Friday, August 2, 2019

Kass and Genetic Technology :: essays research papers

Unregulated Genetic Technology Threatens to Dehumanize Society When James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the structure of DNA in 1959, they could not have known that their discovery would one day lead to the possibility of a human factory that is equipped with the capabilities to mass produce perfectly designed, immortal human beings on a laboratory assembly line. Of course, this human factory is not yet possible; genetic technology is still in its infancy, and scientists are forced to spend their days unlocking the secret of human genetics in hopes of uncovering cures for diseases, alleviating suffering, and prolonging life. In the midst of their noble work, scientists still dream of a world—a utopia—inhabited by flawless individuals who have forgotten death and never known suffering. What would become of society if such a utopia existed? How will human life be altered? Leon Kass, in Life, Liberty and the Defense of Dignity: The Challenge for Bioethics, acknowledges genetics technology’s greatness, and applauds it for its invaluable, benevolent contributions to mankind. However, Kass argues that if left to their devises and ambitions, geneticists—with the power of their technology—will steal away society’s most precious asset; genetic technology will rob society of its humanity. Genetic technology can, and will, achieve great things, but unless it is regulated and controlled, the losses will be catastrophic and the costs will far exceed the benefits. The age of genetic technology has arrived. Thanks to genetic technological advancements, medical practitioners, with the help of genetic profiling, will be able to better diagnose patients and design individual tailored treatments; doctors will be able to discern which medications and treatments will be most beneficial and produce the fewest adverse side effects. Rationally designed vaccines have been created to provide optimal protection against infections. Food scientists have hopes of genetically altering crops to increase food production, and therefore mitigate global hunger. Law enforcement officers find that their job is made easier through the advancement of forensics; forensics is yet another contribution of genetic technology. Doctors have the ability to identify â€Å"high-risk† babies before they are born, which enables them to be better prepared in the delivery room. Additionally, oncologists are able to improve survival rates of cancer patients by administering ge netically engineered changes in malignant tumors; these changes result in an increased immune response by the individual. With more than fifty years of research, and billions of dollars, scientists have uncovered methods to improve and prolong human life and the possibilities offered by gene therapy and genetic technology are increasing daily.

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