Is Genetic Engineering Ethically Correct?

:: 2 Works Cited
Length: 715 words (2 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document

Over the past few years, genetic engineering has come a long way from its roots. What spawned as just a project for understanding has now become quite powerful. An article written by Michael Riess aided me in gaining some knowledge of the ethical dilemmas faced in the field of genetic engineering.

Suppose you and your partner both discover that you are carriers of a genetic defect known as cystic fibrosis, and the two of you are expecting a baby. Genetic screening gives you the opportunity to use antenatal diagnosis to see if the baby will have cystic fibrosis or not (Reiss). Three-quarters of the time the news will be good: the baby won't have cystic fibrosis. However, on a quarter of the occasions, the news will be: the baby will have cystic fibrosis (Reiss). “At present the only option available to a couple in this position is to decide whether to continue with the pregnancy or opt for a termination” (Riess). Many will opt for termination, even though most people with cystic fibrosis live to adulthood. This is one of the ethical dilemmas faced due to genetic testing.

Riess also goes on to discuss the possibilities of genetically engineering human genes to alter sex, intelligence, beauty, criminality, etc. “It is the case, as shown by twin studies, cross-fostering, and other evidence, that much human behavior has a genetic component to it” (Riess).
“However, attempts to find genes for homosexuality, intelligence, beauty, or criminality are, at best, the first steps to understanding the rich and complex ways in which we behave” (Riess).

Riess emphasizes that as humans in society are far more than just our genetic makeup, because our lives are dependent on the environment in which we live, although he stated, “Suppose, despite what we have said about the complexities of human behavior, it does eventually transpire that somatic gene therapy could reduce the likelihood of someone being violently aggressive or of being sexually attracted to others of the same sex. What then?” A general consensus would tell us that most people would raise their hands in anger and such genetic treatments should be outlawed (Riess).

Another article, which was written by Mary White, regards the ethic for genetic decision-making. White discusses such items as sex selection and disease.

Today, rare requests for sex selection, testing for late onset disorders, or for aid in deliberately conceiving a child with a disability raise two questions of utmost urgency: What constitutes appropriate use of prenatal genetic testing” (White)?

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Is Genetic Engineering Ethically Correct?." 123HelpMe.com. 22 Oct 2017
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=22778>.
Title Length Color Rating  
Is Genetic Engineering Ethically Right? Essay - Described at its most simple, ethics can be described as a socially constructed set of behaviours and beliefs deemed either acceptable or unacceptable by the vast majority of people. Ethical beliefs can vary somewhat from person to person and are ever changing and malleable (www.ncbi.nlm.gov/pubmed/15289521). There are three main ethical theories used by present day philosophers; these are Meta-ethics, Normative ethics and Applied ethics. Meta-ethics focuses on the nature of moral judgement and the foundation of ethical principles....   [tags: DNA, gene, diabetis]
:: 10 Works Cited
1191 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on The FDA Should Prohibit Genetic Engineering - Abstract:  Recent developments in genomic research have enabled humans to manipulate the genes of living organisms with genetic engineering.  Scientists have used this momentous technology in environmental and most recently, agricultural spheres.  However, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require that genetically altered foods be labeled as such.  As a result, there is no protection against humans' ability to construct organisms that nature never intended to exist and to threaten nature's carefully balanced environment.  Is it ethically responsible for the government to allow scientists to continue with these advances if they do not understand their consequences....   [tags: Genetic Engineering, Genetic Ethics]
:: 10 Works Cited
2439 words
(7 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Ethical Issues Surrounding Genetic Screening and Genetic Engineering Essay - Ethical Issues Surrounding Genetic Screening and Genetic Engineering In today’s modern age science is moving at a rapid pace; one of those scientific fields that has taken the largest leaps is that of genetics. When genetics first comes to mind, many of us think of it as a type of science fiction, or a mystical dream. Yet genetics is here, it is real, and has numerous ethical implications. One of the particular areas of interest is prenatal genetics. In this field, many new and outstanding innovations have been made....   [tags: Expository Essays Research Papers]
:: 3 Works Cited
1918 words
(5.5 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Genetic Engineering is NOT Ethical Essay - Abstract:  Recent developments in genomic research have enabled humans to manipulate the genes of living organisms with genetic engineering.  This poses a threat to nature's carefully balanced environment, since humans are constructing organisms that nature never intended to exist.  Furthermore, the United States government does not require that genetically altered foods be labeled as such.  Is this ethically responsible?  Should we continue with these scientific advances if we do not understand their consequences?  This paper analyzes the above questions....   [tags: Persuasive Argumentative Essay Examples]
:: 4 Works Cited
1625 words
(4.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay The Uses and Concerns of Genetic Engineering in Society - The Uses and Concerns of Genetic Engineering in Society The idea of studying genetic engineering and revealing those results intrigues me thoroughly. Studying these coded proteins or genes brings about revolutionary advancements in the fields of medicine and bioengineering. The possibilities that genetic engineering make are endless. For example, genetic engineering can improve nutritious quality and enhance the flavor in foods. We can also look forward to new techniques in disease prevention and treatments, improve the quality of life....   [tags: Papers] 862 words
(2.5 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
How Will Genetic Engineering Impact Our Lives? Essay - How will our lives change in the future. Are we as a society going to live longer because we have better medical treatments. The answer is most likely, yes, but will our genetic manipulation/sequencing take us to a new level. Instead of living to one hundred, will we be able to live to two hundred. More importantly, is this ethically correct to create a “fountain of youth” through genetic correction. An article I read recently helped me to draw some understanding. Thus far, researchers have had minimal success in using gene therapy to correct most genetic conditions and no researcher has used gene therapy to correct genetic impairments in a fetus (Parens)....   [tags: Expository Essays Research Papers]
:: 2 Works Cited
799 words
(2.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Engineered Life vs. God Given Life Essay examples - When considering the social context of our society today, it is not surprising that the concepts of morality and ethics are introduced in the debate over genetic engineering. Is it ethically correct as a society for scientists to alter human nature by editing genetics. Is it moral for an engineer to “play God” in the eyes of some and determine which genes will be passed on to the next generation. Bioethics, a critical part of any medical field, is likewise crucial in genetic engineering. Without regulations and limits, genetic engineering in humans could have a significant impact on genetic diversity, undermining the health of the human species....   [tags: genetic engeenering, advancements]
:: 6 Works Cited
1017 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Pros and Cons of Genetic Engineering Essay - Genetic Engineering is highly controversial since some people believe that genetic engineering is playing God. As this fact there is opposition to the progression of the field by people who do not see the value in genetic engineering, or they fear what genetic engineering may lead to for us as people. There is a history of discover that belongs to genetic engineering, which has led to numerous products that have emerged which have brought numerous applications to the society of the world. Though there are benefits to genetic engineering, there are also drawbacks to genetic engineering including ethical and legal issues that are dealt with in today’s society in order to try and regulate the...   [tags: Genetic Engineering]
:: 8 Works Cited
2049 words
(5.9 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
The Benefits of Genetic Engineering Essay - Almost three decades ago, on July 25, 1978, Louise Brown, the first “test tube baby” was born (Baird 1). With this birth another controversy broke out, do humans have the right to make life. Most of the concern comes from the fear of control over the production and development of human beings. But, those who are against cloning would most likely look the other way if they needed gene therapy after receiving a grim diagnosis. There are many aspects of genetic engineering and to thoroughly understand it looking into each is absolutely necessary....   [tags: Genetic Engineering ]
:: 6 Works Cited
1443 words
(4.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Genetic Engineering Essays - Just imagine the scene: and newlywed wife and husband are sitting down with a catalog, browsing joyously, pointing and awing at all the different options, fantasizing about all the possibilities that could become of their future. Is this a catalog for new furniture. No. This catalog for all features, phenotype and genotype, for the child they are planning to have. It is basically a database for parents to pick and choose all aspects of their children, from the sex of the child, to looks, and even to personality traits....   [tags: Genetic Engineering] 1131 words
(3.2 pages)
Good Essays [preview]

Related Searches




“What are the ethical responsibilities of genetic counselors in their role as gatekeepers to genetic testing” (White)? These are very important questions that many people have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. Typical responses to these questions have drawn on a number of ethical principles, including respect for autonomy, fetal rights, or parental obligations (White). Many kinds of parental decisions may limit a child's options (White). It is difficult to draw the line between genetic and environmental harms, or between parenting that maximizes children's opportunities and parenting that imposes burdens on them (White).

Later on in the article, White discusses that genetic testing/therapy/engineering can be used to aid our society, but there are three characteristic features for genetic decision-making. One, every genetic decision that we are faced with is unique. Two, every consequence is unique.

Three, advances in the treatment of genetic disorders may rapidly change perceptions of what counts as a genetic disease or disability (White). I believe that this would be a good way for scientists to think through the ethics of their current research. All it takes is three simple steps.

All in all, it becomes very difficult to tell what will happen in the future. Perhaps as the world grows in technology we will focus more on the ethical standings of science than religious differences, race, etc. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that genetic engineering will become a large public issue. We shall just wait and see.

Work Cited:

Reiss, Michael. “What Sort of People Do We Want? The Ethics of Changing People Through Genetic Engineering.” Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics, & Public Policy 13.1 (1999): 63-92.
White, Mary. “Making Responsible Decisions: An Interpretive Ethic for Genetic Decisionmaking.” The Hastings Center Report 29.1 Jan./Feb. (1999): 14-21.


Return to 123HelpMe.com