Benefits & Nightmares in the Age of Genetic Tests & Interventions

By: | May 30th, 2017

Genetic Intervention

Genetic Intervention (Image Courtesy https://goo.gl/images/E95v3P)

Issues in Human Heredity

Bioethics includes the fields of law, medicine, and the ethics of reproductive technologies and genetics. In the United States, panels of doctors, lawyers, and ethicists have decided that gene editing techniques on human embryos that result in inherited genetic changes to future generations should not be allowed.

There are a lot of ethical challenges facing parents and doctors including the question of whether or not to create “designer babies.” Some ethicists are pushing for rules and regulations with regard to assisted reproduction and the rights of unborn children. If genetic tests are able to determine that an infant will be genetically predisposed to breast cancer, for example, or that an unknown genetic mutation is present, should the parents be told? And can parents make decisions on whether or not to carry a child to full-term using this information?

The New Frontier Will Change the World Forever

The new frontier of genetic engineering is already changing medicine and healthcare, and with them, bioethics. Scientists have already mapped the human genome, but they are still far from understanding all of its secrets. A new field of genetic counseling has sprouted up to help guide parents through the intricacies of genetic manipulation that could irreversibly change the lives of their children and themselves forever.

To assess a potential issue, doctors put pregnant mothers through a battery of prenatal and postnatal tests. The purpose is to screen parents to see if they are carriers of certain genetic red flags. Sometimes parent genomes are sequenced to obtain more detailed information.

The following video explains “Genetic Engineering Will Change Everything Forever.”

David Russell Schilling

David enjoys research and writing about cutting edge technologies that hold the promise of improving conditions for all life on planet earth.

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