Genetic Engineering in Humans
Imagine a world where there is no hunger, cancer, AIDS, and other dreaded diseases; a world where people could choose what their children could look like. To some, this is a scary, unnerving thought, but to others this is an exciting new step into our future. This unraveling discovery called genetic engineering is not science fiction anymore and may be the next stage in human evolution. In order to be able to accept this, people must not back away from the possibilities, rather open up to them. There are many uncertainties regarding Genetic Engineering in humans; many of which I was afraid of until I gained a better understanding of what risks were involved as well as the many benefits of this technology.
Genetic Engineering is the deliberate alteration of a living thing by modifying its DNA and changing its genetic makeup (Bryan 62). Gene Therapy, which is similar, is attempting to cure genetic diseases by placing a normal gene into cells that have a faulty version of that gene (62). Both of these new technologies have similar goals; the most important being to improve human lives. The public has many discrepancies involving these two procedures. The society has several common medical and ethical concerns about genetic engineering in humans. Many wonder how safe and reliable it is. Will it
take away from the diversity in the world? Is it playing God? These are all reasonable concerns which can be justified.
One of the biggest apprehensions with Genetic Engineering is whether or not it is safe, and if it is, who is to decide if it is or not? Many believe that people will not understand the risks involved, and in the long run, cause more harm and create more illnesses. This is hardly something that should the public should worry about. Gregory Stock confirms this when he claims, "No serious scientists advocate manipulating human genetics until such interventions are safe and reliable (12). Stock