Ethical Morals in Genetic Engineering

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Communications
 Unit:
PA13ME015
 Ethical
Issues
In
Health
 Draft
Essay
Of
Morals
and
ethics
of
Genetic
Engineering
 
 Genetic engineering (GE) presents an exciting range of possibilities, from increased crop production to preventing and treating diseases to eliminate harmful genes; it holds too much promise of benefit to ignore. However, this promise is not without potential hazards. Genetic engineering presents difficult and intriguing challenges for 21st century scientists and ethicists. (Jagadish M. Ethics in genetic engineering) Genetic engineering enables scientists to create plants, animals and microorganisms by manipulating genes in a way that does not occur naturally. The suddenness with which the area has developed has posed many challenges to scientists and governments alike. We are on the verge of being able to transform and create organisms for any number of productive purposes.


“Even though your body contains trillions of copies of your genome, you’ve likely to never have read any of it. Our goal is to connect you to the 23 paired volumes of your own genetic blueprint (plus your mitochondrial DNA), bringing you personal insight into ancestry, genealogy, and inherited traits. By connecting you to others, we can also help put your genome into the larger context of human commonality and diversity. Toward this goal, we are building on recent advances in DNA analysis technologies to enable broad, secure, and private access to trustworthy and accurate individual genetic information. Combined with educational and scientific resources with which to interpret and understand it, your genome will soon become personal in a whole new way”. (www.23andme.com) As knowledge of the human genome increases, pressure will inevitably build to move forward with genetic engineering. We have begun reaping the practical rewards of genetic engineering such as new medical therapies and increased crop yields and so far only a few instances of measurable harm have resulted. Provided that it is appropriately regulated, bearing in mind ethical concerns relating to dignity, harmful consequences, and justice, its potential benefits outweigh its harms. As indicated, some significant moral implications ought to be taken into account as we go forward with genetic engineering. Engineering is the technological manipulation of the objects of the natural world in a way that is perceived to be beneficial to people. Traditionally we used the word in the context of inanimate objects like building, cars, railways etc. But the term can be used and is used in the context of biology, namely for bioengineering, i.e. modifying or manipulating living organisms. DNA is the blueprint for the individuality of an organism. The organism relies upon the information stored in its DNA for the management of every biochemical process. The life, growth and unique features of the organism depend on its DNA. The segments of DNA in which have been associated with specific features or functions of an organism are called genes. For example, a particular gene may determine your eye color or height or risk of a getting

a diabetes, etc. Genetic engineering is a laboratory technique used by scientists to change the DNA of living organisms. Varients of Genetic engineering include; Gene Therapy, Gene Enhancement, Somatics and Germlines, Cloning. The theological argument against GE follows from the grounds that life is sacred and should not be altered by humans. By ‘playing God’ we are interfering with the natural process of creation and thus are violating the will of a God. This argument is does not have solid grounding since most theologians themselves agree that God expresses himself in every facet of creation. Genetic engineering can be viewed an expression of free will. The other argument against GE is that it changes the fundamental nature of an organism in a way that would never occur in nature and hence it is immoral to do so. This argument too does not have a...
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