Genetic Engineering Is Unethical

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Genetic Engineering Out of all the discussions we participated in this quarter, the one that interested me the most was the discussion on the dangers and benefits of human cloning and genetic engineering. In the discussion we saw two sides of an issue, Kenneth Kosik argued that there are a lot of risks involved in tinkering with the human genome. If we intend to move forward with it, he felt that we need to proceed slowly and cautiously. Robert Sapolsky, on the other hand, was making the argument that many of the dangers that are being commonly expressed, are typically being over exaggerated. He contends that there are countless environmental and social factors that come into play in determining how our genes expressed. I thought that they …show more content…
Within just the past century, millions of people have lost their lives or suffered because of their ethnicity or certain more observable genetic traits. It only makes sense, that if there was a new technology or method that could be utilized to further differentiate people, it could be abused and lead to further death and suffering. The ability to insure yourself may become extremely difficult, if not impossible, if they are able to more accurately separate the higher risked people. Just the fact that you have some genetic marker, regardless of whether you will actually contract the disease or not, could end up costing you much more on your premiums. Employers might decide to begin testing potential employees, and similar to the case with insurance, discriminate based on something in your genes whether it actually materializes or not. Ultimately, there are many unknowns when it comes to manipulating the human genome, there is the potential for some long term effects that may not be realized until it’s too …show more content…
There are so many potential benefits that could come from research in this field that I believe the risks are worth it. I believe we could avoid many of the pitfalls along the way, if we are reasonably cautious in our pursuit of discovery. There have already been some steps taken to keep this research as ethical and moral as possible. The Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights was adopted in November of 1997 at the UNESCO General Conference, laying down some guidelines on what should and shouldn’t be deemed as acceptable research. Among other things, it states that "No one shall be subjected to discrimination based on genetic characteristics that is intended to infringe or has the effect of infringing human rights, fundamental freedoms and human dignity". On the topic of human cloning, it considers it to be contrary to human dignity, and as such, should not be permitted. While the adoption and enforcement of protections, like those outlined in the Universal Declaration, is an ongoing challenge in the international community, it’s at least a step in the right direction. I am hopeful for the continued development of this field. I believe that promoting and following such guidelines will help avoid the more unethical types of research, which could sour the public’s taste for this branch of research all

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