Is it ethical to modify the genes of living organisms?
Genetic engineering is the act of modifying the genes of different living organisms. It has developed greatly since the first genetically engineered medicine for humans was approved in 1968. Until today, scientists have been able to discover various treatments for diseases or illnesses that earlier were untreatable. However, there are risks associated with the research e.g. certain medicines produced might end up causing a new disease, and the testing of the medicines on both humans and animals could harm the organism. Considering that there exist various arguments and counter-arguments regarding this topic, a moral relativistic position will be taken.
Nowadays there exist various diseases, such as diabetes, which in the past weren’t treatable. However, thanks to research performed in genetic engineering, scientists were able to genetically modify bacteria to create insulin and produce erythropoietin using the ovary cells from Chinese hamsters. Considering the number of lives that this treatment has saved, genetic engineering could be considered ethically correct by the majority of the world. However, as mentioned in the introduction, there exist arguments which would prove the opposite regarding the modification of genes. First of all, scientists will always need someone or something to experiment on which will, in almost all cases be animals, and considering how much the research can harm the animal the research performed in genetic engineering could be considered morally incorrect. Certain religious groups also oppose themselves to genetic engineering, one of these being Catholics. They claim that genetic engineering is doing the work of god, and causing unbalance in the nature and therefore consider it unethical to practice the modification of genetics.
Another aspect of genetic engineering that needs to be considered is the ability to manipulate the genes of unborn babes. One advantage of this is...