One topic we discussed in class that I thought was one of the most interesting was the topic of human genetic engineering. There are several advantages and disadvantages to this science, along with the debate of whether or not it is ethical to partake in human genetic engineering. For the most part I feel that I am against the whole idea of it, even though it is very fascinating and such an accomplishment in science.
I do not agree with parents choosing whether or not their child will have blonde or brunette hair, or whether they will be short or tall. I do not think that is fair to the child and I think parents should be thrilled with however their child was supposed to turn out without the genetic engineering. I think as humans we all want the best for ourselves and our families, at least most people do, and I do not agree that this is the way to get the best for them. There is also that possibility that something could go wrong with the whole process of the genetic engineering, and then the result is a child who has an extra chromosome or some other problem that they previously would not have had if the parents had just left the genes the way they were meant to be.
The only time I feel that I would be for human genetic engineering is if it could prevent a birth defect or terminal illness in the child. Birth defects can often be life threatening to the child and hard on the families, so I feel that if you have the chance to terminate that gene, you should. I am not saying there is anything wrong with children who have certain birth defects, but I have seen firsthand how hard it can be on a family and it will break your heart. This is the only time I feel that it makes sense to want to change your child’s genes because it would be enhancing their lives.
I also think that gene therapy is a great idea, again because it enhances the patient’s life. Scientists have been studying gene therapy for a long time now, and hope that someday it can really cure terrible diseases. The whole idea of gene therapy is to replace a gene or chromosome in a person’s DNA to make them healthier and to get rid of the unhealthy gene present in their bodies. There are certain chronic illnesses that gene therapy is supposed to be able to cure and scientists also hope that it will be able to cure certain types of cancers. I think it is very fascinating to see how far science has come in today’s age, but with some of it, like changing the genes in your child to give them a certain hair or eye color, I do not see what the point is other than an advance in technology. Other than some of the ethical issues that go along with human genetic engineering, I think it is a great discovery, and hopefully it can do a lot of good, such as changing the lives of those who are unhealthy.