The Pros And Cons Of Germline Engineering

1560 Words 7 Pages
With the new scientific advances and breakthroughs, germline engineering may be just around the corner. Human kind will essentially be granted the ability to choose the sex, traits and genetic makeup of the next generation. Many useful ideas have been sparked up by this upcoming technology including the chance to obliterate diseases from our genes.
In my family two different types of cancers have been known to develop. It is probable that the cancers are hereditary. If given the option, I believe my family would have genetically engineered my generation of relatives to lack the cancer bearing DNA in our genetic makeup. In fact, I think that I would do the same for my children if it meant they would have a lesser chance to develop the cancers
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The divide between the rich and poor is likely to only increase with germline engineering. Obviously the access to genetically modifying embryos would first be offered to those who can afford it rather than to those who might medically need it. Antagonists of the ban on germline engineering can argue that eventually the service availability will level out to the lower class similarly to any other consumer product. But, that may not always be the case. Not only would the upper class be wealthier than the lower class but could also potentially be stronger, faster and smarter. If the wealthy obtain germline engineering services first, there will be an inevitable division. They will be the first generation of genetically modified humans and might seek to isolate the lower class even once the services are more affordable simply because the rich had access first. In addition, since the wealthy have less financial restrictions, they might have less restriction when it comes to genetically engineering their children. In assumption that the more science required to engineer a baby the more expensive it will be, the rich will be able to indulge in hand picking traits such as increased speed, intelligence and appearance. This means that the lower class may only be able to afford disease elimination when choosing to opt for germline engineering and thus further distance …show more content…
If some practice the manipulation of human genes for more than medical reasons, there will be discrimination against those who chose not to. In Human Genetic Engineering An interview with Richard Hayes, Casey Walker quotes Hayes who states, “However an important distinction must be made between “therapy,” which refers to gene modifications intended to address a medical condition, and “enhancement,” which refers to modifications intended to improve some aspect of normal appearance or performance. Treating or preventing sickle cell anemia or cystic fibrosis would be therapy. Attempting to modify stature, agility, cognition, personality, or life span of a healthy person would be enhancement.” Not only will these enhancements disadvantage the non-engineered but they will also bring favoritism towards the genetically engineered. If you were to step outside into the world today you would notice the varied lifestyle choices people make. For example, you will surely find people who choose to get tattoos just like you will encounter people who do not choose to get tattoos. In the same fashion, there will always be people who choose not to use germline engineering for their children. Those who do not choose to engineer could unintentionally possibly doom their children for the future. In comparison to the genetically engineered children, the non-engineered

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