The Pros And Cons Of Gene Manipulation

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Views for essential genetic modification: Human gene manipulation raises many ethical queries and rightly so. The question is whether these queries can be answered in a way that is ultimately beneficial to humankind as a whole. Every major scientific breakthrough has been met with doubt and mistrust at each step in its development. But this should not be taken as a sign of it’s failure. Going through this trial of fire eventually leads to a refined and miraculous achievement that benefits humanity. One of these great achievements has been the discovery of vaccination. Measles vaccination has saved an estimated 17.1 million lives since 2000. Vaccines have helped to not only slow down, but completely eradicate many diseases such as Polio, …show more content…

The speakers unanimously agreed that changing the genetic composition of future children (embryos) would amount to extreme human experimentation. Few of the many issues that could arise include off-target mutations (unintentional edits to the genome) and unknown longer-term health and safety consequences (Lewis, 2015). There is also the ubiquitous ‘Playing God’ argument. Although it may sound twisted, genetic imperfections and diseases could be perceived as nature’s way of keeping the ever increasing human population in check. Existing medical technology has already vastly improved human lifespans and mortality rates, increasing the burden on our planet’s limited resources. Genetic manipulation (leading to perfect disease-free human lifetimes) could further exacerbate this …show more content…

One of the major ones being the regulation of this technology. How would it be restricted only to cases where there is a sound medical requirement (such as sickle cell anaemia , haemophilia etc)? Once this technology is out in the open, a whole new can of worms is opened. Outlandish as it may sound, who is to stop, say China or Russia, from creating a genetically engineered army of enhanced humans. This technology opens the door to ‘eugenics’ (a set of beliefs and practices that aims at improving the genetic quality of a human population) (Wikipedia, 2018). This is nearly identical to the widely condemned Nazi ideology where all but the Aryan race were ‘life unworthy of life’ (Wikipedia, 2017). Also, even assuming perfect regulation, how would we draw the line between a medical and enhancement purpose for modification? For example, people with fairer skin are more susceptible to skin cancer. So should their offspring be genetically modified to be born with darker

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