The Importance Of Genetic Enhancement

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Throughout history, human beings have pushed the limits of popular belief and evolved immensely by embracing technology. The quest for efficiency and the betterment of society, quality of life, medical procedures and diagnosis, and methods of healing has been an endless road of progression. Many new methods and technological advances, particularly in the medical field, have been debated with the question of ethics. Ethics is defined as the moral correctness of specified conduct. Morality is simply what one would consider right or wrong in human nature. The definition of morality leaves much to be considered when considering the ethics of genetic testing, enhancements and engineering. Genetic enhancement has the potential to improve the quality of life for those with degenerative mental and physical disorders. According to an article released by The Atlantic, (Sandel, 2004) genetic enhancement can reverse the process of muscular dystrophy. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention released statistics in 2007 figuring 1 in every 5,600 to 7,700 males between the ages of five and twenty-four years old have muscular dystrophy. The treatment not only mends the deteriorating muscles but reinforces healthier muscles not effected by the disease. Alzheimer’s has also been a major topic of research. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, approximately 5.2 million Americans live with this disease. The mortality rate each year extends to upwards of 500,000 people, of which 200,000 are under the age of sixty. Through genetic enhancement, memory function can be restored and the disease potentially erased. With these two examples alone, given the figures and mortality rates, and the understanding that these numbers would greatly improve... ... middle of paper ... ...hnology is not what it has been in the past, saturated mostly with religious condemnation or fear of too rapid a progression; in turn deeming progression unethical. Dwight D. Eisenhower stated: We now stand in a vestibule of a vast new technological age; one that, despite its capacity for human destruction, has an equal capacity to make human poverty and human misery obsolete. If our efforts are wisely directed; and if our unremitting efforts for dependable peace begin to obtain some success; we can surely become participants in creating an age characterized by justice and rising levels of human well-being.(Eisenhower, State of the Union Address) The true debate, rather than fear, lies in what is ethical and unethical. It is true that testing and procedures must be done to improve on the technology of genetic engineering, and in the process, error will be present.
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