetics dehumanise life?
This ruling raises problems beyond ‘genetic affinity’ – it suggests that specific genetic traits could be more valuable than others.
You can read the full story written by Kristen V. Brown here.