The Perfect Child or Just a Dream?

I was watching an episode of the old TV show Star Trek Voyager the other day. In the episode Chief Engineer B’Elanna Torres discovers that she’s pregnant. At first her husband Tom, as well as B’Elanna, are overjoyed by the news. Then B’Elanna begins to experience flashbacks to a not so pleasant childhood (she attributes being teased as a child and her father walking out on her mother and her, to B’Elanna’s being half Klingon).

From this she believes her unborn child is doomed to the same unpleasant childhood that she had, due to being part Klingon (and the only one on Voyager next to the child’s mother). B’Elanna sets out to convince the doctor to remove the DNA sequences that contain the dominant Klingon traits. The doctor refuses to perform the procedure to do this.

This episode has long since been a favourite of mine. I wonder, what would others do in this type of scenario? In the show there was a question about ethnicity (from my understanding) and not wanting to be an outsider. Being an outsider, in my experience, goes far beyond race, or even religion.

What if you had a medical condition that could be passed on to your children? Would you genetically alter them to ensure they do not get the medical condition? What if there was a chance they could be born perfectly healthy, regardless of any such intervention? Would you still want to change their genetic makeup?

For me, I know Spina Bifida can be passed on to any children I might have. Should I take every precaution to make sure they don’t get Spina Bifida? What if I were to do that, and they were born with another medical condition such as Down’s Syndrome or Muscular Dystrophy (the latter of which, can be fatal and often is).

These are questions I find myself pondering; would I tamper with nature or leave things to play out? I’m also Catholic so on that note, would I want to “play God” with any future children I might conceive? These are without a doubt, very complicated and challenging questions to have to ask oneself.

What would you do?



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