The Pros And Cons Of Gene Therapy

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Register to read the introduction… In the 1980's , neither government agencies nor committees addressed the many issues regarding human gene therapy. These included ethical and moral issues. There is a wide range of popular views on gene therapy. Some people view human gene therapy as a great weapon to fight against every genetic disease known. Other people worry that one step into the arena of gene therapy will turn the human species into a technologically designed product and will reduce the human race as we know it. "Gene therapy will be limited to a smaller number of inherited disorders that result from the absence or inactivity of a single gene product. The ethical and social implication of somatic cell gene therapy have been discussed, and there is now a general consensus that somatic cell gene therapy for the purpose of treating a serious disease is an ethical therapeutic option (Anderson W.F., …show more content…
The first relates to the potential risks of gene therapy: for example, is it ethical to use a technique in which unanticipated problems or mistakes could be passed on to future generations? The second category consists of broader concerns about changes to the gene pool - the genetic inheritance of the human population (Nichols E.K., 1988)." The main underlying concern is that people will use the human gene therapy to alter genetic traits in normal' healthy individuals. This is one type of human gene therapy that people object strongly to. The prospect of parents turning to genetic engineering as a way of producing "perfect" children is extremely disturbing. Many concerns that arise from the use of human gene therapy are philosophical, ethical and theological in nature. For instance, do infants have the right to inherit an unmanipulated genome, does the concept of informed consent have any validity for patients who do not yet exist, and at what point do we cross the line into "playing God? Researchers are exploring the possibility of using somatic cell gene therapy in cancer treatment. If somatic cell gene therapy is found to be useful in the treatment of severe diseases of childhood, there will be a strong incentive to develop techniques for gene therapy in fetuses. There would be great economic benefits for patients who would otherwise require long-term institutional care. Researchers will have to prove or demonstrate that the potential benefits out way the potential risks in the use of human gene therapy before clinical trials will begin. Therapies known to be effective will not be withheld for purposes of conducting the trials. The process of selecting patients must be fair among everyone needing the treatment. Also parents or guardians must be informed fully about the whole procedure and what types of aspects could be expected. They also should know

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