The Importance Of Gene Therapy

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According to Resnik, Steinkraus, & Langer (1999), gene therapy defines as the medical procedures that use DNA in the therapeutic treatment of human disease. There are two types of gene therapy – germline gene therapy and somatic gene therapy. Germline Gene therapy is the introduction and modification of DNA in embryos or reproductive cell to treat disease (Giacca, 2010; Resnik, Steinkraus, & Langer, 1999). Somatic gene therapy is the manipulation of DNA in body cells to treat disease (Resnik, Steinkraus, & Langer, 1999). According to Journal of Gene Medicine (2015), from 1989 to July 2015, there are over two thousand clinical trials on gene therapy. The types of gene therapy trials on human has been expended. Recently, UK scientists seek permission…show more content…
Informed consent is the process of seeking the consent of a patient to a medical procedure (Bowman, Spicer, & Iqbal, 2011). It also allows doctors and patients to consider the ethical code and prevent any legal issues. In the germline gene therapy, the operation is mainly conducted on the embryo and foetus. The genetic diseases are detected in advance by gene mapping, such as cystic fibrosis. The patient, the foetus, has not be informed before the therapy as he or she is still in gravidity. That is the moral obligation of doctors to explain the procedures thoroughly to the patient for its risk and the type of approach used (Walters, Palmer, & Johnson, 1997). The decision is mainly made by their parents and not the baby itself. As ‘one made, it could not be corrected back’, patient may not agree to the procedures when they grow up and leads to a legal issues. Furthermore, it is also immoral to operate on foetus as the risk of operation is high. The effects of gene therapy are unpredictable. In spite of curing the, other mutations may also occurred. This significantly affects the growth of the child and may introduce physical and mental illness (Friedmann, 2000).
Even though the idea of informed consent protect the patient right, the age of consent may hinder the possible treatment for the younger patient, who are not eligible for consent of medical
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