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Splice: The Movie

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Genetically modified organisms (GMO) are the central subject of the movie Splice. A couple of brilliant but rebellious scientists combine genes from different plant and animal species to create a new life form. While this is a fictional film, GMOs are very real. The use of GMOs is currently under serious scrutiny and debate. Our foods and some animals are already being genetically modified, are humans the next step? Splice performs this ultimate experiment, and then suffers the ethical challenges and consequences the decision triggers. By making one catastrophic moral choice the scientists compromise themselves both morally and ethically, paving the way for further moral degradation. Does one bad ethical choice make it easier for the next one? According to Splice, the answer is most definitely.

The main ethical dilemma presented in the film is the use of genetic modification technology in humans. The scientists initially approach this dilemma by thinking like classic teleologians. “By incorporating human DNA into the hybrid template, we can begin to address any number of genetically influenced diseases…Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, even some forms of cancer”. (Splice, 2009) They are producing a greater good by choosing this ethical path. This is the core motive for the current use of GMOs. According to the Human Genome Project (U.S. Department of Energy Genome Programs, 2008), GMOs have a variety of applications; To increase the yield of crops and animal products, to make plants and animals more resistant to certain disease, and more efficiently processed are but a few. The end product of these applications is, in theory, to benefit humanity. If we are already genetically modifying plants and animals, is a...

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... endure the consequences of their actions. This film could be taken as a worst case scenario of human gene modification. As the technology continues to evolve, we can only hope that the leading scientists have a higher ethical standard than those portrayed in the movie Splice.

References

Hoban, S. (Producer), & Natalie, V. (Director & Writer). (2009). Splice [Motion picture]. France: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Lemaux, P.G. (2006). Introduction to genetic modification. Agricultural Biotechnology in California Series, 8178. Retrieved from http://ucanr.org/freepubs/docs/8178.pdf

Purtillo, R. (2005). Ethical dimensions in the health professions. Philadelphia, Elsevier Saunders.

U.S. Department of Energy Genome Projects. (2008). Genetically modified foods and organisms. Retrieved from http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/elsi/gmfood.shtml
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