The Moral Implications Of Genetic Engineering

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The Moral Implications of Genetic Engineering There are many ways in which genetic engineering is being used today. The one that will be discussed in length in this paper is that of genetic engineering in humans. There are obvious moral implications involved with this practice, and as with mostly everything else, there are two different points of view. There are those that say it is morally correct because it will enable us to live longer, healthier lives, and there are those who question the right of man to alter the laws of nature. Genetic Engineering is the rearranging of genes in the DNA strand. The history of genetic engineering can be traced back to historic times. Animal and plant breeders have found ways to alter and change genes to their advantage for thousands of years. For example, “yeast fermentation was used to manipulate the seeds.” (Aldridge) But the actual science of genetic engineering came much later. Genetic engineering is based on genetics, a science started from the early 1900’s. Toward the second half of the 20th century huge steps were made in the field. First it began by altering bacteria, then plants, and then animals. Today scientists have the ability to modify the genotype of an unborn individual, and are also working on finding the genes that cause specific diseases, like cancer and Alzheimer’s. It is worth noting that the first two rules in the Engineer’s Code of Ethics are: 1. To use their knowledge and skill for the enhancement of human welfare and 2. To be honest and impartial, and serving with fidelity the public, their employers and clients (NSPE). The first rule would seem to be agreeing with those that support the practice of genetic engineering on humans, but the second rule puts the engineer in a very tough position. It says to serve with fidelity to the people; but how can this possibly be accomplished when the public is
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