Although the technology of heart gene therapy is at its initial stages and only medical trials have begun, some ethical questions and arguments are arising on its acceptability to be used for treating people. Heart gene therapy involves insertion of a foreign gene and this is argued to be against nature because our natural genetic makeup is altered from this treatment (Kelly, 2007). This has erupted discussions for and against this treatment. Some people argue that altering our genetic makeup, even for treatment purposes is playing God and should be completely rejected. This is based on the religious view of this technology. Other people pro heart gene therapy argues that if this gene therapy will save lives, it is a good thing and should be embraced. Looking at this issue on cultural and religious views may limit technology and its use to better our lives.
Some people argue that heart gene therapy may result to very rewarding consequences or very deadly consequences because the success rate is not 100% assured (Sherlock & Morrey, 2002). Although this technology is set to benefit many heart disease patients through introduction of the missing protein, there are chances that the treatment may fail for some patients. Consequences are fatal if the treatment does not work because malfunctioning enzyme will be present and this may result to death. This therefore brings the question, is the risk worth taking? For the patients that this treatment works, the consequences are
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Worryingly, there has been minimal public debate regarding this technology that could irreversibly alter the human race. Instead, ethical discourse has been largely contained to scientific and political circles. It is extremely problematic that a large majority of the general public is unaware of the research and debate regarding human gene modification. In addition, the current debate has stagnated, with researchers and politicians being unable to find any common ground. However, upon close examination of the three main ideological groups within this controversy, a key similarity becomes apparent: each group, regardless of whether they are proponents or opponents of human gene
Gene therapy provides many benefits to the patients who undergo it. Biotechnologists believe that a genetic disease can be removed with this treatment. For example, on the U.S. National Library of Medicine website, it states, “Researchers are testing several approaches to gene therapy, including: Replacing a mutated gene that causes disease with a healthy copy of the gene. Inactivating, or ‘knocking out,’ a mutated gene that
Imagine the possibility of eliminating serious genetic diseases from the world. Imagine the idea of treating, preventing or even curing diseases that are yet to be cured. Imagine the feeling of being given improved health and a prolonged lifespan. This can all be accomplished with the aide of genetic engineering. Human genetic engineering refers to the process of directly manipulating human DNA to produce wanted results. DNA is a simple but very complex chemical that has the power to change the world and has begun to do so already. Many opponents to gene therapy fail to realize that genetic engineering has great potential to become very important in the biomedical industry. Though controversy exists regarding the ethics of human genetic engineering, it can produce numerous benefits, which outweigh its disadvantages and side effects; therefore, scientists should be able to manipulate the human genome for the purpose of helping people with serious medical conditions.
Gene therapy is defined as the medical replacement of defective genes in living human cells; its aim is to replace the activity of a defective gene by activating a dormant gene which has a similar function (Wheale & McNally, 212). Under gene therapy comes the politically controversial Human Genome Project, a fifteen-year, $3 billion federally-funded biology program. The goal of the project is to isolate the defective gene on the chromosomes which comprise the human genome (Fletcher, 2). In this manner, the Human Genome Project may be able to rid the cancer-ridden genes from human DNA, thereby curing cancer permanently. The project has been the focus of much scientific and political controversy over the past few years for its possible ramifications are extensive to all of human existence.
In it’s initial chapters, this book pay close attention to the medicine and science behind human genome modification. This sets the foundation for the ethical and religious concerns that are discussed later in the book regarding the issue. The idea of altering the genome for the purpose of human enhancements is also addressed in the book. The author concludes by offering a list of regulatory options.
Genetic engineering has been the subject of controversy since it first started. There is a lot of fear and concern surrounding the possibilities it presents. It is difficult to make ethical decisions about genetic engineering because if offers opportunities to solve many genetic problems such as hereditary diseases. The consequences are positive and negative, but there is no way to determine which will have a greater impact. Genetic engineering could lead to new treatments for hereditary diseases, but it could also have long-term adverse effects. Although there are benefits to genetic engineering, the negative side cannot be overlooked.
And one of the top factors in determining the viability of genetic engineering is its accuracy. In an article reported by the Interdisciplinary Center for Studies on Bioethics at the University of Chile, it was found that CRISPR has “a high frequency of off target effects…in human cells” (Rodriguez). With a high threshold for error, CRISPR does not appear to be reliable yet, at least to researchers at the University of Chile. Ethically, this raises concerns about CRISPR being an option for usage in people due to its potential risks. Genetic engineering is far more complex than any other type of medical treatment out there, so if any type of error were to occur, it would be extremely difficult to fix. Sharon Begley, a journalist for STAT news who interviewed doctors from Massachusetts General Hospital, reported that “one concern about off-target effects is that genome-editing might disable a tumor-suppressor gene or activate a cancer-causing one” (Begley). This concern was later found to be true in a separate study performed on mice by a post-doctoral colleague of UC Berkeley’s Jennifer Doudna, where CRISPR “gave rise to mutations, creating a model for human lung cancer” (Bioethics). This study provides cold-hard evidence for the journalist’s claim that even the slightest mutation can lead to cancer.
There are many ways to go about the process, and while there and pros and cons to both methods, gerund therapy stands as the most controversial. Supporters argue that the practice may eventually relieve human pain and suffering as it could eliminate all kinds of diseases. Others argue that gene therapy is just a new way of humans playing god which could damage the gene pool and cause even more disorders. Still others say that even if gene therapy does become largely used, there should be certain sanctions in place to determine what gene therapy should be used for. Regardless of one’s feelings on gene therapy, genetic engineering cannot be a solution for all of the world’s problems, reminding society that people are more than their genetic
Fifty years after the idea of gene therapy was first proposed, gene therapy has become a possible treatment for a couple different diseases. Before this treatment was approved, some serious unfavorable effects were found in clinical trials. However, these effects fueled more basic research in order to improve, in efficiency and safety. Gene therapy has been used for patients with blindness, neuromuscular disease, hemophilia, immunodeficiencies, and cancer.
I believe that gene therapy is ethical since it helps those who are suffering from a genetic disorder. Many people who suffer from genetic disorders usually have a lower life span than those who do not and are usually suffering from pain/disabilities due to the genetic disorder. In The BIble there are many instances where God heals those who are sick, the treatment of gene therapy is no different. If doctors are doing what God has been in The Bible why is it immoral? Many genetic disorders have no cure to them and other types of treatment may be ineffective or slightly effective at most. Further research into gene therapy can potentially find a cure to genetic disorders like cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, sickle cell amelia and certain cancers like leukemia and lung cancer. Using gene therapy we able to actually treat and potentially cure genetic disorders since gene therapy corrects the root of the problem; the genes rather than using ineffective treatments or no treatment at all. Some may also say that modifying the gametes of a person is wrong since the kid has no consent whether they chose to receive gene therapy or not, I believe that it is better to apply gene therapy to gametes since it prevents future generations from suffering from the genetic disorder as a whole and it is almost certain the kid will be more thankful not being born with a genetic disorder.
While saving lives is an attractive prospect, several ethical objections have been raised. Firstly, it may be wrong to make major changes to human DNA at all, as it alters the innate nature of humanity. Secondly, the technology has the potential to be used for other, controversial purposes, such as manufacturing humans or enhancing traits. These ethical concerns must be weighed against the benefits of developing this
In 1993 a pamphlet by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute was released heralding Gene Therapy. Although gene testing had been around and used for various procedures and breakthroughs, gene therapy had the potential to change the face of research, as we knew it. Medical scientists had finally found a way to
Adversely, due to individual preferences and beliefs some may find the political instruction legalizing Gene Therapy unethical. Thus, whilst the impact of Gene Therapy is
Because gene therapy involves changing the human body, it comes with its set of ethical concerns, which are not answered fully nor so rapidly. Until such scientific and technological advancements, people dealt with their genetic inequality (if faced with one) as their reality, as part of their life until they died. But with the advent of gene therapy, people may have a choice to deal with their genetic inequalities, even though it may not threaten their health or way of life. Dealing with genetic inequalities that are not dangerous to a person’s health follows a eugenic aura. It questions the normality of a person and categorizes genetic inequalities as disabilities. Also, it treats the latter as diseases needed to be cured and/or prevented.
Many scientists and others believe that if gene therapy can be refined, it could be implemented to ultimately put an end to genetic disorders. The parents would have the children they want, and the children who had the natural disposition towards a genetic disorder could possibly become a normal child, whereas otherwise they would probably end up losing their life due to abortion. Those that support gene therapy view it as a win-win strategy: