The Federation and Genetic Engineering
Early genetic experiments on humans proved disastrous. forcing the Federation to make non-essential enhancements illegal. But some still seek out the advantages offered bio genetic manipulation.
The United Federation of Planets carries out a wide variety of mainly beneficial genetic research at facilities around the Alpha Quadrant. such as the Darwin Genetic Research Station located on Gagarin IV But the organization has a clear policy concerning genetic engineering on human beings: re-sequencing is strictly forbidden for any reason other than to repair serious birth defects. To further strengthen this policy, and reduce the incentives by which parents might be tempted, any genetically enhanced human is barred from service in Starfleet and from pursuing many other occupations. such as medicine. Parents who are caught carrying out genetic enhancements on their children face imprisonment This policy was developed early in the history of the Federation. influenced by the events of the Eugenics Wars of the late 20th century, and the need for it was reaffirmed by the reappearance of Khan Noonien Singh in 2267 Despite the courtesies extended to him, Khan's megalomania soon resurfaced; his ambition and thirst for power had been enhanced along with his intellect and physique Such mental instability often seem to affect the genetically-enhanced
Taking the risks
There have been colonies based entirely upon genetic engineering, such as the one on Moab IV. but they have cut themselves off from the Federation and all other outside contact in order to keep the 'corruption' of outside interference away from their experimental society Such practices are not tolerated on worlds that wish to retain Federation membership. But in spite of the law and its careful enforcement, and the taboo against genetic engineering, it still happens One of the more popular sites for genetic enhancement is the hospital on Adigeon Prime; the possible improvements available to parents who bring their children here include improved mental abilities, improved hand-to-eye coordination and reflexes. and improved vision. The parents are not usually acting for purely selfish reasons, they see their children falling behind at school and want only to see them given a chance to succeed. They know the possible consequences they face for attempting to save their children from a life of remedial education and under-achievement but many are prepared to take their chances.
Sadly, parents rarely find that the efforts to improve their children meet with the success they expect. The hope is that the enhanced child will be able to pass as normal. but this is not always the case. By the time some of these children are five or six years old, the side effects of their enhancement begin to become obvious. and their parents have to come forward so their offspring can get treatment These children face disenfranchisement at best. and the worst affected may become institutionalized. These unfortunate individuals spend the rest of their lives in controlled environments studied by medical staff Sadly, there is little the doctors can do; cases are rare and there is no standard treatment. Several institutionalized genetically-enhanced patients are taken to Deep Space Nine in 2374, to v1s1t Dr. Julian Bashir. who was himself successfully enhanced as child; it is hoped that he will inspire them to attempt to fit 1n and become more productive members of society, even though some career choices are denied them. His plan to involve them m the strategies against the Dominion seems to be a good one; the patients are never more engaged than when they are analyzing the negotiations between the Federation and the Dominion.
The group are able to offer Starfleet Command detailed statistical information about the probabilities of success or failure of each negotiating move made. However. when they finally come to the conclusion that the war against the Dominion is unwinnable. and will come at a high cost to the Federation population. they cannot stop themselves from taking matters into their own hands. They make a plan to pass on strategic information to the Dominion so that the war will be over more quickly, thus saving lives It is only because one individual realises that perhaps their statistics may have missed something that priceless strategic information is prevented from falling into the hands of the Dominion The Federation is once again reminded that genetically enhanced individuals have a dangerous tendency to believe in their own superiority without considering that they may be wrong.