Genetic Engineering Ethics

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1. Is it ‘Right’?
When genetic engineering first became possible, peoples’ first reactions were to immediately question whether it was ‘right’? Many religions believe that genetic engineering, after all, is tantamount to playing God, and expressly forbid that it is performed on their children, for instance. Besides the religious arguments, however, there are a number of ethic objections. These diseases, after all, exist for a reason and have persisted throughout history for a reason. Whilst we should be fighting against them, we do need at least a few illnesses, otherwise we would soon become overpopulated. In fact, living longer is already causing social problems in the world today, so to artificially extend everybody’s time on Earth might
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• the risks and benefits of the experimental use of animals;
• the risk of creating new diseases for which there is no treatment by combining animal DNA or human DNA with plant DNA;
• the potential long-term risks to the environment;
• the potential for increased suffering of transgenic organisms. Various bioethicists, environmentalists, and animal rights activists have argued that it is wrong to create animals that would suffer as a result of genetic alteration (for example, a pig with no legs) and that such experimentation should be banned.

Genetic engineering and transgenic continue to present intriguing and difficult challenges for 21st century scientists and ethicists, and education and meaningful, respectful discourse are just the beginning of what is required to tackle such complex ethical issues. Until we as a society or, perhaps, as a global entity can agree on what being human or otherwise are worthy of moral and legal status and respect, we can expect intense cross-disciplinary debate and discussion as new life forms are created through science and

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