The Ethics of Human Genetic Engineering

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Human genetic engineering is the science of manipulating the genetic material of a female egg in order to get a wanted result such as avoiding hereditary diseases or to control the sex or looks of a child. Karp says, “To inject into the female reproductive tract could be considered one of the earliest forms of genetic engineering for humans by allowing couples incapable of conceiving to have children” (132). But how it’s done is complicated. The main procedure is a recombination of a part of the DNA of the male and female gametes at the fertilization stage or a recombination of a part of the DNA of a human embryo before implantation. If having a donor, they would use the donors DNA and inject it into the embryo. “Using DNA has unknown future results since any babies created with it have 3 genetic parents and its unknown what that would do to any children female babies created with DNA would have.” (Brownlee 165). Some genes are responsible for certain diseases and can be removed and replaced with positive genes. Phillips says, “Genetic modification can involve somatic cell modifications that impact only the individual being treated or germ line modifications that change the genome of an individual and the individual’s descendants. They can be used to correct specific genetic diseases or possibly to enhance human characteristics.” (118). Genetic engineering brings the promise of improving by changing some human characteristics through genetic engineering. If it does not threaten to violate the future of an individual, it is acceptable. Consider the effect on human individuals of genetic enhancement that is designed to make them perform certain activities better. Basic characteristics such as height, hair color, eye color, sex, personality, and IQ might be selected or changed, along with the abilities to play sports, have artistic creativity, or have scholarly work.

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