The Ethics Of Genetic Engineering

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During the Second World War, Nazi Germany was the first to implement a large scale practice of eugenics, the science of tailoring the human race with selective breeding achieved through the sterilization of unfit humans. The Nazi’s horrific actions, including their attempt to eliminate the entirety of the Jewish population, prompted immense backlash against eugenics in the war’s aftermath and began the controversial discussion against human manipulation of genetic makeup (Eugenics, 2006). This is relative to the current public debate over the ethicality of human genetic engineering because often times the distinction between eugenics and human genetic engineering is lost. Genetic testing, the fundamental base of human genetic engineering, was …show more content…
According to a qualitative study conducted by the American Journal of Medical Genetics, ten different types of emotional effects from the use of genetic testing have been identified, including anxiety, anger, and guilt (Davies, Donnai, McAllister, Payne, Nicholls, & MacLeod, 2007). These emotional effects are all linked to depression as well, which could potentially turn into a much bigger issue. Genetic testing has even laid the foundation to the rise in a new type of discrimination, genetic information discrimination. Those who possess a gene mutation that could cause or increase the risk of an inherited disorder are treated differently by their employer or insurance provider. Family history is also taken into consideration when looking at genetic information to see whether or not an individual has the potential of contracting a certain gene (National Human Genome Research Institute, 2015). Unless genetic information is protected, it can be used in a way to discriminate against people in the workplace by decreasing his or her ability to obtain a job or by upping the rates on his or her insurance plan. For example, a health insurer might refuse to give coverage to an individual who has tested positively for a DNA difference that raises their risk for getting a certain type of disease. Or an employer might refuse to hire someone because of their genetic information. It is also important to note that even though a person possess the genetic makeup to potentially develop these disorders, they may actually not develop them. Everyone is potentially at risk for genetic discrimination; every individual person carries several gene mutations that could potentially increase their risk for diseases, including heart diseases, diabetes, cancer, and even

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