Genetic Engineering: Our Key to a Better World Essay

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What is genetic engineering one might ask and why is there so much moral controversy surrounding the topic? Genetic engineering as defined by Pete Moore, "is the name given to a wide variety of techniques that have one thing in common: they all allow the biologist to take a gene from one cell and insert it into another" (SS1). Such techniques included in genetic engineering (both "good" and "bad") are, genetic screening both during the fetal stage and later in life, gene therapy, sex selection in fetuses, and cloning. Because of many ethical, religious, and safety concerns, genetic engineering is the source of much debate and argument. Many people, even scientists, have raised strong questions concerning the issue. In his article Moore …show more content…

The topic of control automatically brings with it the topics of safety practices and who should implement and enforce controls, and obviously, who should decide what restrictions are incorporated in the controls. Those opposed to genetic engineering worry about who will make the moral, ethical, and safety decisions. Clearly, the government must be forced to take a responsible role in the decision making of genetic engineering. Although the government is already involved through regulations established by the National Institutes of Health and through deciding what research projects receive funding, its role must become much more active (Shannon 50). At the forefront of the decision making and regulation, though, should be the scientists, research corporations, and universities. Author Thomas Shannon states that such groups of individuals must evaluate new forms of research and new genetic engineering techniques by "evaluating the level of risk to the individual, the community, and the environment" (49). The evaluations would also include, of course, safety precautions. Although the opposition argues that having strict safety measures will be quite costly, these measures are very necessary. They would help prevent the potential irreversible damage that could occur (to individuals, the environment, or society as a whole). The safety precautions would allow the

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