Essay on Genetic Disorders And Gene Therapy

Essay on Genetic Disorders And Gene Therapy

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There are thousands of children born with genetic disorders each year in every part of the world, but unfortunately none of them can be cured, yet. A genetic disorder is a disease that an individual is born with where there is a deformity in his or her DNA. However, with future advancements in medicine, there is a chance that doctors and scientists may be able to detect these gene abnormalities before a child is conceived. What this entails is scanning an egg and/or the sperm of two possible parents and then altering their genetic make-up to eradicate the potential abnormality, or as it is called today, germline gene therapy. As appealing as germline gene therapy sounds, being able to prevent disorders before they occur has ramifications that will potentially outweigh all of its benefits.
Normally when an individual becomes sick, he or she is taken to the hospital and treated. Doctors do not deny patients treatment because they feel their illnesses are not extreme enough. However, as predicted by Kevin Smith a college ethics professor, with germline gene therapy (GGT) treatment is going to be based solely on the very foundation of worthiness (Smith 262). Germline gene therapy is such a complicated and excruciatingly expensive procedure, those who perform it are subject to carefully select the cases that are extreme enough for this treatment. With that being said, ethics committees are going to have to be put in place in order to establish the restrictions regarding which diseases GGT can be utilized on. Parents who are at risk of having offspring with genetic disorders will be outraged at the thought of a committee deciding whether or not one disorder is worthy of treatment than the other(263). Instances where ethical committees ...

... middle of paper ... scientists alter the wrong genes. Granted, mistakes do happen, but these kind of mutations are irreversible and will live on unless those affected are advised not to reproduce, hence the fear of new eugenics.
It has been said that history tends to repeat itself. In the past, there was sterilization, used as a tool to stop mentally challenged individuals from having children in the hopes of eventually having perfect beings in society. Today, GGT is still in development for medical purposes only, but, so was sterilization when it was still in its infancy. Genetic disorders are responsible for a lot of deaths everywhere around the globe. Having a means to prevent these diseases would be a step up in the medical field, but unless solutions to all the problems presented in this essay are found, germline gene therapy will go down in history as medicine’s worst mistake.

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