Moral and ethical limits of genetic modification philosophy essay

These concepts have, on the one hand, a theoretical origin and are, on the other hand, based on the moral beliefs of people not directly involved in the genetic modification of animals. To answer this question, 35 persons from the practice of biomedical research who are directly involved in genetic engineering scientists, biotechnicians, animal caretakers and laboratory animal scientists were interviewed.

Moral and ethical limits of genetic modification philosophy essay


Abstract In this article we examine four objections to the genetic modification of human beings: We then demonstrate that each of these arguments against genetic modification assumes a strong version of genetic determinism.

Since these strong deterministic assumptions are false, the arguments against genetic modification, which assume and depend upon these assumptions, are therefore unsound. Serious discussion of the morality of genetic modification, and the development of sound science policy, should be driven by arguments that address the actual consequences of genetic modification for individuals and society, not by ones propped up by false or misleading biological assumptions.

Background In Brave New World,[ 1 ] Aldous Huxley imagined a society in which the government manufactures five different human castes designed to perform different roles.

Four decades after the publication of that dystopia, Robert Nozick[ 2 ] developed another futuristic scenario, the genetic supermarket, to prompt discussion of the moral implications of eugenics conducted not by the state, but at the level of individuals.

In the genetic supermarket, as Nozick portrays it, becoming a parent is like buying a new car. If you want to have a child that will be male, athletic, musically gifted, heterosexual, 6'1" tall, with brown hair, blue eyes, and an IQ ofthen you simply purchase the goods and services necessary to create that exact child.

Parents can design children to fulfill their own desires, hopes, and aspirations. And fully five different presidential committees have dealt with ethical issues raised by the genetic modification of human beings [ 3 - 7 ].

As a libertarian, Nozick defended a laissez-faire approach to genetic modification, arguing that the government should not interfere with the market forces that influence procreation.

Other writers have put forth similarly vigorous defenses of reproductive freedom [ 89 ]. Many commentators, however, have argued for government regulation of genetic modification in order to protect important values, such as social justice and the welfare of unborn children [ 10 - 12 ].

Finally, some have argued that genetic modification should be banned, since any attempt to modify the human genome violates human freedom and dignity, and leads us down a perilous path toward social, political and biological disaster [ 13 - 18 ].

Since the risks to unborn children from genetic engineering mistakes are not currently known, and are likely substantial, few authors support the no-regulation view with regard to modifying the human genome.

Most of the current debate is between those who think that genetic modification should proceed under some type of regulatory scheme, and those who think that the best solution is to ban genetic modification entirely [ 19 ].

Those who favor regulation see nothing inherently wrong with genetic modification: Society should take appropriate steps to control genetic modification in order to maximize its benefits and minimize its harms [ 1112 ].

Soo Hyun Kim, Second Prize, High School Category, Essay Contest 2017

Those who favor a ban, however, believe there is something inherently wrong with genetic modification, that there are inevitable, unavoidable, and undesirable consequences associated with modifying the human genome [ 16 ]. In this article, we examine four arguments used to support the view that there is something inherently wrong with genetic modification.

These arguments aim to pre-empt analysis of actual or expected medical, social, economic, political, and biological consequences, and to argue for a comprehensive ban of the technology due to its very nature.

We demonstrate that these arguments against genetic modification — the freedom argument, the giftedness argument, the authenticity argument, and the uniqueness argument — all necessarily assume a strong version of genetic determinism.

If these deterministic assumptions are false, as we maintain they clearly are, then these particular arguments against genetic modification lose their logical force.

Thus, serious discussion of the morality of genetic modification is more properly focused on arguments that examine and address the expected consequences of genetic modification for individuals and society, and not on ones that would pre-empt such a discussion by arguing that genetic modification is inherently objectionable.Department of Philosophy and Program in Applied Ethics Fairfield University Curtis R.

Naser is a medical ethicist who specializes in biomedical research involving human subjects. The genetic engineering of animals has increased significantly in recent years, and the use of this technology brings with it ethical issues, some of which relate to animal welfare — defined by the World Organisation for Animal Health as “the state of the animal how an animal is coping with.

It is described as the "artificial modification of the genetic code of a living organism", and involves the "manipulation and alteration of inborn characteristics" by humans (Lanza).

The Ethics of Genetic Engineering Essay More about Essay about The Morals and Ethics of Genetic Engineering. Ethics of Human Cloning and Genetic. International Regulation of Genetic Engineering: Ethical Considerations in the 21st Century Soo Hyun Kim, Second Prize, High School Category, Essay Contest The first meeting in the United States for developing a regulatory framework for genetic modification was held in at the Asilomar Ali M.

“Genetic Technologies and Ethics. This section is on the hypothetical genetic modification of human individuals through genetic engineering and the actual modification of the gene pool through (eugenic or disgenic) genetic selection. The ethics of gene-therapy and genetic selection is especially complex.

Introduction. Genetic research has advanced in a dramatic fashion in the last decade or so, to the point where it has now become possible to attempt therapeutic genetic modification, in a few cases of human genes, where a defects exists which manifests itself in certain serious diseases.

Moral and ethical limits of genetic modification philosophy essay
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