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Inheritable Genetic Modification - Part 7

written by: •edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski•updated: 12/30/2008

Learn about inheritable genetic modification and the issues associated with it.

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    All medical breakthroughs/advances have risks involved

    The take home message for the conclusion of the pro and con arguments for IGM is the discussion of enhancement and the potential loss of common humanity and that could lead to a future of unknown and end up being detrimental to the human species.

    In conclusion, If IGM research continues to be accepted in the United States, the public will be forced to come to the dawn of religious maturity and responsibility since genetically based technologies will eventually force certain questions and issues to be discussed and become apart of the public main stream.

    The potential questions and issues that could arise include:

    • How do we define ourselves?
    • Given tremendous scientific advancement and seemingly limitless potential to explore and manipulate the boundaries of our existence, are we evolving in any meaningful way?
    • What difference does it make how tall we are, or what the color of our skin is?
    • Is a life lost to a genetic disorder at a young age any less valuable than one artificially prolonged (on a population level)?
    • Why is it just a human existence that merits attention and extreme measures for preservation?
    • What happens when we perturb the model of evolution with our own brand of genetic selection?
    • Who is to decide what should be undertaken among all of the pursuits that can be undertaken?
    • Upon what criteria shall these decisions be based and how shall they be enforced?

    Disclaimer

    Seeing a genetic counselor or a fertility expert would be of use to fully understand the topic of genetic modification and the regulations that might be in place in your state. New policies are developed as the technology improves. So your state may or may not allow genetic modification for patients or couples planing for a pregnancy. Even if a couple chooses to have the genetic material changed for their child, there is no guarantee that the result that parents want (blue eyes, certain height and/or athletic ability, or curing a disease) will be reality.

    Related Reading:

    Reproductive cloning combined with genetic modification Journal of Medical Ethics 2005;31:654-658 http://jme.bmj.com/cgi/content/abstract/31/11/654

    Genetic modification of chondrocytes with insulin-like growth factor-1 enhances cartilage healing in an equine model Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery - British Volume, Vol 89-B, Issue 5, 672-685 http://www.jbjs.org.uk/cgi/content/abstract/89-B/5/672

    Citations:

    - Mark S. Frankel and Audrey R. Chapman. 2000. Human Inheritable Genetic Modifications: Assessing Scientific, Ethical, Religious and Policy Issues. American Association for the Advancement of Science http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:_6evkfiRn3IJ:www.aaas.org/spp/sfrl/projects/germline/report.pdf+genetic+modifcation+work+group+AAAS&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us

    - AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion. Inheritable Genetic Modification Working Group http://www.aaas.org/spp/dser/02_Events/Workshops/WS_1999_InhertGenMod.shtml

    - Designing Our Descendants: The Promises and Perils of Genetic Modifications. JAMA.2004; 292: 1374-1375

    - Center for Genetics and Society. 2007. Boy gets leukaemia after gene treatment to cure ‘bubble baby syndrome’ http://www.geneticsandsociety.org/article.php?id=3840