Gene science is a general term used to describe the find out about and use of genes found in DNA and is classified into two wide categories namely gene remedy and gene enhancement. Gene enhancement and therapy utilize gene science to enhance and replace genes respectively. Genetic science is mainly in the experimental stage and is dangerous, but it holds extremely good promise in treating incurable genetic diseases such as Down`s syndrome.
In case 1, the child has the Down’s syndrome which severely limits his potential to live a truly healthful life. The disorder is as a result of a gene defect whereby, an individual suffering from the disease has an greater chromosome responsible for effects such as mental retardation. Because it is a genetic disorder and that the subjects have little chance a healthy and fulfilling life, gene therapy should be used to try and correct the disease. Although it is mostly an experimental process, gene therapy offers a chance to those afflicted by gene disorders to reverse the effects such as mental retardation. The first procedure which was conducted in 1990 was a success and resulted in the curing of ADA in the patient (Wirth et al., 2013). The subject of this first test was able to live a healthy and fulfilling life after a year`s worth of gene therapy, therefore; a similar chance should be afforded to the young boy in case 1.
In case 2, the child should not undergo gene therapy to enhance their already above average intellect due to safety and ethical concerns. Gene technology is still in the experimentation stage, and thus success is not guaranteed. The child is healthy and already stands a chance at living a healthy life which can be ruined if the gene enhancement procedure fails. The safety concerns could be immune responses and mutation which would substantially undermine the health of the child if they occur (NIH, 2015). There are also ethical concerns one of them being that it appears to break traditional goals of medicine which is to help ill people return to normalcy. It is also unfair for people who have not had enhancements to compete with those that haven’t in activities such as sports since this can be considered as a form of cheating. The child, in this case, can accomplish his parent`s goals of attending a good University if he applies effort in his studies. It can also be argued that even though the child`s intelligence can be enhanced, there is no telling what he might do with it since people use their abilities differently.
When it comes to deciding on the use of gene technology multiple parties have to be consulted namely the government, society and the scientific community. There is no single party acting alone that can decide on the use of gene technology on people owing to the far-reaching implications this may have on humanity. The scientific community should offer both the government and the public, information on the advantages and disadvantages of legalizing the unrestricted use of gene technology. The government should then consult with its own experts and come up with a decision, which would then be passed on to the public. If the people disagree with the decision, they can push for change through avenues such as petitions, and if valid reasons are found, a reversal of the decision should be done.
The use and experimentation of genetic technology to cure diseases and enhance human abilities are bound to increase with time as new diseases and requirements emerge. Therefore, governments should work towards ensuring that genetic research is done most professional and ethical way, owing to the far-reaching implications of any errors.
NIH. (2015). A Brief Guide to Genomics. Retrieved October 08, 2017, from https://www.genome.gov/18016863/a-brief-guide-to-genomics/
Benham,B. (2017)What purposes should gene therapy be used for?.[E-book] Retrieved from, http://instantpunditry .blogspirit.com/archive/2005/09/index.html [Accessed 8th Oct 2017]
Wirth, T., Parker, N., & Ylä-Herttuala, S. (2013). History of gene therapy. Gene.
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