Gene Therapy Essay, Research Paper
Gene therapy is the use of genes and the techniques of genetic engineering in the treatment of a genetic disorder or chronic disease. Most of the techniques are still being experimented and are awaiting government approval (Concise Columbia Electronics Encyclopedia). Some 2000 to 3000 diseases have been determined as genetic or hereditary (Access Excellence). With the perfection of gene therapy thousands of lives could be spared.
Gene therapy may eventually provide effective treatment for many diseases that currently have no cure: muscular dystrophy, diabetes, cancer, and even acquired immune deficiency (AIDS) (Access Excellence). By the addition of a single gene to a number of lab mice a group of scientists successfully enhanced the mice memory with little to no noticeable side effects (stableford 16). This discovery could lead to further ways to treat brain and memory diseases, such as Alzheimer?s (Herger). Advances in genetic therapy like this one may answer and prove other theories not directly related to disease and genetics (Encarta).
Along with genetic therapy being able to conform a person?s genes to be free of disease also comes the capability of conforming a child?s physical traits to the parents specifications. With the uses of gene therapy doctors have the ability to alter genes while the fetus is still in the womb of its mother. By tampering with a certain gene or genes doctors are able to alter eye color, hair color, and other features normally passed on from the parents. The idea of it sounds to be like that of a computer company, speak with a representative, list the hardware and equipment desired (in this case hair color, eye color or whatever other preference the parent has) and in nine months you have your merchandise delivered just how you want it. There is a question that may come to one?s mind when considering this type of selectiveness ?is this taking genetic therapy too far??
In religious terms when one is attempting to reconfigure what god has already deemed his configured as his creation, who is some doctor to under mind his creative ability? To a person who believes that one?s life is pre destined the tampering and manipulation of genes is an event in which one is under minding a higher authority, whether it is a god or some other superior being. In both instances the question remains the same is the manipulation religiously and ethically moral (Peters 365-386)?
The use of genetic therapy to prolong life interferes with the process of survival of the fittest, which assists in keeping the population and environment at a balance. In other species when a sudden increase in population the entire species suffered: a lack in food and space resulted in killing more of the species than before the population jump. Since the use of genetic therapy would increase the number of humans in the world. With the over population that occurs now at places in the world, the increased usage of genetic therapy would just make problems worse.
The reality of being able to eliminate genetic disease is still in its experimental stage and, like a new drug the therapy will need to be approved by the government before it becomes an everyday procedure. When and if the process becomes approved limits should be set. The idea of tampering with ones traits and DNA make up for no other benefit than physical appearance should be outlawed. Genetic therapy has the capability to solve some of modern societies problems but there is a boundary that needs to be set as to what genes can be manipulated and for what reason.
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2.) The Concise Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia. 1999. Columbia University press, Infonautics Corporation
3.) Encarta Deluxe 1999. 1998. Microsoft Corporation
4.)Herger, Bryan. Human Dimensions of Biomedical Technologies..11 December 1995. Niagara Mohawk Corp. 7 Dec 1999 :
5.) Peters, Ted. “Playing God” and Germline Intervention. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 20(4): 365-386, August 1995.
6.) Stableford, Brian. Future Man. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1984