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Position Paper: Gene Therapy in Humans

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Position Paper: Gene Therapy in Humans

Advancements in science and medicine are usually accompanied with a myriad of ethical and moral implications. The fairly recent advancement in genetics called gene therapy is no exception to the baggage of polarizing views that come with new technology. Gene therapy is an extremely hot topic in both the science world and everyday life. New technology, discoveries, and breakthroughs are rapidly occurring in the field every day. The topic of gene therapy in humans is one that is highly debated due to the ethical implications connected to the science. Both sides of the debate have various reasons for their position, but the main factors come down to the ethics of changing someone’s genome and the consequences that accompany the altercations. The two types of gene therapy, somatic and germ-line are seen in different lights. There is more debate over germ-line therapy because the alterations have more consequences than somatic gene therapy. There are many moral and ethical decisions that need to be considered before gene therapy can be widely accepted. Do we have the right to change a person’s genetics, especially before they are born? Do we know enough to confidently insert or delete genes without detrimental consequences down the road? If we have the ability to help people who have disabilities or diseases, is it ethical to withhold and not treat the patient? I believe human gene therapy is a good and useful tool for medicine and needs to be developed because it posses the ability to help and cure people from ailments that degrade their quality of life.

One of the biggest concerns involved in gene therapy in humans is the lack of knowledge and the possibility for consequences later on or i...

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...ring deadly diseases and preventing abortions. In order for gene therapy to one day become effective much more research needs to be done to discover the consequences of altering specific genes. Also the technology of gene therapy needs to be cost effective so people who need help are able to get help. In the end gene therapy in humans needs to come a long ways before it will be widely accepted but there is great potential in the technology and it needs to be pursued.

Bibliography

Anderson, W. F. (1992). Human Gene Therapy. Science, 256 (5058), 808-813. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.ccu.edu:2190/docview/213544223

Waddington, S.N., Kennea, N.L., Buckley, S.M.K., Gregory, L.G., Themis, M., & Coutelle, C. (2004). Fetal and neonatal gene therapy: benefits and pitfalls. Nature, 11, 92-97. Retrieved from http://www.nature.com/gt/journal/v11/n1s/pdf/3302375a.pdf
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