Debate "Housekeeping" (02:26)
Moderator John Donvan explains the format of this debate and lists the panel members for each side. Audience members are instructed to vote on the motion.
Opening Statement For: Sheldon Krimsky (06:54)
Professor at Tufts University and Chairman of the Council for Responsible Genetics. Krimsky offers three reasons that enhancement of a child through prenatal modification is a unacceptable in civil society.
Opening Statement Against: Nita Farahany (07:33)
Professor of Law and Philosophy and Genome Sciences and Policy at Duke University, Farahany argues that babies at risk have already been safely born thanks to mitochondrial transfer.
Opening Statement For: Lord Robert Winston (08:15)
Professor of Science and Society and Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies, at Imperial College, Winston references damage done by eugenics. He argues that mitochondrial transfer is unpredictable and says focus should be on improving environmental factors to allow optimal function of DNA.
Opening Statement Against: Lee Silver (07:44)
Professor of Molecular Biology and Public Policy at Princeton University, Silver examines the "facts of genetics" to argue that variants that promote health should be equally available.
Opening Statement Recap (01:35)
Donvan summarizes arguments made by both sides.
Will the U.S. Be Left Behind? (05:29)
Farahany argues that scientific studies from other countries have proven genetic engineering to be scientifically and ethically valid. Winston calls the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority "useless."
Right to Promote Health (04:18)
Winston addresses the distinction between medical intervention and enhancement. Farahany argues that uncertainty is unavoidable in procreation.
Hypothetical Question (03:18)
Winston sites the complexity of the human genome to argue that unknown risks will not disappear. Krimsky talks about the ethics of clinical trials performed without humans.
How Far Will it Go? (09:14)
Silver says parents care about health more than human perfection. Winston argues that the issue is unpredictability. Krimsky is plagued by the moral aspect of mitochondrial transfer.
QA: How Far Can Enhancement Go? (03:25)
Silver sites a study that shows parents do not want blond haired blue eyed children. Farahany and Krimsky agree that the line between therapy and enhancement is not clear.
QA: Concept of Balance (02:26)
Krimsky discusses the complexity of the evolved human genome and argues that science should not interfere in the "genetic ecosystem."
QA: Unknown Side Effects (03:41)
Winston addresses the idea that autism may be linked to in vitro fertilization. Farahany argues that the rewards are worth the risks.
QA: Selective Availability (04:37)
If this technology were available in other countries only wealthy people would have access. Krimsky addresses the potential for misuse.
QA: Possible Introduction of Defects (02:08)
Silver argues that the human genome is already full of defects. An audience member asks if in the future, sex will be a form of recreation and IVF will be the preferred method of procreation for advantaged people.
QA: Would a Ban Violate Rights? (01:11)
Farahany discusses the difference between constitutional and natural rights over procreative liberties.
QA: "Gataca Scenario" (02:10)
Silver and Farahany address the notion that employers would only hire enhanced people who are less prone to issues.
QA: Comparison to Genetically Modified Food (03:02)
Silver supports the idea that parents should be able to choose healthy genes for their children.
QA: Safety Standards (01:49)
Silver calls safety "relative" and argues that technology can make reproduction safer.
QA: Financial Arguement (01:49)
Winston addresses how the cost of this technology may be cheaper than caring for a child born with birth efects
Closing Statement Against: Lee Silver (02:46)
Silver tells the story of a couple who used in vitro fertilization and had a child born with MCAD deficiency to make the point that all humans have genetic deficiencies. .
Closing Statement For: Sheldon Krimsky (02:19)
Krimsky acknowledges that parents want the best for their children but calls this technology an effort to redesign the human genome.
Closing Statement Against: Nita Farahany (02:15)
Farahany shares the story of a friend with genetic abnormalities that she would have passed on to her children without mitochondrial transfer.
Closing Statement For: Lord Robert Winston (02:31)
Winston states the opponents of prohibition are simplifying mitochondrial transfer to make an argument. He points out the bans can be lifted as new information becomes available.
Results of Audience Vote (01:34)
Pre-debate - For: 24% - Against: 30% - Don't Know: 46%
Post-debate - For: 41% - Against: 49% - Don't Know: 10%
Credits: Legalize Drugs: A Debate (00:50)
Credits: Legalize Drugs: A Debate
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