- Published: November 11, 2022
- Updated: November 11, 2022
- Language: English
- Downloads: 20
The genetic engineering of humans would have widespread effects. It would impact not only those who had personally, and genetically, been changed by the new advancements, but also the people who interact with them and, eventually, society as a whole. Although some effects of this new research would be positive, there are also numerous ethical concerns involved in this kind of experimentation. One of the major reasons scientists perform research is to improve some facet of life. The same is true for genetic engineering.
This new advancement would save the lives of unborn babies that were destined to die before or soon after birth due to genetic disorders. It would also improve the quality of life for babies inflicted with non-fatal genetic disorders (Bostrom). Eventually, if genetic intervention was performed on a large enough percentage of those afflicted, certain genetic disorders could be wiped out, barring any potential mutations. The creation of super humans, meaning people that have been genetically engineered to have desirable traits, could lead to an overall more productive and advanced society. Due to their superior genes, super humans would be better equipped to push the boundaries of our current knowledge, potentially making new advancements that would help people worldwide. They would also be less likely to be slowed down by psychiatric disorders such as depression or anxiety because they wouldn’t have the genes that predispose people to these illnesses. Even though there is the potential for benefits, genetic engineering should be approached with caution due to the ethical concerns involved in its research.
By its very nature, genetic engineering involves interfering with the genetic code of an unborn child, someone who can’t give consent (Berger). The safety of this process isn’t proven so both the fetus and the mother could experience negative, even fatal, side effects. This risk might be justified in instances where the child would die or experience a low quality of life without any intervention, but in situations where a parent simply wants to improve their already healthy child it’s hard to justify such extreme measures. There is also the potential societal impact of some people being more genetically advanced than others. Genetic engineering would most likely be an expensive process, meaning that only those with a substantial amount of disposable income would be able to afford it. Therefore, only rich parents would be able to have genetically enhanced children and those children would have the advantage of more superior genes than their less fortunate peers (Parens). This difference in genetic code would widen the gap between the rich and the poor and could result in people seeing poor individuals as genetically inferior and thus not deserving of as many opportunities as the genetically enhanced. Genetic engineering brings with it the possibility of a better world comprised of individuals with mainly positive behavioral traits.
However, it also carries ethical concerns surrounding who will receive genetic enhancements and at what potential physical, mental, and monetary cost. These concerns should be examined and considered fully before human experimentation takes place.