Genetic Modification of babies
For prohibiting were Sheldon Krimmer, a professor at Tuffs University and chair of The Genetic Council For Responsible Genetics, and Robert Winston, a professor of science and society as well as an emeritus professor of fertility studies at Imperial College, London. On the opposite end were Anita Farmhand, a research professor at Duke’s institute for Genome Sciences and Policy and a member of the Presidential Commission for the study of bioethics issues, and Lee Silver, a professor of molecular biology at Princeton University and author of the book “Challenging Nature”.
In the argument against banning genetic modification of babies I chose Anita Farmhands argument. She started her debate by stating that she only wanted to convince the listener of TV;’0 things: that we already can and have safely unethically engineered babies and that a middle ground of prudent vigilance, public oversight and debate is better than outright prohibition. She said that prohibition calls for an outright and complete ban on genetic engineering of babies and is no more outlandish than embryonic screening and taking prenatal vitamins.
This technology has the possibility to avoid mitochondrial dysfunctions that cause rare but serious disease such as heart failure, dementia, and even death in the one in five thousand cases that a child is born with this defect. Mitochondrial DNA is passed from mother to every hill, even if inactive, and only genetic engineering can safeguard this. The two techniques that are used are pronuclear transfer and maternal spindle transfer and at least thirty children have already been born in the US using these techniques.
She also drew attention to the fact that the I-J has already given the green light on this and a ban in the US would make us an outlier In the race for scientific progress. In her closing statement she said a middle ground is better than an outright ban. The public can decide what limitations there should be. Prohibition would only drive desperate people into back alley type procedures or overseas to get this genetic engineering done. Reproductive tourism is already rampant and enforcing this ban would be difficult.
In the argument to persuade the audience for the prohibition of genetically engineering babies I chose Lord Robert Winston main arguments against this. He stated that experimentation without the consent of the individual being experimented upon is unethical and should be made illegal at the societal level. His view is that the U. S. Is already the leading biotechnological country in the world and has a major responsibility to lead it in this ethical issue. This process is irreversible and not guaranteed successful and the effects on the long-term life on the genetically modified person are still unclear.
When we look at genetically modified mice in the pharmaceutical industry seventy percent of those animals were born with unpredictable abnormalities. In the mice that were successful genetically modified and bred fifty percent of them failed the phenotype test to complete a successful birth of their own. In addition to these flaws, successfully modified genes may not always function properly. Gene expression in a modified animals stops after a hill during development and could show the same reaction in genetically modified humans.
Also in the case of very rare mitochondrial diseases the risks heavily outweigh the chance of ridding the disorder. In conclusion there are safer, more effective, and less costly ways to prevent our children from being born with abnormalities such as screening and substituting embryos. When discussing arguments for and against genetic engineering two theorists can be called upon to debate this topic. For these I chose a conflict theorist and a functionalist. For my conflict theorist I chose Karl Marx, one of the most influential socialist thinkers of the 1 9th century.
For my functionalist theorist I chose Emilee Druthers, well known as the father of sociology and functionalism. When viewing this debate from the view point of Karl Marx he would have a strong argument against the genetic engineering of embryos. As a conflict theorist he could argue that this process could lead to the division of social classes. Class structure is a large area of concern with conflict theorists. This costly process, which would only be available to the wealthy, would drive an even larger stake in between the already distant lasses.
This would allow the wealthy to create off spring with more favorable traits unavailable to the lower classes. Then this would lead to more opportunities in life for the modified children with better qualities than the unmodified children who in turn would become second rate. Another concern with the genetic engineering being so costly and still unpredictable is that the lower class women and children would most likely be experimented on at the hands of the wealthy, Conflict theorists argue that the most vulnerable groups are used as Guiana pigs to “work out” the kinks in new medical reoccurred until they are proved ethical.
Those without money are viewed as less important than those of higher stature. This process does not involve equal opportunities for all groups, which is preferential for conflict theorists. I think Marx would fail to recognize any positives to this medical advancement and would become stuck on the negative outlook. Overall conflict theory would be against genetic engineering because is emphasizes power differences, money, social class differences, and inequality. When taking a look at the debate from the stand point of Emilee Druthers the outcome old look a little bit different.
He might not fully agree with the process of genetic modification because of potential problems but he would argue that these problems could be fixed. Functionalist theory believes that our systems of operation are not the problem and that there are only small errors that need to be corrected to make the system function properly again. He would argue that while there are bad side effects to the modification the good out weighs the negative. He would also argue that with minor altercations these flaws could be eradicated.